By Ben Haber
Just last week he told everyone not to use a certain outlet since it was pay-for-play (and to his credit, I wouldn’t even call that an outlet).
Then last night my evening HARO rolled in, and Shankman had publicly ‘outed’ a PR agency, two employees at the agency, and the client that they were pitching. The deadly crime? Sending off-topic pitches to reporters:
Hey listen – I hate to bring this up again, but it would see that [omitted] Public Relations, specifically [omitted] and [omitted], continue to SPAM HARO reporters. Now, I know for a fact that I’ve kicked them off the list, but for whatever reason, these people don’t get it. Here’s the problem: They continue to spam on behalf of their client, [omitted] – I’ve talked to [omitted], and he’s told them to stop, yet [omitted] public relations continues to SPAM reporters. So, if you get an unsolicited email from them, know that they’re not welcome on HARO, ever. I’d never, ever work with them, nor would I ever recommend them. I personally have added @[omitted].com to my killfile, and you all might want to consider doing the same. It’s sad – some people just continue to do the wrong thing, despite being told repeatedly why it’s wrong.
Now this is Shankman’s service which he created from ground up and has turned into quite the following, but I’ve never seen the logic in outing people. Ever time I see him write that someone has X many hours to apologize to a reporter or they’ll be outed to 30,000 people I think of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine ends up getting her communist boyfriend blacklisted at his favorite Chinese food restaurant because she “named names.”
Granted, I don’t know the extent to which these people abused the system, but I’m still left with the same question I’ve had before: Do you think it’s better to have someone pitch a topic that they think a reporter might be interested in, rather then living in fear that the reporter might not see the same connection they do, and be outed publically to 3,000 people?