You have been sending me emails for months now, apparently from someone named Sarah who always has a "Story Idea:" for me. Since then I have asked three times (including a voicemail) to be removed from your distribution list. What happened today? I received another email from Sarah about another awesome "STORY IDEA".
I've given up trying to stop your emails. You obviously don't care about my requests, or care that you're proving to me and a lot of others that you accomplish the opposite effect of PR - you demean your clients in front of the very people you're trying to reach. I would never write a story after receiving a pitch from you.
I know that stories from bloggers mean a lot to your clients. Do they know your tactics? Do they know that you don't respect requests from the very people you are asking to write stories? Do they know people like me consider you spammers?
I think the PR industry has a place in the online world and there are hordes of smart people in PR who have found the right ways to work with bloggers. I just received a pitch today from someone who had read this site and personalized their message. I respect them for taking the time.
You, SSPR, have a very long way to go. Like any relationship, your efforts must be built on honesty and respect. It has to be built on personal connections. Every time you send an unwanted email and ignore removal requests, you are insulting me, yourselves and PR industry as a whole. It's called spam and no one wants more of it.
What I want is for you to understand what is wrong with what you're doing. Here are a number of resources and perspectives for understanding how to pitch bloggers.
Matt Haughey: How to Pitch Bloggers
Getting to First Base: Social Media Marketing Playbook (e-book)
Pro Blogger: 21 Tips on Pitching Bloggers
Stowe Boyd: The Growing Backlash Against PR Spam
I suppose I should be thankful in some ways, you've suceeded in giving me a "STORY IDEA", though I doubt it's what you wanted.
PS - I see you've made it onto the PR Spammers wiki. Congrats on that.
Just after posting this entry, I was contacted by Belinda Banks, Executive Vice President at SSPR, who was apologetic and said that change is happening in the company. From her message:
We have addressed this situation internally, not only with Sarah but with our entire staff, especially all of our new team members. Inaccurate pitching is a personal pet peeve of mine and we are striving for each staff member to resonate that same theme.
I appreciate Belinda's response, but at the same time, the proof is in the pudding. I hope we'll see real change from them and others in the industry.