About a year ago I got the first odd e-mail – that is, the first that caught my attention on this particular topic. It was a thinly disguised press release offered by a PR company to hype me on the idea of interviewing their client.
I wrote back and asked why they had sent this information to me. I was told that because I was an “influential blogger” they thought I might like to know about their client.
Frankly, I found the concept of creating publicity through other people’s blogs to be a much more interesting story, but alas, the PR person refused to waste any more time conversing with me about the specifics of his job.
It seemed somebody had thrown a switch.
Within days I was getting regular solicitations, and within a few weeks they made up half of the mail in my “in” box.
I don’t mind people submitting story ideas, or opportunities to interview, but I wish they had even a small understanding of the topics I write about.
In the last 48 hours I’ve received:
1. a press release about a search engine optimization book from an expert I’ve never heard of,
2. a notification that a well-known millionaire would be the keynote speaker at a blogging convention in Las Vegas,
3. the announcement of a new Internet radio network,
4. an invitation to an after-hours party in Nashville from a company I’ve never heard of. (The invitation gives me no idea of what this company does),
5. a press release that a well known corporate executive has joined the board of a little known charity,
6. a “preview” of the big announcement that a start-up company would now offer cell phone advertising,
7. an announcement that a company I’ve never heard of has just purchased another company I’ve never heard of. It took 9 paragraphs to explain what either company did. I still don’t know why I should care,
8. a press release about an upcoming conference which would explore the upside of blogging for business,
9. a self-serving piece that a large retail chain used to brag that a not-for-profit agency I’ve never heard of has presented the retailer with an award I’ve never heard of,
10. a well written story about the steps that pharmacists in Southern California were taking to help people displaced by the fires to get their prescriptions.
11. a nice “thank you” from the Southern California marketing group that I spoke before last week. (Thank you, Mary. I had a good time, too).
12. an e-mail from RosemaryT informing me that my website could use more traffic, and that she will create a free site report for me if I click on the link…
OK. That last one didn’t belong on the list.
It was pure spam. But, except for number 11 so were all of the rest. (Although I thought the news in number 10 was genuine news, I’m the wrong person to report it).