PR Spam vs Information Sharing

Ninety nine times out of one hundred, when I receive unsolicited press releases via email from PR professionals, I respond with something like this:

Unsubscribe.

One quick word that is meant to communicate that I’m not interested in what they sent me, nor am I interested in receiving similar communications from them in the future.

Most don’t respond. Those who do tend to say thanks. Why would they be thanking me for unsubscribing? Because I could have marked their email as spam, which could effect their email deliveries to others since Gmail takes that sort of thing into account.

There are occasional exceptions, like this response I received from a local PR person:

Mr. Kohler,

The information I sent you is not for a mailing list. I know that your blog focuses on things happening around the Twin Cities, so I thought you might be interested in sharing with your readers. Just passing along information on a local event.

What’s important to local PR professional’s clients and what’s important to me tend to have very little overlap.

Frankly, I’m not interested in regurgitating press releases. That’s what mainstream media companies and mommy bloggers are for.

7 thoughts on “PR Spam vs Information Sharing”

  1. You make a great point about not marking people as spam. Now that I work for a company that is in the business of email delivery (to those who have opted in), I’m aware of how that impacts people. Of course, when a user marks something as spam, their ISP notifies the sender. However, the notification isn’t in an email and many PR firms probably don’t have technology in place to receive that message. If they did receive that message and remove the person immediately, the ISP wouldn’t mark them as a spammer. The problem is with those marked as spammers who never get that notification and continue sending email to the recipient.

    All that to say, for the sake of the PR people and others sending emails to lists that are often very legitimate, thanks for not just marking them as spam but for trying to unsubscribe first. More people should do that, and more email senders should use a system that shows them when they’ve been marked as spammers.

  2. As long as they give me something free and they understand that I am under no obligation to regurgitate their PR I’m fine with them sending me whatever they want and taking advantage of it.

  3. But of course. It’s a long-standing dispute among moms who blog. Time to reclaim it? Nah. Can’t whip up enough care.

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