Friday, December 18, 2009

"Trash Proof News Releases" doesn't live up to its title

Since we live in an age of irony, and public relations seems to thrive in it, let me share a true tale with you that takes this concept to new heights.

On November 24th, two weeks after I posted my "When Publicists Spam Other Publicists" essay, I received an e-mail blasted press release touting a book called "Trash Proof Press Releases" by Paul Krupin of Direct Contact PR. This lengthy diatribe -- "expressly designed to be an immense help to anyone who even thinks about writing a news release" -- went on and on with endorsements, ending with the words: "Stay safe!"

Of course, this press release went right into the trash.

E-mail blasts are one of the colossal rookie blunders in PR because it's easier to press a "send" button then establish an actual relationship with a journalist or blogger. And here was the publicist author himself who couldn't prevent his own press release from ending up in the dustbin.

So as I am wont to do, I e-mailed Mr. Krupin to ask him why he sent me this press release.

Ten seconds later, a SpamArrest e-mail bounced back to me that read:

Paul here,

I'm protecting myself from receiving junk mail.

Please click the link below to complete the verification process.
You have to do this only once.

Let me get this straight -- first you spam me with an e-mail blast for your "Trash Proof News Releases" that ends up in the trash. Then when I e-mail you about the release, I get sent to SpamArrest which is supposed to prevent spam coming to you?

After the verification process, Mr. Krupin replied that establishing more one on one relationships with bloggers and journalists "sets a very high bar of time and effort that may not be justified given the coverage one receives." He added that he receives "50 to 60" media requests a day by sending out e-mail blasts.

I invited Krupin to write a guest post here so he could present his point of view on why e-mail blasting is more effective than getting to know reporters and journalists, keep it unedited with no comments from me, and let the dialog with my blog readers begin. He said he would have it for me in 10 days. It did not arrive.

When I reminded Krupin about his post on December 7th, he showed me why his e-mail blast track record of 50 to 60 requests a day was impressive: he was offering freebie copies of "Going Rouge," the "alternative" Sarah Palin book to a customized list of political reporters. This guy is in the giveaway business, including his own book!

But what about non-freebie pitches and releases, do you get media requests then?

He said it was "an interesting challenge" and had "ideas on the subject."

Still, no submitted post.

I've learned my lesson for the future, though -- I am sending coupons for free ice cream sundaes with my press releases from now on, which should guarantee they are not deleted. Would you like yours with syrup?

1 comment:

Tarunjeet said...

awesomely dealt with...I wonder if Mr.Krupin finally sent you his 'post' after reading this.

It is however funny to note that even though 'ideally' PR professionals are supposed to adhere to deadlines more strictly than a journalist as they need to catch the journalist's deadline and in turn make sure their clients stick to the timeline... most often than not you will find pr professionals lagging behind in this critical area which determines the basic level of expertise required in our profession 'being on time!!!'.
Has this definition changed while I was busy meeting deadlines and chasing my clients to make sure they meet them too ?