In the wake of a heavily-commented blog post I wrote five months ago that attributed David Mullen to the notion that PR is best defined as people relations and not public relations, I question why so-called A-List bloggers and marketing professionals who were targeted by Beth Brody’s PR firm today aren’t calling this principle into question.
Apparently, Brody PR bulk emailed a message to dozens (hundreds?) of bloggers and professionals today asking them to read and review an e-book. Any other day, this would be a routine email one would read, reply, or delete. But this morning’s message included the names and email addresses of every recipient in the ‘cc’ field, enabling everyone to see everyone else on the distribution list.
It got worse when people clicked their email program’s ‘reply to all’ button and everyone who got spammed with each other’s contact information were consequently sent further bounces.
If you are looking for a PR firm, I’d suggest avoiding Brody PR until they go through a significant rebranding and this issue is all but forgotten.
Brody should also register to attend the Advanced Learning Institute’s social media for crisis communications conference in November.
But wait. Excepting Jacob and Cydney, everyone else received a blog comment from an anonymous user called “rbbb” or “rbbb1” with the following text:
I created a list of social media experts who might be interested in reviewing a new guide to social media for small biz. I inadvertently put the list name in the cc: box, rather than the bcc: box. A few folks must have hit the “reply all” button, rather than clicking on the “unsubscribe link” at the bottom, which started a stream of spam. Please accept my personal apology, albeit a little late in the day, since I was trying to remove everyone who wanted to be unsubscribed from the list immediately.
Blame Brody PR all you want for what it should have done this morning–but the very fact someone is commenting with the same text on every blog is indicative the PR firm doesn’t view bloggers as people.
One can argue a generic comment is better than no comment–but in this case, there is zero value when Brody PR is using the same comment to Chris, Ken, Jennifer, and Nick. Brody did not write a “personal apology” or it would have been personal, aka different for each recipient. I hope other companies heed the lesson well.