Are PR People Becoming the New Spammers?

Is it just me or are you receiving a lot more emails that look like this:

Hi Jason,

Wanted to make you aware of the below funding announcement just released regarding a new [BLAH-nothing I care about]. Happy to make any introductions to the CEO, [John Smith] or any of the  below individuals for further comment, if interested in learning more.

Any questions or additional information you may have, I can be reached at 212-867-5309 or [email protected]

Thanks,

Jenny

Then this is followed by a large press release about something that I don’t care about and I usually get two copies to boot.

And, of course, none of these folks are complying with the law by offering the ability to unsubscribe, so I bitch back and ask them to take me off the list, which about half the time they don’t respond.

So, I take their name and numbers down and make sure that when my companies need PR help, they won’t be using these spammers.  I realize that folks have a job to do, but why would I want my companies paying for a PR firm that is just carpet bombing information?  I can find ways to do that MUCH more cheaply than hiring a PR firm. Use some creativity, target your audience and if you can’t – at least follow the email spamming laws.

One more thing – not all PR folks are bad.  I’ve worked with some really great ones who don’t behave like this, but it feels like the velocity of those that do is increasing.

Rant over.

  • One of the hazards of having a VC blog that people read. Its unfortunate because PR pros (and I use this term loosely) like this give the ones who actually do their job a bad rap. Nice Tommy Tutone reference BTW. Will now have song stuck in my mind for the rest of the day.

    • Totally agree.  This seems like an “underbelly” of the profession.  Not all. 

  • Per usual, an employee (maybe not acting alone?) is taking the easy route. I'm sure they even say in meetings, "I contacted a thousand people today".

  • Ben Hatten

    Its just another industry that is trying to make money off start ups. Start ups /small companies should be doing their own PR – identify people who actually cover your space, and develop a relationship with them before you launch something.

    I haven't heard of a start up having luck with paying a PR firm some ungodly retainer fee and then having them spam all the blogs hopping someone covers their company. Save the cash and then actually use it something that is sustainable – i.e. adwords or other marketing.

  • David

    Unfortunately, as Emily mentioned above, all it takes are a few unskilled PR professionals to give the industry a bad name.

  • Why not post your list, and keep it updated? (Google Doc or something similar.) They might start seeing the consequences of their spamming much more quickly!

    • Yes, but also starting a war with a PR firm is probably not in my best interests.  J

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  • Andy

    it a good place