Thermogenic Energy & The PR Pro

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in misguided PR, news releases, pr spam, Vocus | No Comments

I’ve decided to take this blog in a new editorial direction. At least that’s the assessment of Vocus, which recently anointed me as a tech if you believe the PR pitch themes that have suddenly suffocated my inbox.

Here are those that arrived over the last 24 hours (and their formats):

Photon Control Launches New Line of Temperature Measurement Tools Specifically Designed For The Power Industry
(Unsolicited PDF news release attached)

Siemon’s High Speed 40+Gb/s Cabling Selected for Extreme Networks 96 Port 40G Ethernet Demo
(Unsolicited docx news release attached)

Forkfly social platform announces new daily deal service: Superfly
(Rich-formatted news release pasted in body of email)

Certiport Selected as Exclusive Provider of New Autodesk Certification
(YouTube-posed video news release pasted in body of email)

CSCO: Downgraded at Canaccord; Comps, Execution Risk Cited; A ‘Shoe to Drop’
(Unsolicited PDF analyst report attached)

Article offered: How Telephone Expenses Management could save UK Plc £1bn now
(Plain-formatted email pitch letter from the UK with no links)

Enkitec Launches Enkitec University for Hands-On Oracle Exadata Training
(Plain-formatted pitch letter with links in body of email)

Weidenhammer brings Edupoint’s GENESIS™ & GENESEA™ to market in 24 new states
(Rich-media formatted news release pasted into the email with unsolicited PDF file attached)

Smart Phone and Tablet PC Demand Drives Wide-Viewing Angle Display
Technologies, led by IPS and FFS
(Rich-formatted news release and color info-graphics pasted into the body of the email)

Bonavitas Introduces The First Truly Thermogenic Energy Drink
(Plain-formatted news release in body of email)

Now I’m not a malicious kind of guy who revels in publicly exposing the PRpetrators of these misguided press releases. I believe I’ve done my duty by outing the industry and its vendors’ shortcomings over some six years of penning prose for these pages. Still, I continue to be mystified by PR professionals who blindly blast out news releases or pitch letters without first checking out where they’re being sent.

I mean who doesn’t know by now that it’s a mistake to put all one’s faith in the veracity of a Vocus or Cision media database to identify the exact right journalist? A quick peruse down the right column of the New York Times’s “Bits” blog will tell you that tech reporters come in many varied flavors.

Net net: human intervention is required when vetting media targets. More importantly, human news judgment is required before deciding to pull the trigger on a news release. Even if I were a tech scribe, I’m not sure any of the above would get my editorial juices flowing.

UPDATE 5/23 – Vocus PR explains company policy:

Thanks Peter –

I did see your blog article and wanted to follow up with you. First and foremost I apologize for any inconvenience you may be experiencing.

We have removed your contact information from our database.

We at Vocus actively and strongly discourage our clients from sending pitches and press releases to journalists, reporters or bloggers without first researching to ensure the topic is relevant for the recipient. However, there are some PR professionals who send press releases without establishing relationships or doing the necessary research.

Because of this, we do have a Journalist hotline. The information is listed on our website and is as follows:

877-402-5262 or via email at JournalistHotline@vocus.com.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Cassie

Cassandra Z. Péan
Public Relations Manager
Vocus Inc.

Relieved to be off the tech reporter list. Now wouldn’t it be nice if those using Vocus’s service actually did a bit more research before hitting the send-spam button?