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October 29, 2007


James Stockbridge

Dear Lord!

I work at a very junior level in PR. I try to know my media, and sell client's stories to the people who'll be most interested. I tailor my approach , and comment to readerships and editorial, I suspect in a way which isn't a particularly commercial use of my time. And yes, sometimes you fire off info on the off-chance it might be useful - and sometimes, indeed it is. Surprisingly frequently, one gets something which is of more than parochial interest to a particular readership.

Without an element of somewhat random information, a journalist might miss out on the odd serendipitous contact, or different angle. We're not after a regurgitation of a release or uncritical repitition of comment after all. And whilst I agree, as salespeople of a sort, that it is up to us to get our contacts right, at a junior level, young PRs are learning their trade and their media. Whilst I've been fortunate to have been given the odd boot up the backside by my boss (a former magazine editor) and some surprisingly helpful (and possible mildly irritated) journalists, perhaps the media should not automatically blacklist the intern or junior exec who fails to get their audience right. We all get spam, or near-spam, and yes, in a volume not far off that of the esteemed Editor of Wired. They will nevertheless be a journalistic asset when they've got to know their journalist's audiences.

For example, I've got the boss of a big search engine who'll probably be dying to review Chris' forthcoming 'Free', when he gets his hands on it. I don't doubt that he's a damned impressive intellectual figure, and will have something provocative to say to a specific audience, say about Mr Anderson's take on cross-subsidy. But, although I do know one or two reviewers, none of us know particularly review editors personally, (and even flacks at the big US firms aren't omniscient) and I know for a fact that at least one of Mr Anderson's former publications simply bin approaches from people they don't know. Like me.

Qui bono, from this approach? Not the readership that's for sure.

han hu kyi


Dare McDane

I may be an old fogey but at least my info on trends is as real as anything from Myspace etc. I like to check here:


Darren Lai

nice Chris. list their email out. great!

those r PR dont even respect internet marketing manner n your Long Tail idea.

block them.


its a nice site... it is so cool... and the information is complete

catherine hudges

it is a great site... i like it... it is different from the other site... it is informative site

PR Pro

Yeah ... well, here's the thing. Turnover at media outlets is huge. No sooner do we get all the right names and titles in a database than a third of them change. And guess what? Most companies with PR staff (I'm not talking agencies; not my area) are tasked as much as you are when it comes to time and staff. So we have to wait for an intern -if we're lucky - to call every outlet and try to update the list. And then it changes again. What makes more sense ... that you and other media outlets provide a complete list of contacts that you each keep updated, or that everyone else constantly contacts you all for the same info because your list isn't complete? OR ... you receive a lot of pitches and info addressed to "editor," and you have to decide whether they are news for you and distribute them appropriately (which ... isn't that part of your job, to find news?). This is such a ridiculous posture on your part. We ALL have to sort through a lot of info. That's the nature of the world today. If you aren't going to make it easyfor people to find the right contact where you are, then don't complain that you get poorly addressed e-mails.


Brilliant, I stand by you!! I hate PR Emails


Yeah, PR emails are sooo anoying. That is a heck of a long list...


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no no no this is not the way to do it. it will create more spam for spammers and email harvesters!


Dear Everybody and hopefully dear Mr. Anderson,

I am a graduating student for Media & Entertainment Management in the Netherlands and I am busy writing my thesis. For this I am inspired by your theory of the Long Tail effect on Media (and any other products)but feel, however, that the theory is merely applicable on products that are directed to B2C.

See, I am writing my thesis from a video-ad PRODUCTION company that is functioning as B2B partner. My goal of the research is to support my theory that also production companies in future, due to all the aspects you mention in your book, will have the opportunity and maybe responsibility to enlarge their client base from agencies only to agencies and direct consumers.

If I am considering the traditional ad at this stage, however, the ad itself may be cheaper ad therefore longer distributed on additional channels then TV, however I get hung up on the aspect that I am wondering what a Long Tail could be for the actual production company.

My discussion inspiration therefore, and I certainly would be grateful for a reasonable answer from anyone:

Is (and if, in what way would be) a Long Tail visible in present an/or in future for an advertising production company that functions as an intermediary in the B2B production mechanism?

Thank you very much for considering investigating this idea. I really would be grateful for any inspirations.

With all my best wishes and appreciation,


Daniel Avery

19 months on and Chris, this is still a classic in my book! A timeless lesson that needs to be re-visited by the new crops of PR kids.


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Perhaps everyone can learn from everyone. Here is a fair blog post that I recently read about what PR people can learn from journalists and journalists can learn from PR people. bit.ly/tg4wk

None of us are perfect, and we can all be better at what we do (no, I'm not on the list).

aion kinah

I agree there needs to be a more controlled outreach method but what is interesting me is all the newsletter emails and publication adresses. Looks like you subscribed to a couple (like dealmaker) and are continuing to get news from them.


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If your reputation as a successful PR entity relies upon covert spamming, you obviously need to rethink your business plan.

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It was constant - up to 10 emails per day from various PR firms for about a week.

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where the email from ?



Ruth Ann Barrett

I heard an interview with you on radio (Terry?) and felt you more than paraphrased Marshall MCluhan from his Gutenberg Galaxy re: the content of the new being, initially, the content of the old e.g. best sellers on TV and TV on the Internet. Think you should give credit where credit is due. Downloading your book this evening.




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If their address gets harvested by spammers by being published here, so be it--turnabout is fair play.


I generally find that editors are jumped up little pricks who think PRs are a pain in the arse but come the day they need something, PRs are they besties again. Get over yourself! And no, I've never sent anything to this particular prick and am not on his little 'power-trip' list.

Amber Case

It is strange to think that so many would try to send an E-mail directly to Chris instead of the editorial team. I looked up "Chris Anderson E-mail address" hoping to be redirected to a more general contact form. This told me that my E-mail would be more appropriate if sent to editors@wired.com. More people need to know about this. Sending E-mails to editorial teams saves me a lot of effort. I would never E-mail Chris if it wasn't something that was directly interesting to him.

My policy is to never, ever send press releases. Instead, I keep a short list of bloggers and contacts that I've formed good relationships with over time. I also make sure that anything I send is brief and useful to usefulness/coolness/excellence of their blog or publication.

It is much better to have quality over quantity, personalization and relationships over mass empty text attachments. There will always be PR people who do not understand this, as there will always be companies who do not understand digital manners. Instead of getting upset, it might be amusing to write a press release and start sending it to PR firms, letting them know that press releases are not the way to send information to bloggers and news publications that have any traction with visitors.


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I work as the managing editor for a pair of national magazines that have little, if any, crossover with Wired's readership.

Just for kicks, I checked my "not you again" against Chris's.

It's a little disturbing how many addresses overlap.

Of course, it looks like Chris hasn't gotten the "shiny sparkly fairy economy up despite general economic downturn" press releases I've been getting lately (you think I'm joking), nor the press releases announcing new events in downtown Corpus Christi. Pity - some of those are fun.

Come on, PR professionals. BE professional. Press releases can be helpful. I get good column fodder from some of them. But maybe, perhaps, once in awhile, it would do you some good to check your lists and see who, exactly, you're sending this stuff out to. The EIC of Wired probably isn't interested in foofy pom-pom bedecked driving gloves...

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I'm surprised at the number of comments dissing you for publishing those e-mail addresses. SPAM -- in all its guises -- is pure evil. Turning that around is evil genius. Wat to go.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!