Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jeremy Garland

Our PR Agency is getting blocked...why?

Recommended Posts

I work for a PR agency in Maine. We use Bacon's Media Source to generate media lists, which I target as closely as possible, and then I e-mail press releases for our clients to reporters and editors.

More and more of our messages are getting blocked. I do not understand why we are being classified as spam when most reporters PREFER that we send our releases to them via e-mail!

Is there any way we can register on something to prevent this from happening?

------------------------

Also, last week a co-worker sent an e-mail to a company that employs spambot. Up until Friday, she was able to send without any problems. On Monday, however, we received a notification we had been blocked. This was not a press release - just an individual e-mail. Why did that take place?

Any help would be appreciated.

-J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one can help you without an IP address. Post the blocked/reject message or the IP you think is blocked.

You cannot "generate" lists. If you are sending to people that did not request email from you then you will probably be reported.

Do you use a "confirmed opt-in" process?

Edited by Merlyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that newspapers have to use all kinds of filters because they must be on every spam list there is. It is always a good idea to have confirmed acceptance for your email so that if the reporters want it, they can whitelist it. Otherwise it will get lost in all the spam - and possibly be reported to the spamcop blocklist.

It is a problem for those, like newspapers, who do want unsolicited email and any way that you can make it easier for them would definitely be appreciated. You might read the pinned FAQ on mailing lists.

Blocklists work by IP address, not content. Spamcop's blocklist works by 'consent' not content. Reporters decide that it is spam based on whether they 'consented' to receive email from that source or not. If there are enough reports, the IP address goes on the blocklist. The blocklist is used by spamcop email service to 'tag' suspected email. Others use it to reject email from that IP address at the server level. So if your IP address has been identified as a source of spam, all emails will be blocked including personal email. The *sender* of email is the only one who can effectively control the sending of spam and those who use email need to choose a responsible email service.

The other possibility is that it is not the newspapers complaining, but the fact that you are using automatic virus notifications or that your server has been compromised.

When you provide the IP address, people will be able to give you more information about the possibilities.

Miss Betsy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
More and more of our messages are getting blocked. I do not understand why we are being classified as spam when most reporters PREFER that we send our releases to them via e-mail!

Perhaps posting one of these alleged items that reflects the specifics of the blocking would help to identify the specifics. The lack of any specific data in your query allows for little research beyond playing some guessing games.

Also, last week a co-worker sent an e-mail to a company that employs spambot

Personally, I've no idea of what or how someone uses "spambot" .... once again, perhaps you have something that reflects what and how whatever "spambot" is was used and how it seems to be associated with SpamCop ..???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You cannot "generate" lists. If you are sending to people that did not request email from you then you will probably be reported.

Do you use a "confirmed opt-in" process?

As a Public Relations person myself, I would argue that a PR Agency is allowed to "generate" lists, in a sense.

The poster is refering to The Bacon's Media Directory, a database of newspaper contacts who-- by nature of their jobs-- have agreed to receive email from Public Relations professionals, on topics of interest to their specialty.

As an analogy, your State Representative has agreed to receive emails from people living in their legislative district regarding, for example, pending legislations and policies.

A list of your State Reps and Senators can be "generated" from various sources, including government websites.

By accepting the position of Senator or Representative, those people have "opted-in" to receiving emails from you regarding everything from paving your street to constitutional issues.

Another example: Human Resorce personnel and Executive Recruiters are automatically "opted-in" to receiving your resume or job application-- as long as it is relevent. It is assumed, by default, that employers seeking employees want to hear from employees seeking employers.

It is assumed by default that people reporting news want to hear from people who want to give them news.

Editors and journalists rely heavily upon information supplied to them by Public Relations agencies. In fact, much of the "news" you read is actually a collection of Press Releases from PR firms, that may (or may not) have been modified or expanded upon by someone at a newspaper.

Many press releases are just printed verbatim in newspapers and magazines.

As an example, see the "special" sections in The Metro.

All press releases are requied to have correct contact information for media professionals to follow-up. It is not only expected, but is in the best interest of the PR agency.

This arrangement is agreed upon by both the PR agencies and the media because it makes everyone happy, without the need for a "confirmed opt-in." When done responsibly, it is a perfectly symbiotic relationship.

