Thursday, November 06, 2008

Do they teach spamming in publicist school?

I just got this email in my blog account email box:

Hi there,

I'm reaching out to offer you articles by [innocent client], author of [client's other book]. !

Below is an article by [innocent client] that I thought might be of interest to you and your readers. Please feel free to reprint it including copyright information and let me know if you'd like any additional materials, as I have several others. I look forward to working with you!



[...snipped out the actual press release...]

Julie Harabedian
Main line [phone number redacted (easy enough to find by Google)]
FSB Associates
[address redacted]
[link redacted]

I've gotten email like this before, usually promoting websites and blogs with kooky views, but what caught my attention this time is that the company is real and presents itself as a professional operation, the name associated with the email appears to be real, and the product seems to be real too.* The company is probably aiming for something of a viral marketing campaign by having random bloggers print their press releases (read: advertisements) for free, and make it look like a popular product endorsed by all sorts of random people. Because I've never had a business relationship with the sender or the company, sending the canned post to me is completely random. The key point that was missed is that spam is unprofessional.**

Additionally, the sender didn't read the terms of use/spam policy that is listed right next to my email address. How could she? She probably used a spider/mass mailer to get my email address.

Congratulations, Julie, you've now got a cherished place on the list of evil spammers on my right sidebar. Maybe I'll tip you off. You were nice enough to give me an email address to contact you if I want more ads. Otherwise, I hope you Google yourself some day.

* The spam operation is presented on their own page this way [my comments in bracketed italics]:

Content Syndication:
The majority of web sites online are eager for content deemed of interest to their readers. FSB has established and continues to establish [parasitic] relationships with numerous Web sites - for both general interest and niche audiences. We are able to provide these Web sites with ready-to-use electronic book excerpts and original articles as well as electronic photos making it as simple as possible for online editors to update and add to their sites [because they can't come up with their own original content]. These features happen faster and last longer than other types of media coverage, giving the buzz about a book a quick start and longevity.

One particularly entertaining tidbit is that the spammer also touts their own “thorough understanding of "netiquette."”

** Or, alternatively, which part of "this is not an advertising blog" was unclear?


You clearly have nothing better to do with your time.
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