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August 24, 2007

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» Stupid, lazy PR people, bloggers and media databases from A PR Guy's Musings - Stuart Bruce
Tom Coates of the excellentplasticbag.org blog has quite rightly complained about the frequent incompetent pitches he gets from PR firms. Tom thinks the reason is becauseStephen Davies included him in his list of the Top 100 UK Blogs. I don't [Read More]

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Agree that targetting blogs with information that is not requested and irrelevant is certainly a form of spamming but if the subject or indeed company is covered that relates to relevant public relations programme then surely it is fair to add to a conversation and it not be spam. Obviously as with any conversation you can ignore the point being made and hopefully the PR would desist.

Shorter Blog Consultancy:

This guy may have a point, but, come now, we’re hardly going to let that alter anything we do.

Like it or not agencies are spamming Tom Coates. The law on spam in the UK doesn't get a lot of attention because it doesn't deal with most 'real' spam. But, if agencies are sending him press releases without asking first and without an opt-out clause, that's unsolicited commercial email and could attract a fine up to £5000 (OK, that's unlikely but it could happen).

He is blogging in his personal capacity. A lawyer might want to argue that Plasticbag is a business but without ads on it and the blog being a personal view on the world, it would have to be a good lawyer.

The UK (and EU) anti-spam laws don't apply to journalists on the whole because press releases go to business addresses in the main. But many bloggers are doing so as private individuals and so should only get releases if they opt in first.

"And maybe bloggers need to realise that if they publish and they have an audience, they are vehicles conveying messages, and companies will always look to sign them up." - Maybe. But agencies should be asking first and not assume that everyone is fair game.

Precisely. I think an opt-in e-mail is just as, if not more important than an opt-out clause. Every blogger is going to react differently and those who don't put a disclaimer on their blog explicitly stating how they feel about being pitched should be prepared for more PR mail.

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