On Twitter and elsewhere, there’s a bit of a debate brewing right now about whether PRs should be ‘first against the wall’ when the revolution comes, or whether journos are a bunch of grumpy sods for moaning about being deluged by stuff they’ll likely be interested in writing about.

In the technology field, I find it strange journos are getting angry due to receiving press releases. Sure, many are irrelevant, and far too many are written in an absurdly needy manner, but even though I get dozens of these weekly (sometimes daily), I’d rather have more than fewer press releases. They enable me to find out about new stuff for zero effort, and if I’m not interested, a quick ‘delete’ banishes the release forever. (Note to journos claiming they’re annoyed by constant interruptions from PR emails: don’t check your email every time a new one arrives; alternatively, set up notification so you can glance at incoming email and only tend to urgent messages.)

That all said, there are three increasingly common things that irk me regarding PR guys, and so here are some helpful hints:

  1. Only phone me for first contact or if something’s urgent. Do not phone me about a 0.0.1 app upgrade that you’ve decided is “revolutionary”. Phone calls are a major distraction—unless your call includes extremely exciting and interesting information, I will hate you.
  2. When you’re pimping something you’re doing on the other side of the planet (say, the west coast of the USA or Australia), and I kindly inform you that I’m UK-based, don’t then try to convince me that I should show up via several more emails and phone calls. Yes, I’m sure I’d like to be at CES right now, but unless you buy me a ticket, I’m not going to visit just to see your new gizmo.
  3. If you want me to check something out for review, send it to me. Don’t try to convince me to buy it myself because it’s the “Best Thing Ever”. I get very regular requests of this sort, and so even with 59p iPod games I’d be broke by the end of the month if I bought them all.