PR spam on an industrial scale

When done well, PR pitching can be almost an art form. If your pitch meets the criteria of the recipient of your outreach, its likely your message will be well received and may even produce the action you are aiming for. The opposite is also true when a pitch is as thoughtless in its creation as it is mindless in its execution. You know the kind of thing I mean, email pitches in particular. What if such pitching were to be automated, where the targets of your pitch weren’t individually assessed to see if each were the “right” target for your message (and for your client or employer)? Instead, what if you created a hit list of thousands of email addresses […]

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A refresher on how to write a press release

It seemed a good idea – spend an early hour on a Bank Holiday Monday to get up-to-date with the email inbox. Catch up on those emails that I’d marked to give attention to when I had time. After going through the marker list for the past week, I’m left with a sense of real exasperation. Yes, I got through my marked emails, but it included over a dozen email press releases that are to do with products, services and industries that broadly would fit my interests, yet are so appallingly structured, written and targeted that I sometimes despair of the PR business. People, have you forgotten how to write a press release? How to communicate actual news not mundane […]

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How to report Twitter hashtag spammers

One of the most useful features of Twitter for events like conferences and tweet chats is the hashtag. A hashtag – a keyword preceded by the ‘#’ symbol – enables conference-goers, the event organizer and anyone else interested in the event to see all tweets that include the hashtag. It enables anyone to listen to the conversation and easily participate. As Twitter explains it: People use the hashtag symbol # before relevant keywords (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets in that category. Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or […]

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Twitter hashtags: spam magnets

One of the most useful engagement tools for a conference is a Twitter hashtag. This little device, where a word is connected to the hash symbol (#) – known as a pound sign in the US – is a useful tool for event organizers as it enables anyone to connect to your event and see all the online commentary that mentions the hashtag. Anyone, whether at an event or not, can also be part of the overall conversation by including the hashtag in their own tweets. If a hashtagged topic gets popular, it can become a Twitter trending topic, attracting more attention. Hashtags form the basis for tweet chats. And they’re search engine friendly as hashtagged words will appear in […]

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Extending the debate about PR spam

Earlier this week, I hosted a CommsChat discussion via Twitter around the topic of “What should you do to stop PR spam?”, a topic I’ve written about quite a bit over the past few years and helped focus debate. The discussion took place on TweetChat, a service that lets you engage in real-time online conversation around a hashtag, in this case #commschat. Started by Adam Vincenzini and Emily Cagle, two UK-based PR pros, CommsChat looks at all aspects of communication: PR, traditional and social media, journalism, blogging, marketing and more. The weekly one-hour chats tend to attract scores of participants from both sides of the Atlantic, and this one was no different. As the host of the November 8 discussion, […]

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