Check Out This Spam From a PR Flak

I don’t usually do things like this, but this is too delicious. Here’s an email I just received from someone named Tami Queen:

Countless accounts of “PR Flaks” who have spammed bloggers, mis-targeted pitches or just plain gotten blogger relations wrong fill the Internet. Don’t risk finding your next pitch blasted on your favorite blog!

As a Public Relations professional, it is your job to find every opportunity to get your organization covered and be an expert on the inner-workings of the media. However, the explosion of the blogosphere has left many confused and wondering: How do bloggers operate? What type of approach will get my news covered? How can I integrate blogs into my overall PR strategy?

The new media landscape calls for additional tactics and approaches to the PR practitioner’s toolbox. Download the FREE Vocus white paper Five Golden Rules for Blogger Relations to get insights on how today’s PR professionals can successfully incorporate blogger relations into their PR strategy and build effective relationships straight from four of the top blogging experts in the industry!

Vocus’ whitepaper features expert commentary from:

  • Shel Holtz, principal of Holtz Communication + Technology and author of several top PR books including “Public Relations on the Net”
  • David Meerman Scott, online thought leadership strategist and author
  • Rachel Weiss, noted podcaster, Beware of the Babylon
  • Susan Getgood, founder of GetGood Strategic Marketing Inc.

Visit now to get your complimentary copy.

And don’ t forget to sign up to be notified for Vocus’ June webinar on Blogger Relations, featuring several of the notable blogging experts highlighted in the whitepaper!

Vocus Inc, the global leader in on-demand software for corporate communications and public relations, is offering this white paper at no charge.

Now that’s ironic.

Never mind for a second that sending this to me is downright insulting, given the subject matter of this blog (and oh yeah, I’m a blogger). It’s more important to note that the four contributing experts to this whitepaper would never advise that you pitch a blogger with a de-personalized, bulk-emailed press release.

So Tami, why don’t the “Five Golden Rules” apply to you?

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Reader Comments (32)

  1. says

    I also got it lol. They must be getting the list from somewhere, my best guess is Technorati or MyBlogLog.

  2. says

    I received the same thing sent to my “PRWeb” address.

    Ha, I bet that’s it. I guess it never occured to Tami that we lowly bloggers send out press releases too. 😉

  3. says

    Wow, it seems as though I’m in some good company because I just received the exact same message, and it was through an e-mail address used with a press release at PRWeb. :)

  4. says

    Yep, got it here too.

    The last time I checked, Email spam wasn’t a very good PR technique. Too much backlash :)

  5. says

    Brian, I almost blogged it too. Maybe we should start a new tag meme – everyone that received it, should post to their blog and embarrass them. 😉

  6. says

    I haven’t received this notification, and I’m listed on Technorati. Either there’s some sort of cutoff, or she used another mailing list.

    You could always thank her for the notice with, oh, say an unpersonalized form letter?

    “Dear (Firstname of Recipient),”

    “Thank you for notifying all (insert profession title here) of your webinar. I appreciated it so much that I, (insert name of responding point of contact), chose to respond personally to your gracious offer.”

    “Thank you again for your time, (Firstname of Recipient).”

    “Yours Truly,”

    “(insert name of responding point of contact)”

    Use it verbatim. See if you get a response.

  7. says

    Got the same email, had the same thoughts. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link to the free white paper; after all, it features some good writers. But of course, they wanted me to enter my e-mail address before allowing me to download the white paper … Hello! You already have my e-mail address — that’s where I got the link to the free download.

  8. says

    Got it twice!
    Damn glad I’m not mentioned in it, as my co-author and a couple of friends are.

    Let’s all respond, a dozen or so times . . .

  9. says

    I was, of course, quoted in the Vocus white paper.

    As I understand it, the white paper offer was distributed to Vocus customers and to PRWeb customers. As you may recall, Vocus acquired PRWeb in August of 2006.

    The problem is that many PRWeb customers don’t know who Vocus is and therefore this message is out of context.

    It’s unfortunate, particularly in light of the topic of the white paper but I know that the Vocus team will learn from the comments that you all have supplied here.


  10. says

    David, if Vocus would have simply labled it “A message to PRWeb customers” I would have not posted about it. I would have still trashed it as untargeted noise, but not posted about it.

    The white paper is a perfect example of the host not understanding what the invited guests are talking about. I hope that changes.

  11. says

    Damn, I was going to post about the white paper itself — it’s actually pretty good. I like the advice about how to pitch to bloggers because I’ve been getting all sorts of strange emails lately from people I don’t know asking me to review books or even products.

    It wasn’t until I read Paul Gillin’s “The New Influencers” that I realized PR people were pitching me.

    I just received another one this morning regarding a writer at the Boston Globe and her new book. I don’t even know who the woman is — nor why her PR person emailed me.

  12. says

    I’ll have to ask my boss about this when he gets back from vacation. He submits all the press releases I write for PRWeb, so he’s probably got this same email waiting in his inbox.

    I agree with Brian, that it should have mentioned something about, “Dear PRWeb customers,” or something similar, to recipients know that it was coming from a trusted source. As David said, many people don’t realize that PRWeb is owned by Vocus and, as a result, wouldn’t make the connection.

    I’m on PRWeb quite frequently, and I too had forgotten that Vocus and PRWeb were the same company. I’m sure I knew in the back of my mind, but PRWeb certainly doesn’t jump to mind when I see the name “Vocus.”

    Hopefully, they’ll learn from this mistake and be smarter about it in the future.

  13. says

    Brian et al.,

    I’m part of the marketing/comm. team at Vocus. First and foremost, please accept our apologies on this. I think you guys have figured out the confusion – we submitted the white paper announcement to ALL our customers – both Vocus and PRWeb. It was never our intention to spam or send a blanket pitch. In fact, our goal was to educate our customers on why they shouldn’t do these things. If you are interested, our official reponse is at:


  14. says

    Thanks for stopping by Jiyan. In yet another ironic twist, Akismet flagged your comment as spam, and luckily I caught it. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence though! :)

  15. says

    As soon as I got that email, I winced. I couldn’t believe they would alienate the PR community like that. Even if you are reaching out to bloggers, the assumption that the bloggers are PR people — or talk to PR people is just foolish.

  16. says

    This was just too funny.

    Maybe it’s a test, to prove what NOT to do. Maybe all the reactions are being collected as data for the next white paper?

  17. says

    Hmm … I get over 900 emails per day now, and didn’t see that one. I guess I’m not worthy .. or, my Eudora and Spamnix work like they are supposed to .. I rarely see any spam in my IN-BOX anymore.

    PS: Nice upgrade to the website! Had to look.

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