Tom Murphy – Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy blogging about PR and other things since 2002…

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PR Spam: The post I meant to write

May 21st, 2008 · 1 Comment · Public Relations, Social Media

Often I find that one of the defining characteristics of a burning online issue is a lot of hyperbole, coupled with people taking themselves far too seriously as the self-appointed defenders of what’s acceptable in “their” online universe.

They should chill out.

Don’t get me wrong we should call out laziness, stupidity and malpractice but let’s keep a sense of perspective and reality.

I had meant to try and put some of these thoughts down, but I regretfully didn’t.

This was one of the reasons I was cheered up when I read Neville Hobson‘s post today: PR spam is mostly the result of being careless.

What’s my definition of ‘PR spam’? Any one or all of this:

  • The product or service being pitched by email is so obviously not one that I would have much interest in, a fact that would be very easily apparent if the pitcher had taken even a cursory glance at this blog or listened to my podcast.
  • The email includes an unsolicited Word document attachment. And it’s worth noting that not everyone uses Word. I do but the pitcher doesn’t know that.
  • The pitcher writes a pseudo-friendly greeting but it only looks like a bad database mail merge. My favourite: “Hi, Neville ,” (notice the space between my name and the final comma). A close second is the simple “Hi ,” with that same space (yes, I’ve had lots of emails like that).

Mostly, I regard such PR spam is just another consequence of being online and being accessible. You know, along with the email offers for knock-off replica watches, Viagra and other sexual performance enhancements, and winning the Euro lottery.

The only addition I’d make is that I’d include the words “lazy” and “stupid” “silly” to “careless”.

Read the full post and there’s some good stuff in the comments.

Thanks Neville!

Note:

My son reminded me that silly is a better word :-)

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Neville Hobson

    Thanks, Tom.

    Keeping a perspective is precisely what we ought to do. It’s easy to take black-and-white positions, as many of our colleagues have done. Yet isn’t it better to show how we can help those in the profession who behave like spammers to see the error of their ways?

    We have a massive task ahead, though :)

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