Lauren Curley, a part time employee of mine on "the list," let me know that you are soliciting responses to the Wired/PR issue, and I prefer to respond on behalf of my firm.
While I understand Chris' frustration, I think his post ultimately boils down to him wanting an outlet to complain about how overburdened - and possibly how important - he is. We see this a lot with journalists that have too little time and too many beats to cover with multiple sources of information coming at them from every direction. I'm sure it's overwhelming but PR executives are simply trying to inform journalists like Chris of new developments they may find of interest (or not). We do our best to get the information to exactly the right reporter but sometimes reporters like Chris cover so many different angles - and don't make it totally clear just what they don't cover - that taking a chance is warranted - and hitting the nail on the head every time is impossible. Outlets like the LA Times share the information so it's clear exactly who does what - try finding such information Wired. Here's their "helpful list."
Chris wielded his power against PR folks in a public forum that no doubtwill attract a huge following among other journalists and bloggers with similar time issues and frustrations with PR professionals.
It's an age old battle and one that surely won't end here. When Chris wrote this post, I would bet that he was again short on time and high on emotion from being overburdened. He did a quick review of his inbox and lumped all the day's annoyances into one laundry list -- without careful analysis of the messages. He has everyone from photographers to
advertisers and folks who "buy lists" for a living included on the list, but yet refers to them all as PR folks who either spammed him with a press release or asked him to share the content with a colleague if he thought they might instead be interested.
Wasn't his approach lazy? Couldn't he have taken the time - as even the leading consumer tech reporter at the Wall Street Journal does - to write back and say a simple "no," or perhaps "get to know me" or "never email me again" instead of listing names as though he were some kind of public executioner? As an editor for a publication like Wired, one would
think that he would utilize technology to help solve this problem, instead of cutting and pasting a list of emails, and throwing us all under the bus to be publicly abused - and, as is the case on the Internet - forever associated with blog posts like "Lazy PR Flacks." This is an unjust swipe at some of the folks that legitimately contacted him with resource information and background for potential news stories.
In our case, the "lazy" communication was from a veteran executive who used a very tailored pitch based on former Wired articles on a related topic. Our executive did her homework, found related materials by Wired and while yes, she did suggest that if Chris wasn't interested, he might pass her a name of a colleague who would be - she based her approach on pleasant, similar exchanges with him in the past in which he happily passed colleagues' names along and even suggested approaches that he thought would help. By the way, she did not send him a press release but did leave a link to one in case he felt compelled to read it.
That being said, we all continue to learn that the blogosphere is a powerful and unrelenting forum for public criticism by those who choose to wield it in that fashion. Unlike many of the comments suggested in reaction to Chris' post, we are not lazy and clueless and we do not lie for a living. We do the best we can to fly under the radar as a conduit of information, connecting people, sharing information and asking that journalists take a look at new technologies and companies - not all of which catch their interest. We treat our journalist contacts and clients both with professionalism, enthusiasm and efficiency. When something
like this happens we take it to heart and re-evaluate practices, as needed. Our approaches can always be improved and constructive criticism - or even a one-on-one message that says "no, you missed the mark" help us to do so effectively. If that doesn't work, block us - or tell us off - but don't use humiliation to "improve the process."
Christine Perkett, President & Founder