Jul 26, 2008
csalomonlee

Haro and PR Spam

Help A Reporter Out
Help A Reporter Out

Help A Report Out (or Haro).com is a free version of Profnet. Started by Peter Shankman, this great service is growing greatly based on word of mouth. Frankly, if it’s free and a way to pitch stories to journalists, us PR folks are on it faster than flies on shit.

So it saddened me when I saw this in a recent Haro newsletter:

 

This morning, I got a pitch (as did MANY of my key journalists on HARO) about the rumor that Matthew Broderick cheated on Sarah Jessica Parker, and offering me a celebrity life coach to talk about it. Within five minutes, I got emails from about 10 journalists, all asking why got the same email, as well. See, most journalists on HARO use specific HARO addresses. So they know where the pitch was coming from. Totally off-topic, totally inappropriate, totally unacceptable.

Alas, Nancy Mure, Chris Burres, and the rest of WOW Media will no longer be allowed on the HARO list. I won’t sit here and let reporters get totally off topic pitches from publicists who simply don’t get it, or worse, don’t care. I don’t care that other lists don’t care that you spam journalists. This is MY list. Don’t like it? See ya.

Please folks, let’s not kill a good thing by using this fabulous service to harvest emails. Granted, there are too many people who consider them “public relations professionals” because all it requires is an email address and the ability to type.  I’m glad that Peter swiftly took them off his list.  Hopefully this deters other folks from doing it, but why do I think this won’t be the first or last instance of this.

Sigh, maybe I can wish?

Related post:

PR Spam: Ten Points for Thought

 
All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

 

4 Comments

  • I saw the same thing on HARO. It just baffles me that anyone would think to spam pitch these reporters–they know what they’re looking for and used the service for very specific things, it doesn’t make sense to approach them with other topics!

  • [...] PR agencies (or poorly trained PR practitioners) continue to spam people, giving PR people a bad name despite others’ best [...]

  • Cece — good for Peter. The fewer “spray and pray” folks out there, the better for the rest of us.

    Thanks Peter for setting this up!

  • For as long as I own the list, I’ll dump those who pitch off topic every single time.

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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