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July 13, 2011


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Mike Hale

Then you get the people who Reply-All with "Remove"!


The really juicy tidbit you left out was the list of addressees!


So when should we expect your review of their "award-winnning, full-service interactive agency focused on delivering quantifiable results for clients"? ;)


One thing they did do though--was have you mention their name-- ;)


When I read this it was OUCH!
Feel for the inexperienced person who sent that email. Talk about a Learning Experience / Opportunity!
You have been such an inspiration and Great Advisor to countless people, us included and it gives one more example of how you are willing to go take the time to insure we all learn.
Hope they take your ASVICE (from yournformer Blog Posts and your Books) and RESPOND immediately and address the Error they made and how they plan to correct it.
Great Lesson!

David Meerman Scott

Mike - Someone actually did that in this case!

Mongoosemetrics - wouldn't that be fun.

Mattshawblog - Ha! I've given them enough exposure.

Jennifer -- It is sort of ironic that they got me to write about them and got an inbound link from my blog which is good for SEO purposes...

Deb - If it was an intern, it wasn't that person's fault. Glad that my work has helped you.

Craig Kallin

Totally agree, David. This was a mistake... on many fronts (not only in execution, but in approach as well). (And our intern had nothing to do with it.) We can do better. And usually do. We did learn more than one lesson here – and we’ve engaged w/some really good people as a result (though not our preferred path to engagement). Thanks for the fair/balanced treatment (e.g., "It's likely that Acsys Interactive is a good firm that simply made an error"). I’m hopeful that we have the opportunity to make a better impression in the future.

Peter St Onge

The internet may not know you're a dog, but it sure as heck knows when you screw up.

Bradley H Smith

Odd. I blogged about outreach I received from a SoMe firm today as well. Same point... proof your work as it affects prospects' impressions.



David Meerman Scott

Craig - thanks very much for commenting. Glad that you learned from this.



I applaud you. I had a very uncomfortable situation with Sears in which some employees retaliated thankfully I was able to catch that they connected from a server inside sears on my analytics.

It is great when a company learns from an experience like this and is able to say we made a mistake. It really makes you look a lot better than if you run and hide like sears is actually doing.


Really shouldn't be giving a junior person this responsibility. Should be building relationships by sending individual emails with compelling pitches, or use something like Vocus to hide email addresses. But, even that approach is too robotic. Better to Tweet to community and include link to news.


Frustrating, but I bet the chances are much higher that a senior, not a junior, employee made this mistake.

Most of us under 35 understand the CC versus BCC fields. That's not easily explainable to everyone.

John Pohl

Disclosing the email addresses was a major faux pas and maybe enough of a red flag about their attention to detail (or lack thereof) to merit never considering hiring this agency. However, I would like to defend at least one legitimate use of non-digital media by a digital media agency: if they're targeting potential clients who are not yet using digital media (with a message saying, "Hey--You need to start using digital media!"), email is a good medium for them to use. Of course, that rationale doesn't apply if you're targeting digital media mavens as they were in the email they sent to you.

David Meerman Scott

mantonellis33 - Craig did say it was not an junior person.

John - I'm not saying that digital agencies should avoid non-digital ways of communicating. However I am adamant that if a digital agency cannot handle digital correctly, then potential clients need to take a very hard look.

David Spark

I had the exact same thing happen to me before. It was an honest mistake, but definitely the PR person didn't know what they were doing. But that was not the real problem. The real problem was the obnoxious response by all the "gurus" and journalists that knowingly hit Reply All and told the woman what an idiot she was. It was wrong, rude, and the broadcasting was malicious.

I wrote a whole piece about the story here:

Social media "gurus" and bloggers are egotistical jerks

Eric Wittlake

Ouch. You closed with "Everything you do reflects on your level of expertise" and "How good can they be if they can't even do it for themselves?"

That tells it all. In this case, a poor practice reflects worse than no practice at all. Unfortunately, when marketing companies apply their own discipline to themselves, too often it seems they make it a secondary priority and put the B-team on it.

Thanks for sharing this.

-- @wittlake

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