The PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association), the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), and the Investor Relations Society (IRS) have introduced a media spamming charter that is backed by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Despite the name, this charter aims to cut the “spam” or poorly-targeted press releases that journalists receive.
The charter highlights best practice under heading of research and planning; relevance and reputation. Generally the contents could be considered common sense for any decent PR campaign, covering things such as setting objectives; making sure you research journalists and their spheres of interest; and make sure you target the distribution of information. As a single document, however, it provides a useful checklist and guide that all marketing professionals would benefit from reading.
The subject of PR professionals spamming journalists is somewhat sensitive, so I’m not going to try to provoke the anger of journalists who are frustrated by receiving endless emails that aren’t of interest to them. Whilst the charter recommends “Encouraging and respecting feedback from journalists and bloggers”, it’s also worth journalists remembering that a short request to be removed from a distribution list or to have materials sent to them in a different format will generate a quick response from any good PR agency or in-house team. Getting this feedback from journalists and bloggers is essential if we are going to target all our PR material as accurately as possible.