How To Offer ‘Unsubscribe’ to Journalists

Complaints by journalists about PR people being too aggressive are as old as PR and journalism themselves. But in the past 12 months a growing problem—“PR spam”—has elevated the potential for PR-media conflict to an entirely new level. When PR people working from lists of media contacts blast out generic, one-size-fits-all e-mail pitches to numerous journalists at once, many recipients take offense at the impersonal approach. Worse, when e-mail reaches journalists who shouldn’t have been on the list in the first place, because the pitch is not relevant to their interests or because they’ve made it clear they aren’t interested in cold calls, they get mad. And now they are starting to get even.

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