To paraphrase the Wikipedia entry, email spam is sending email that is both unsolicited by the recipient and sent in substantively identical form to many recipients. Unfortunately, way too many Public Relations people are spammers.
These days, you can find the e-mail addresses of reporters in seconds, either through commercial services that sell subscriptions to their databases of thousands of journalists or simply by using a search engine.
Because its so darned easy to send broadcast messages to hundreds or thousands of journalists, many PR people are spamming with unsolicited and unrelenting commercial messages in the form of news releases and untargeted broadcast pitches.
When a pitch isn’t targeted, it feels no different than an oil minister’s ex-wife who wants to give you $20,000,000. It’s spam.
I know that many PR agencies and in-house staffers are terrific—their smart professionals craft individual pitches for reporters based on what they cover. Are you in this category? If so, your work is being dragged down by the action of the PR agency spammers.
Don’t forget that reporters are always looking for interesting companies, products, and ideas to write about. They want to find you. They aren’t just waiting to be pitched. If you have great content on your Web site and your online media room, reporters will find you via search engines.