In the best case scenario, an agency sends a press release to a newspaper, a reporter from the paper calls the agency to follow-up. The paper requests a complete Media Kit-- an expensive, fancy, detailed look at the company and/or product. Better still, the paper might send a reporter out to the company to do an interview and write a feature article on how wonderful their product is.

A press release from a fake email address, with fake or absent contact information is useless to all parties concerned. There is no way for the paper to verify the information in the release, and there is no way for the PR agency to follow-up and get better exposure.

So, The Bacons Directory is really an opt-in list of professionals who have agreed to receive on-topic emails, faxes, phonecalls and mailings.

It is up to the PR professionals to use that list responsibly.

In addition, there are guidelines established by The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) at www.prsa.org .

If someone sends a press release about a new medical procedure to every single contact at The New York Times-- including the sports reporter, astrologer, and subscription manager-- then yes, they are spamming, and the paper will probably block them. And I can guarantee you that paper will never print their article.

If someone sends Car and Driver Magazine a release about the new deacon at their church, then yes, that is spamming, and they will get blacklisted.

If a medical company is sending press releases about a new medical study to science, medical, and health magazines, that is fine. If they send it to the medical editor at the New York Times, that is fine.

If their press releases is about the latest developments in penis enlargement, then chances are that members of the legitimate press will individually blacklist and block them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IanDavid .. wonderful post, thanks for the input.

The catch to the original poster's side of the issue I'm thinking is both explained in your presentation on targetting and the OP's statement of ;

I work for a PR agency in Maine. We use Bacon's Media Source to generate media lists, which I target as closely as possible, and then I e-mail press releases for our clients to reporters and editors.

The decision process might be flawed, data in the list might be screwed or incomplete, or the infamous the address was good last year but people changed desks/offices/jobs since so it's now the wrong address .....

And, of course, all this is presuming that the OP uses an in-house server to make their outgoing spew/press-release run. What we're looking for is the alternate possibility that the OP's company is using someone else's shared server, and this server is actually guilty of sending out spam, so the OP is the proverbial collateral damage ... but until the specific IP is identified ... ????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You cannot "generate" lists. If you are sending to people that did not request email from you then you will probably be reported.

Do you use a "confirmed opt-in" process?

As a Public Relations person myself, I would argue that a PR Agency is allowed to "generate" lists, in a sense.

The poster is refering to The Bacon's Media Directory, a database of newspaper contacts who-- by nature of their jobs-- have agreed to receive email from Public Relations professionals, on topics of interest to their specialty.

As an analogy, your State Representative has agreed to receive emails from people living in their legislative district regarding, for example, pending legislations and policies.

A list of your State Reps and Senators can be "generated" from various sources, including government websites.

By accepting the position of Senator or Representative, those people have "opted-in" to receiving emails from you regarding everything from paving your street to constitutional issues.

Another example: Human Resorce personnel and Executive Recruiters are automatically "opted-in" to receiving your resume or job application-- as long as it is relevent. It is assumed, by default, that employers seeking employees want to hear from employees seeking employers.

It is assumed by default that people reporting news want to hear from people who want to give them news.

Editors and journalists rely heavily upon information supplied to them by Public Relations agencies. In fact, much of the "news" you read is actually a collection of Press Releases from PR firms, that may (or may not) have been modified or expanded upon by someone at a newspaper.

Many press releases are just printed verbatim in newspapers and magazines.

As an example, see the "special" sections in The Metro.

All press releases are requied to have correct contact information for media professionals to follow-up. It is not only expected, but is in the best interest of the PR agency.

This arrangement is agreed upon by both the PR agencies and the media because it makes everyone happy, without the need for a "confirmed opt-in." When done responsibly, it is a perfectly symbiotic relationship.

In the best case scenario, an agency sends a press release to a newspaper, a reporter from the paper calls the agency to follow-up. The paper requests a complete Media Kit-- an expensive, fancy, detailed look at the company and/or product. Better still, the paper might send a reporter out to the company to do an interview and write a feature article on how wonderful their product is.

A press release from a fake email address, with fake or absent contact information is useless to all parties concerned. There is no way for the paper to verify the information in the release, and there is no way for the PR agency to follow-up and get better exposure.

So, The Bacons Directory is really an opt-in list of professionals who have agreed to receive on-topic emails, faxes, phonecalls and mailings.

It is up to the PR professionals to use that list responsibly.

In addition, there are guidelines established by The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) at www.prsa.org .

