Banned For Life

One of my colleagues handed me a copy of BtoB magazine a couple of weeks ago highlighting a little blurb about “outing lazy PR folks.” In fact, his exact words were “lazy flacks.”

Of course I added this juicy tidbit to my “future blog fodder” stack, which with every passing day gets bigger while my time to post a blog gets smaller…

But here I am! So let’s talk about what the editor in chief of Wired had to say recently. The Long Tail guy, Chris Anderson, published in his blog (of the same name) a long list of PR folk email addresses who have sent him “unsolicited and irrelevant press releases.”

Chris states, “I only want two kinds of email: those from people I know, and those from people who have taken the time to find out what I'm interested in and composed a note meant to appeal to that (I love those emails; indeed, that's why my email address is public).”

I really don’t think this is too much to ask from PR professionals. He’s banning every PR dupe who violates his policy the first time, and I’ve heard of other media outlets doing the same thing, so beware.

C’mon, you know you should always:
  1. Do your homework and understand the media you want to pitch, the types of news they publish and what types of news each journalist and editorial contact want to see.
  2. Or, hire an agency to manage 1., and make sure they’re doing just that so they don’t get banned.
  3. And/or subscribe to a database-driven PR service like or Vocus that provide comprehensive media outlet databases with the answers to the homework you need to do in 1.
I’ve trained hundreds of PR professionals on and I’m still amazed at how many folks blast their releases out to large distribution lists, the majority of which don’t want to see their news.

Pay attention: “banned for life” isn’t where you want your organization’s news.

Posted by Kevin Grossman

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