wiredThe Editor in Chief of Wired threatened to block PR pitches from PR people if they blindly email him press releases without tailoring them to him.


Chris Anderson, got guts. Chris Anderson is widely respected, and has written some awesome books… So for him to say this, people watch, and they have been!

Chris said:

So fair warning: I only want two kinds of email: those from people I know, and those from people who have taken the time to find out what I’m interested in and composed a note meant to appeal to that (I love those emails; indeed, that’s why my email address is public).

Everything else gets banned on first abuse.

He has already banned, what appears to be about a hundred email addresses. Bold!

Chris said he gets about 300 emails per day, mostly PR pitches. He doesn’t have the time for it. Duh! How could he. He has a staff that deals with it, so send it to the proper email address at Wired and not his personal email at Wired.

I get my share of press releases, not nearly 300 per day, but a fair share. I can’t stand most press releases, in fact, I delete 95% of them. When I was just writing at the Search Engine Roundtable, I simply deleted all press releases no matter what. Why? Well, on the submission page at the site, I said we have certain criteria. That criteria includes:

We only accept news and article ideas, if they come from a search marketing forum thread. If the community finds your service / news / product to be important, a discussion should and will most likely be started in one of the top search marketing forums. It is our job at the Search Engine Roundtable to discover these most talked about discussions and summarize them for you in a format that is both useful and timely.

If you have content, news, products or services you want to submit to the Search Engine Roundtable, please first find a forum thread from one of the many Search Engine Marketing Forums. Then submit an email to us and we will evaluate the thread and discussion for inclusion into our story board.

If you have a press release, then great! But don’t share it with me if no one else cares about it. AKA, no forum discussion, no press release.

With Search Engine Land, I need to be more open minded. I still prefer to find the news through my channels and not be fed the news, with certain exceptions.

Is Chris worried about missing out on some stories? I doubt it. I commend him!

The bottom line is that we are all human. Throw press releases in our faces, as if we are machines, doesn’t do it anymore. Tailor them, make sure we care. With Search Engine Land, there are some writers who prefer local articles while some love to cover new features and others love hard core SEO stuff. Tailor your message and be direct! Save yourself and us time, please.

Website Comments

  1. Scott Clark

    I can see this happening. Since I write for a regional business journal, I get around 20 per day. NEVER relevant. NEVER useful. I am far more likely to get stories from news agents or RSS. I trained the rest of the newspaper staff how to do that too.

    I have blocked probably 30 email addresses. Nothing like the above but this should go out as a lesson to those sending them.

    One of the problems are automated systems that have absolutely no policing. As long as you follow a few steps and give them a credit card, they’ll send your release to anyone you say and take the heat for the email spam.

  2. Andrey Milyan

    I can so relate to that. I got a ton (40-50) emails from PR agencies every single day. None of them even bother trying to figure out what our magazine is about.

    What are those agencies thinking?! Such laziness and averageness is beyond belief!

  3. Andy

    Too right that chris anderson has spoken out about this. Email is such a throwaway tool which tends to encourage a barrage of throwaway comments and pointless communication. i recomend reading Mark Borkowski’s insightful post on the subject

  4. Joe Beaulaurier

    I am so glad to see Scott’s comment show up here. As someone from mainstream media he’s able to shine a light on the fact this isn’t something only new media types are having to deal with. It’s an old problem of PR buckshot that mainstream media has been dealing (?) with for years.

    In the past, the grousing about this has occurred behind closed doors in journalists’ offices. Now the grousing is occurring in the open as the new media’s desktop is very public-facing.

    Will this promote change? Maybe, although it certainly can’t hurt.

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