If someone sends a press release about a new medical procedure to every single contact at The New York Times-- including the sports reporter, astrologer, and subscription manager-- then yes, they are spamming, and the paper will probably block them. And I can guarantee you that paper will never print their article.

If someone sends Car and Driver Magazine a release about the new deacon at their church, then yes, that is spamming, and they will get blacklisted.

If a medical company is sending press releases about a new medical study to science, medical, and health magazines, that is fine. If they send it to the medical editor at the New York Times, that is fine.

If their press releases is about the latest developments in penis enlargement, then chances are that members of the legitimate press will individually blacklist and block them.

You can do anything you want. No one really cares how you operate but once anyone starts sending email to persons that did not request it then it is spam and expect to get blocked.

spam is about Consent not Content.

It truly is a very simple concept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The poster is refering to The Bacon's Media Directory, a database of newspaper contacts who-- by nature of their jobs-- have agreed to receive email from Public Relations professionals, on topics of interest to their specialty.

That was a good explanation of how some people do *want* unsolicited email. In another discussion, someone said that a resume sent to sales at his company ended up in the spam folder, but the same resume sent to personnel came thru the filter.

That makes it all the more likely that they are using a shared server or have a compromised machine rather than being reported for their emails.

Miss Betsy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

It's been a while since I've been on here. I misunderstood how this forum worked, and when I didn't receive any responses initially I thought I had done something wrong.

Below is the press release that I submitted on May 18, 2004. Hopefully this will help clarify what my problem was.

Aslo, if there is a way to have responses to this forum e-mailed to me directly, could someone tell me how? My e-mail is jgarland[at]marshallpr.com.

I'd like to thank everyone for their responses.

-J

<Press Release deleted by Wazoo. Rather than read and respond to all the previous responses, this user decided to make another announcement and repeat the advertising stuff that allegedly started the blockage situation. One could call it spamming this Forum, as by providing the entire announcement without adding any actual data to take "us" back to the original issue, there appears to have been no other excuse other than to take another shot at "getting the word out" ... There are better ways and places to advertise.>

Edited by Wazoo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello,

It's been a while since I've been on here.  I misunderstood how this forum worked, and when I didn't receive any responses initially I thought I had done something wrong.

Below is the press release that I submitted on May 18, 2004.  Hopefully this will help clarify what my problem was.

Aslo, if there is a way to have responses to this forum e-mailed to me directly, could someone tell me how? My e-mail is jgarland[at]marshallpr.com. 

I'd like to thank everyone for their responses.

<spam snipped>

You "cannot" generate lists of persons who did not request your info.

If the people you sent this to did not request this via "confirmed" opt-in then you spammed them.

It is a very simple process.

And you did receive responses before maybe you just did not read them.

We already knew where you were.

If you want help like stated before, post the rejection message or the IP you believe is blocked.

But maybe this will be another write only post of yours.

No one is going to email you, why should they? They don't have a spam problem, "YOU" do. come back if you want answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's been a while since I've been on here.  I misunderstood how this forum worked, and when I didn't receive any responses initially I thought I had done something wrong.

Ummm, the first clue ... you didn't have to fill in the To: address bit to post your query. (Upon reflection, perhaps you didn't have to fill a To: address on the press release either?)

Below is the press release that I submitted on May 18, 2004.  Hopefully this will help clarify what my problem was.

Posting of the advertisement is just seen as yet another way for you to "spam" even more innocent victims. Upon posting this response, my next action will in fact to be to go back and remove your "example" .....

As far as "clearing anything up" .. umm, nope .. is there some reason you chose not to read and respond to all the items that were placed here by other folks trying to offer assistance based on your first query?

Aslo, if there is a way to have responses to this forum e-mailed to me directly, could someone tell me how? My e-mail is jgarland[at]marshallpr.com.

Pretty strange ... if you can't tell the difference between a web-based posting spot and e-mail ... hmm, it does make one wonder how you might have run into a spam issue ..??? If you want an e-mail dialog with someone, you'll have to start it on your own. Posting in a public support Forum comes no where near an e-mail dialog.

I'd like to thank everyone for their responses.

Real thanks could be better shown by actually reading and responding to those aforementioned responses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You "cannot" generate lists of persons who did not request your info.

If the people you sent this to did not request this via "confirmed" opt-in then you spammed them.

Clearly the OP can and has generated lists of persons who did not request his info. Thankfully there is an increasing price to pay for so doing. :unsure:

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×