Chris Anderson, the author of the critically acclaimed book, "The Long Tail," had a bit of a hissy fit on his blog last week. PR Princess has been very busy getting fitted for a new tiara, so mea culpa, I just noticed Chris' rant.
It seems that he is sick of getting spam from PR professionals. He's right on that account. Anyone who still sends news releases to hundreds of reporters at a time with no attempt to target the messages should be flogged with a wet noodle. Or, I could swat them a few times with my wand. Ouch, that could leave a mark.
However, as the editor of Wired, where he receives the offending messages, he also has a responsibility to provide a system by which legitimate PR pros can get a message to the magazine. If Wired wants to be "invite only" then take the generic email address down.
Here's a solution: Provide the email addresses and beat description for all of Wired's reporters. Let them block the spam themselves. If someone sends them an email that is not targeted, send them one polite warning. Next time, stick 'em on the spam block list.
This is not brain surgery. Wired obviously is sick of the spam, but it's not doing anything proactive to help its readers direct their queries and story ideas. Anderson's solution of posting the offending email addresses online is an unacceptable breach of privacy and something that they would rant about if someone else had done it. Shame on Wired.
I sent Chris Anderson a quick email today to introduce myself, and gave him a virtual hug. He seems like he needs a good stiff drink and a massage. I'll let you know if he gets back to me.