Memo to PR professionals: bloggers are busy people too

It’s quite an experience being on the main CES press release distribution list during the week of what is unquestionably the biggest consumer electronics show in the United States, if not the world. I have received well over 250 press releases in the last 48 hours (yes, ugh!) and marvel at how otherwise savvy companies are hiring agencies that are so darn clueless.
For example, I must have received at least six press releases – as separate email messages – from the agency hired by Sennheiser. I love Sennheiser headphones, but do I want a never-ending stream of individual releases rather than an executive summary or overview? You bet I don’t.
This latest release, however, from Bowers & Wilkins is worse:

Bowers and Wilkins PR

What’s wrong with this? Well, you tell me: what are these press releases about? What products does this company make (no fair visiting their site to find out)? Why would an experienced PR agency like Nicoll PR make this mistake?
I have seen other egregious examples of poorly thought PR too, though I haven’t captured them as screen shots. The worst, to date, is one that was a PDF, which I received as a blank message with a “click to download images from xxx@yyy” link on the bottom. Really lame, and the subject was “CES Press Release” so there wasn’t even a company mentioned!

4 comments on “Memo to PR professionals: bloggers are busy people too

  1. Dave,
    It will never change. PR firms hire young inexperienced people who don’t take the time to read the magazines or blogs they are pitching too. They are too scared to pick up the phone, and will use email and press releases to cover their ass.
    There are great PR pros out there, unfortunately for you, they are few and far between.

  2. Good Afternoon,
    I have just noticed this post and I would like to apologize for the overload. I was the PR Assistant and I was doing what I was told and with the information I was given. I tried to make everything easier on the bloggers especially by placing press releases on an FTP site instead of sending 6 Megabytes worth. I was given PDFs, in which I was not able to change into Word Docs, and I only request to send out word docs because that is what works for the press. I am very aware of the presses needs and how to handle it, but because of the position I held I was not able to summarize the releases in my own words because I am a “young inexperienced ” employee. I am not playing the blame game, as I do have respect for this agency, but remember don’t always shoot the messenger.

  3. Dave,
    You are one of many (journalists and bloggers) who are singing the same tune — that most pr people are simply spammers, and refuse to conduct themselves professionally.
    Samantha’s comments are simply amazing. She threw her agency under the bus, rather than falling on the sword herself, and admitting her tactics were weak.
    In some PR circles, it is still honorable to fall on the sword for your client or employer. Samantha obviously does not belong to one of those circles.
    If it were me, I’d make sure my name is removed from all pre-registered trade show lists, unless you want to deal with more of the same in the future.

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