WIRED EIC to PRNewser: My tastes are arcane and geeky
October 31, 2007
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of WIRED magazine, Long Tail blogger, and best-selling “Long Tail” author created a minor stir in the PR world yesterday when he published the email addresses of over 300 “lazy” PR people guilty of invading his In box. There are a lot of ‘info@’ and other newsletter-type address on the list along with dozens upon dozens of brand-name tech PR shops, some with multiple addresses.
Instead of adding to the flurry of opinions, we contacted the man himself who kindly responded with further context to help the shamed understand. He did after all, say ‘sorry’ in the subject line, and did not use full names and full pitches to in his spammers-delight list. By the way Todd, though we appreciate your honesty, we don’t think lobbing a generic pitch via Facebook ranks alongside the Edelman/Wal-Mart story.
We can’t go in to PR lessons here. Read Anderson’s note and take it to heart. There are real reasons to pitch him, and there are slews of other editors, writers and contributors you could try first. The commenter who complained about the staff directory is really missing it. The magazine has a masthead, and many of their contributors have personal blogs…nevermind, no lessons.
Since Anderson’s Gladwellian transition to Long Tail superpundit, he’s busier than ever. We were pleased he took the time send his comments to PRNewser (quick disclosure: I did PR for Wired in ’03-’04). We hope they help:
Jason, Happy to chat about this. Some thoughts for starters: Of course many pitches have “worked”, which is to say that I have a great relationship with many PR people, mostly because they’ve taken the time to get to know my interests, read what I write, and otherwise contact me with ideas that are relevant. The best of them do such a good job at working with me on things I’m following that I think of them as friends and colleagues.
Needless to say, that’s not a route all PR people can take, not because of who they are but because of who their clients are. My personal interests are not infinite (I should NOT be the first point of contact for everything that might possibly be covered in Wired Mag or wired.com) and if you happen to represent a security software company or an enterprise backup solution or something of that sort, you’re just out of luck (there may be someone else at Wired who cares, but I don’t).
The best way to “pitch me” (ugh) is to simply read what I write, on any of my blogs or side projects. That’s an open book on what I’m interested in–I suspect that there are few editors who are as transparent in their activities and thought processes as I am, and it’s all out there in public for those who care to look.
I suspect that the vast majority of PR people will quickly find that I’m not a good prospect at all; my personal interests are arcane and very, very geeky. That’s fine–indeed, it’s exactly as it should be. I should be getting three good emails from PR people a day, not 200 random ones.
But the main point is this: my personal email address is not general Wired address, and any PR person who treats it as such is showing both laziness and contempt for my time and attention. Thus the public shaming.