Chris Anderson Tells PR Folks to Tail Off 3

By Kyle Austin


Chris Anderson the Editor-in-Chief of Wired, made famous for coining the term “Long Tail,” recently made news (Albeit Valleywag news) by making public his blacklisting of 300 PR folks for sending unsolicited email.  

His public outing followed popular blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick (Perhaps David’s long lost brother) outing 5 PR pros for bad pitches a week earlier. 

Mark Frauenfelder at boingboing is also blacklisting “PR Flacks,” although he’s opting for a slightly classier non-public outing.  

Not that the tactic of publicly scorning PR professionals is something new – We’ve all been somewhat fearful of appearing on the Bad Pitch Blog for some time now.  

In fact Kevin Dugan at the Bad Pitch Blog sorts through the clutter and brings to light the real story here. Mass email blasts and mail merges are DEAD. You can argue all day on if you think Chris is right or wrong for making this email list public.  I for one think he is wrong in listing specific email addresses (individual folks). 

The point is the media, not just the blogosphere, has become extremely fragmented.  New journalistic beats pop up everyday.  The job of the public relations professional can no longer be described as a disseminator of news.  PR pros today that “get it” have become akin to sommeliers – holding a deep understanding of each individual journalist, blogger and media outlet while also understanding the needs and desires of their clients.  

The result: A perfect combination of Humanitas 2006 Monterey Sauvignon Blanc with pesto chicken.  

Or in this case: A Briefing for your client with the ideal reporter at Wired without your name appearing on Chris Anderson’s blacklist.  

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3 thoughts on “Chris Anderson Tells PR Folks to Tail Off

  • Kevin Dugan

    Don’t be fearful. Seriously!

    Kyle- The bottom line is it takes more time to customize. Fear for the level of real news in the message, combined with a deadline, and people start spamming the earth hoping something sticks.

    So if it takes more time, pitch less and get better results. I think anyone pushed into the blast pitch corner should print out all of the Anderson discussions and show whomever is doing the pushing what can happen…what did happen and what will happen.