The Continuing Story of Reporters and PR People

Editor’s Note: John Reinan, a Friend of the Crowd and former Star Tribune reporter now on the PR and marketing side of things, originally posted the following as a comment on another post. We’re bumping it up to a standalone guest post to prompt a little more visibility and discussion. John last guest-posted for us here. — The Mgmt.

Have any of you seen/heard about the kerfuffle involving Wired magazine’s editor? He outed a bunch of PR people who he claimed were making uninformed, spam-like pitches to his e-mail.

Pretty much threw a public tantrum and published their e-mail addresses, saying he hoped they would be harvested by spambots and given a taste of their own medicine.

It generated a ton of comments. And, surprisingly to me, the vast majority were from PR people, piling on their outed colleagues, proclaiming that they would never do such a thing, and licking the boots of the almighty editor.

For once in my life, I stayed out of a debate and didn’t post anything. But what I really wanted to say was, Get over yourself!!!!!!!

Getting pitches is part of being a journalist. Yes, some percentage of them are spammish and not well targeted. So what? Delete ‘em. It’s not really that hard or time-consuming.

Poor, poor Wired editor, his valuable time being stolen away by unsolicited e-mails. Pardon me while I gently weep.

— John Reinan

4 thoughts on “The Continuing Story of Reporters and PR People

  1. jl says:

    Spam is unsolicited bulk email. Spam is not “any email that didn’t prove useful to me.”

    Unless there is more to this than I know, the editor’s action would be considered unprofessional in most any other profession.

    Does this guy think he’s the only professional in the world who receives job-oriented email that is irrelevant? Sorting through the relevant and irrelevant in the in-box is part of every profession these days. Get over yourself indeed.

  2. Kelly Groehler says:

    Way too much credence is given to the media relations portion of our roles. It’s not like we spend 100 percent of our time pitching media stories – if that’s our scope for managing an organization’s relationships with stakeholders, we’re in a world of hurt.

  3. I thought the whole show was childish.

    Plus, isn’t there a good chance that many of these PR people’s e-mail addresses are already on the Web, on news releases and such? So the whole argument about them suddenly being subjected to spam is dumb.

    My boss, Albert Maruggi, had some thoughts on this yesterday:

    http://tinyurl.com/23v9gc

  4. So perhaps he just had a bad day and took it out on the PR people who hounded him. However, it’s not cool to just autosubscribe an editor-in-chief of anything to your marketing newsletter. That’s bad form.

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