You get nothing for free…. yeah right

In an occasional series on best-practice in e-mail newsletters I offer this advice.  If you are going to communicate with your target audience via e-mail, then do not just send them links within the e-mail to content that requires payment.

There is a rant coming…

I welcome newsletter from PR firms, experts and related suppliers.  Many have interesting stories and links and I believe they are a very effective form of marketing.  Indeed I regularly highlight newsletters here, which I’m sure doesn’t hurt their Google rankings.

However, when I get a newsletter – that is well designed and has interesting topics – delivered into my Inbox, I expect to be able to read those same interesting topics.  If you are selling content, the content in the newsletter should whet the appetite of the reader, wow them with your expertise, while still marketing your services.

If all the respondent actually gets is a web page looking for money, then you have provided no value whatsoever and in fact you have wasted their time. 

That is not good communication practice in my opinion, humble or otherwise.

Of course to add insult to injury when I unsubscribed from their “newsletter” they kept on sending it.  That’s spam. I am going to protect the innocent here by not naming the firm in question, don’t worry it’s not a PR firm, it’s a PR-related services firm.

I hope they can “measure” my response.

PR Firm ordered to pay $45 million by the SEC

Interesting heading isn’t it? It certainly got my attention.

The story is from Forbes via Reuters and concerns accusations by the SEC that Roberto Veitia failed to disclose sales of shares in company he was promoting.  Mr. Veitia is president of Stratcomm Media Ltd.

But when you go to Stratcomm’s website they look more like a third world publishing house than a PR firm. One hilarious section of their website covers their code of ethics which is built around:

  1. Integrity
  2. Accountability
  3. Client Disclosure
  4. Legality
  5. Confidentiallity

I particularly like this line “We comply with the laws governing our professional activities and expect the same from our clients, prospective clients, shareholders and go above and beyond by our labeling system.” Sure you do…

Mr.Veitia certainly sees himself as a PR pro as can be witnessed to his posting to the PRBytes mailing list back in 2001. Though I thought his wording was ominous given the recent SEC problems:

“I have been in the PR racket since 1985”

Racket indeed… 

The latest PR salary report… more bad news for technology and public affairs…

The “Official” Public Relations Salary & Bonus Report 2003 is out.  The biggest salary gainers over the past year were practitioners in finance and corporate (up 12%) followed by consumer (up 10%) while all us poor technology and public affairs practitioners took a 10% percent dive – no surprise there.

On the agency side, technology jobs are down 15%, with Business-to-Business a close runner-up with a reduction of 14.5%.

Interestingly there are 15.5% less agency senior vice presidents this year… and agency billing rates are down, on average, 8.7%.

The report retails for $199 and you can order it directly from Spring Associates.

PR help from the police… advertising and search engines… anti-spam to kill e-mail?…

  • The UK’s National High Tech Crime Unit have launched a team dedicated to helping victims of computer crime to manage media relations.  The Unit believes one of the reasons so many firms pull out of prosecutions is the fear of bad publicity.
  • According to, advertising agencies are beginning to embrace search engine marketing. How are PR firms handling it?
  • The New Zealand Herald has an interesting op-ed on the need for companies to change their tradition views of PR. “Today’s PR is about partnership building, building relationships – long-term in most cases. It’s about strategic communications management. This means communicating effectively to meet company and consumer objectives.”
  • Declan McCullagh over at looks at how the increasing use of anti-spam software might affect e-mail.  I hate to point it out, but we suggested a similar issue at the beginning of the week…

Blogumentary… Getting results for PR… More on BlairJ…

Writing for the web.. Jayson Blair.. E-mail and the underload..

  1. Don’t respond to a pitch unless you have the perfect match.
  2. Do keep your pitches very short and to the point.
  3. Don’t attach files.
  4. Don’t pitch someone if they are not available to be interviewed.