More Adventures with PR People

A few weeks ago, I wrote a reply to all PR people who seem to think that, because I blog, they should pitch their companies’ press releases at me. I’m not sure whether to be flattered or annoyed.

What I’ve decided to do is share some of my experiences with readers–my top 3 that I haven’t already obliterated beyond recovery. Hopefully these same PR people will learn that indiscriminate marketing isn’t always a net gain. I’ve removed any personally identifying information about the senders; I don’t want vigilante or mischievous readers to get any ideas. Well, at least not to act on them. Here they are, in reverse order of absurdity. Drum roll, please.

#3) The GodTubes Must Be Crazy

Hi Daniel,

I want to introduce you to a new social network called Originally launched in 2007 as, a video sharing site that set the record as the fastest growing Web site in the U.S. during its first month of operation, it attracted 2.7 million users a month. Now, tangle has expanded to become the go-to Web site for the family-friendly community to safely interact on a full social network. Below is the press release that went out this morning, announcing the launch.

I’d be happy to arrange a phone interview for you with tangle CEO, Jason Illian, to discuss  Jason can provide a unique look into family-friendly social media and how differentiates itself from other social networking sites. Additionally, Jason is the author of “MySpace®, MyKids: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Kids and Navigating”

Please feel free to shoot me an e-mail at or call me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX for more information on or to schedule time to speak with Jason.

Thanks for your consideration.


#2) Who Died?

Hello Daniel,

Last week, WSJ writer Jeffrey Zaslow reported that, starting next month, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press will be offering home delivery just three days a week. So, readers who’ve made a daily ritual of perusing obituaries with their morning coffee — and who won’t go out to buy the paper or go online — aren’t necessarily going to learn about the deaths of their acquaintances. See article here:

But what if there was a technology that kept readers informed about obituary news, anywhere and at any time of day?

That’s where steps in, the comprehensive resource for local and national obituary news and personal tributes. has over 82 million current and historical death records dating back to 1936. makes sure that consumers can stay informed 24/7 and connected with accurate obit email alerts for any town in the US, alumni, family name, or military unit. Users can set up alerts based on the zip code they currently reside in as well as previous locations they have lived in, and when someone has passed away in their community, an email will be sent to them with names of those who have passed. Those who like to read the morning obits as much as they like their morning cup of joe won’t have to worry about missing the opportunity to leave a message of condolence or to attend a funeral because of missing the news in the paper.

Like it or not, many newspapers are cutting back on home delivery and people want their news quickly and accurately. is the best alternative, go-to resource for obituary news, making sure no one is left in the dark about a passing.

A few interesting facts surrounding this include:

  • The obituary market as a $750M-$1B nearly untouched industry
  • Obituaries- “last man standing” – every other classified section has gone online and made millions (,, EBay, Craigslist,, etc.)
  • Newspapers lost $64.5 billion in market value in 12 months in 2008
  • 2.5 million people die in the U.S. every year, and 12,000 of those people are turning 50 every day

Please consider mentioning this in your blog. I would be happy to arrange an interview with Jeff Taylor, founder of and, to speak about new online technology and a modern world is changing the face of the print obituary.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX xXXX or email me at XXXXXXX@XXXXXXXXXXXX.XXX.

Thanks for your consideration.



And, finally, #1: a letter from the folks at Wolfram Alpha:

Hi Daniel,

I wanted to thank you for your interest in Wolfram|Alpha and for sharing our exciting news with your readers. The response has been fantastic.
We look forward to sharing more news about this new website soon!

If you haven’t already, please sign up to receive Wolfram|Alpha release news.
You can do so at:

Thanks again,

Wolfram Research, Inc.

I had to say, I was a bit stunned by this email–the only reasonable explanation was my recent post about Wolfram Alpha, which didn’t, in my view, merit such a grateful response. Bemused, I responded and volunteered to look at their technology with an open mind–and even under NDA–if they had anything they were willing to share. I’ll keep you all posted.

Anyway, I hope you all found this amusing. And to any PR people who found their materials reposted here, I hope you understand that unsolicited pitches are fair game. Perhaps this is actually what you hoped for. In that case, you’re welcome, and thank you for helping me entertain my readers.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

8 replies on “More Adventures with PR People”

one’s 50th birthday is a pretty big deal and certainly worth celebrating, but I imagine it gets really tedious for those 12,000 people who have to do it every single day….


I’m a PR person… wondering – if I find a good blog and have a good company that is worth blogging about – how do I reach out to people like you? In the info overload age – how do I make sure I flatter you instead of annoy?
thanks for the advice 🙂


Actually, a comment like this one goes a long way–it shows that you read this post. Hopefully it’s clear that the above emailers knew nothing about me or my blog–I somehow made it onto a mailing list and got spammed.

While flattery is always fun, the key is taking a personal rather than shotgun approach. Of course, it’s a lot more work per email–which probably means having a smaller list of bloggers / influencers that you target. But I think it’s actually a better strategy–at least for people who have valuable content to promote.

The great opportunity of social media is to make marketing more personal. Unfortunately, too many people see it as just another channel for spamming.

Hope that helps you understand where I’m coming from.


You’re welcome. It’s about treating human beings like human beings, even an age of automation. Especially in an age of automation–attention is at a premium, and you get what you give.


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