My colleague Michelle sent me a Forbes article: This Is What Happened When I Personally Replied To Every Press Release I Received For A Week
The title pretty much sums up a story that is both amusing and sad. Writer J. Maureen Henderson describes how she “committed to personally responding with feedback to every press release pitch I received for an entire week… based on what I was seeing in my inbox.”
She relates how she gets many poorly targeted pitches, and countless offers to interview experts and authors who are irrelevant to anything that she is working on.
It is sad because it perpetuates the stereotype of PR people as mindless pitch machines. But I thought that it was an amusing thing to try, and a funny idea for an article. It kind of reminds me of the comedian Dave Chappele’s bit If the internet
was a Real Place (shown above; edgy content warning)
In that routine, Dave is transported to a world of the Internet as real life, where, seeking a news site, he runs a gauntlet of hucksters pitching free music, debt sonsolidation, and porn sites like nu-bay.com around every corner.
I am a blogger who is listed in the media databases and can relate to the Forbes piece, because I too get lots of irrelevant pitches (awhile back I wrote about how I like to get email pitches).
It can get a bit surreal and unintentionally funny;
If the tech journalist or blogger’s inbox were to come alive, what would he or she see? Lots of irrelevant hype and experts, I am afraid to say.
Maybe Chappelle will do a bit on this.
I would much rather be writing good news stories about PR, and defending the profession. But sometimes some tough love is needed. You would think that we would have collectively moved beyond pitch Spam being a problem (see my post PR Moment of Truth).
The fact that the topic still comes shows that we have a ways to go. On the other hand, it is an opportunity for those who do a better job to rise above and show that we can be more.