Stop asking, start filtering

PR filters

I know it's a cliché as a blogger to complain about public relations flacks sending you giant PDFs and weekly emails on topics you don't care about, but recently I noticed my tried and true polite email saying:


totally stopped working. Turns out that a lot of these PR companies have a single database of random blogger emails they've snarfed up, but each employee seems to maintain their own personal list. When I ask Alice at PR to remove me, I noticed a week later I got another PR blast from Bob at PR. Then Steve at PR hits me again a day later.

So for now, I'm moving to filters in Gmail. The entire PR agency domain goes into the From: and you set it to delete immediately. Instantly, no more PR spam from Alice, Bob, or Steve, forever, and I don't have to ask to opt-out of something I never opted into.

And to people working in PR, some bloggers do seem to post the things you send, but in four years of daily PR email blasts that now number in the thousands, I recall one or two being something I was actually interested in. That's about the same success ratio of general email spam over the past 10 years for me.

update: I was thinking of posting my own blacklist of annoying firms, but it looks like Gina from Lifehacker beat me to the punch.

And to PR folks reading this post, I left a comment describing my dream scenario for how PR people should interact with bloggers:

the perfect PR person would match me up with topics I write about and when they figure out a perfect product pitch I might be interested in, email me personally once to share it, and ask me for confirmation if I’d like to get future email from them. Unless I reply back with a "yes" don't add me to a list or pitch me again -- it's a not a good match and is only going to build frustration on my end if you keep sending unsolicited pitches.

Another update: I've written some tips on How To Pitch PR to Bloggers