Valleywag, one of our favorite reads here at Ignite, had an interesting post today titled, “Wired editor in Snit over unsolicited emails.” The post points to Chris Anderson’s “outing” of 329 PR people who took aim at the Editor-in-chief, pitching him on their clients’ products or services. Boy, did his own blog post set off a firestorm of great debate, as evidenced by the comments too numerous for yours truly to finish reading. (I feel bad for any non-PR person who got accidentally ensnared in this public flogging.)
Whenever I see the title ‘editor-in-chief’ or ‘publisher’ on ANY of our lists that we are building, I immediately cross them out and remind our staff that those titles should not be there.
(period)!! (Actually, there are a few exceptions here but these are typically with smaller publications or newsletters that are usually focused in vertical market sectors. In these cases, the editor-in-chief is indeed the go-to-guy or go-to-gal. ;-) I, for one, would welcome PR folk applying the basics here. Among the two camps, I fall on the side of supporting Chris for getting fed up with the hundreds of PR people and PR firms that do not bother to do the basic quality control when it comes to promoting or trying to interest reporters. Herein, lays the key --- the operative word being “reporter” not editor-in-chief. There is a big difference and if a PR person doesn’t know this, doesn’t get it, or doesn’t care, well then I guess they continue to face public lambasting.
Is it, as Chris is suggesting, laziness by lots of PR folks? I know that, like reporters, PR people are also typically under the gun but, quite frankly, it takes a minimal amount of time to prune out any odd titles (copy editor, publisher, and editor-in-chief). I can understand why, in this age of email overload, there is an even bigger backlash at this type of spamming practice. I guess this quality (and perhaps basic training) or lack thereof is essentially up to each agency to either put in place or disregard.
The NYT’s weighs in on this today as well.