I'm a contributing editor at EContent Magazine. As a result I receive hundreds of press releases a week via email from well-meaning PR people who want me to write about their widgets. Guess what? In five years, I have never written about a company based on a press release that was sent to me. Never. Not even once. Discussions I've had with journalists in other industries confirm I'm not the only one who doesn't use press releases sent to me unsolicited. Instead, I think about a subject that I want to cover in a column or an article and I check out what I can find on blogs and through search. If I find a press release on the subject through Google News or a company's online media room, or via my targeted RSS feeds, great! But I don't wait for press releases to come to me. Rather, I go looking for interesting topics, products, people, and companies. And when I do feel ready to write a story, I often try a concept out on my blog first to see how it flies. Does anyone comment on it? Do any PR people jump in and email me?
Here's an amazing thing: In five years, I count on one hand the number of PR people who have commented on my blog or reached out to me as a result of a blog post or story I've written in a magazine. How difficult can it be to read the blogs of the reporters you're trying to pitch? You learn precisely what interests them.
It's nuts! When I don't want to be bothered, I get hundreds of press releases a week. When I do want feedback and conversation, I get silence.
Something's very wrong in PR land.