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January 29, 2010
I get a lot of press releases around here - not a day goes by that several don't show up in the e-mail queue. I glance over the titles, and I'll open up the more interesting ones and look at them in more detail. Since I feel no obligation to read unsolicited bulk mail (who does?), the less interesting ones get deleted without opening.
Most of what shows up is reasonably well targeted, from university press offices or scientific publishers, and once in a while one of them will lead to a blog post. The PR from small pharma/biotech companies is also probably well targeted, but it's much less likely to lead to anything, simply because there's so much of that stuff around and because it tends, on the average, to be decidedly less interesting: "Spamozyme, Inc. announces its new ZippyChip assay, now with the great taste of fish!" (I don't have the heart to ask Google if "ZippyChip" is the name of a real technology; I fear the answer).
But I also get things that are seriously misguided. Publicists ask me if I want to talk to someone who's just published "Nineteen All-Natural Ways to Quantum Healing" or some damn thing, and the answer is, no, of course I don't. I'd rather drop an Erlenmeyer flask on my foot. Come to that, I'd rather read press releases about the ZippyChip. I know somebody's getting value for their publicity dollar when I get an e-mail pitch asking if my readers would be interested in learning the ways to holistic health without resorting to dangerous and toxic pharmaceuticals
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