Just when you thought PR pitches had reached lunatic heights, in comes the tale of the eight-foot Christmas tree.
Yes you guessed it. A PR agency looking for a quick media win sent a business reporter a Christmas tree.
"Like many journalists, I am not allowed to accept gifts, nor do I want that pen with the logo, T-shirt or package that spills confetti when you open it,” read a post on the networking site LinkedIn. The tale comes from Rachael King, a writer at BusinessWeek.com.
Is it any wonder that reporters are publishing blacklists of media relations and PR people who pull these stunts?
And speaking of blacklists, the latest one comes from Gina Trapani, editor of Lifehacker, who set the blogosphere atwitter (no pun intended) last week when she posted domain names of PR agencies to avoid.
Why do PR people continue doing this? How many times do bloggers and journalists have to tell us: Stop filling my in-box with unsolicited PR pitches! Maybe we should now amend that to unsolicited Christmas trees.
If you’re a PR agency, you might want to check the blacklist to make sure you’re not on it.
The lists have prompted an amen chorus from fed up bloggers. “Unless I reply back with a “yes” don’t add me to a list or pitch me again – it’s not a good match and is only going to build frustration on my end if you keep sending unsolicited pitches,” Matt Haughey wrote on his blog.
One PR agency – SHIFT Communications -- wrote an open letter to Trapani on its blog.
“I hope you’ll re-think your blanket condemnation of the thousands of employees who work at those firms listed in your wiki,” according to the post. “Thanks to outcries like yours, the PR profession is becoming ever-more cognizant of the need for change, and it truly is changing."