Is this response greeting your media release?

Anyone with anything to do with the media is now several metres deep in indiscriminate emailed media releases.

I blame incompetent PR people, the DIY PR books and articles and those people who whip out media releases to all in the forlorn hope that some journo will find the story interesting.

Quite often the subject is irrelevant to the medium concerned and the story so badly written that it is hard to work out what they are trying to say.

For sixteen years I produced and presented a daily business radio program on the community radio network and as a result received a lot of media releases thanks to various listing on media guides.

Some releases were helpful and a handful of PR people had even listened to the program so I could schedule the occasional item or interview with their clients on a subject relevant to the listeners.

The program however ceased production on December 1998 and although I have managed to ‘unsubscribe’ to quite a few of the releases, some do not have that facility and my efforts to stop others have been ineffective.

As a result, the media releases still come. I am forever shocked at the irrelevance that continues to cram my inbox. 

I recall many years ago before emails when I worked on a country newspaper that we used to receive a lot of indiscriminate media releases in the mail, some with product samples like socks and hankies enclosed, which we removed before using the blank side of the release as scrap paper. At least they were useful for something.

The problem has been out there for a long while. Is there a solution?

Yes there is. PR practitioners should write better media releases and only send them to journalists who can use the story, not to everyone on the distribution list and above all, make sure that you have read the publication, viewed or listened to the program so you know the story is relevant and useable.

And if that doesn’t work and journalists, if you are still on the receiving end of a lot of useless releases, change your email address from time to time to reduce the flow!

To our journalist blog readers: What is your experience with the media release email spam avalanche?

- Dennis Rutzou