PR, E-Mail, Social Media: FAIL

The Wrong Way to Jump Start Social Media

By Published on .

What's worse than being spammed by Brody PR with a pitch for a social-media book that likely didn't need to be written? Being spammed by a PR firm that didn't use the BCC field. What's worse than that? That a good 90% of people on the list feel some weird need to reply-to-all when asking to be removed from the list, thus continuing the foolishness ALL DAY LONG.

I don't know what's more surprising, the number of people who are replying to all or the names of some of those people who should damn well know better. Is it that hard to determine the original source of an e-mail and just yell at that person?

Then again, some of them are "social-media experts" and we all know that's a pretty low bar.

Full disclosure: I replied to all to threaten the next people to reply to all that I'd mention them by name. But since I'm left wondering if there's a time delay or a bot involved, I'm not going to make good on that threat.

I'm not going to pound Brody PR as there's already a bit of Twitter wildfire about this topic and I've already been e-mailed by a number of journalists on the list. So damage done.

Instead of adding further shame and outrage here, let me just point out a few of the people who DIDN'T reply to all and who have e-mailed me separately, expressing anger and shame and apologizing for all involved: David Spark of Spark Media Solutions; Maria Aspan, a reporter for American Banker; Allison Mooney of Mobile Behavior; Amanda Gravel; Joseph Jaffe of Crayon; Michael Driehorst; Chris Abraham; Niala Boodhoo of The Miami Herald; Peter Shankman; Ann Handley of Marketing Profs; and Barbara Kiviat of Time magazine.

I salute you all.

And thanks to all the many others who remained silent throughout this ordeal.

UPDATE: Someone from Brody PR posted the following in the comment section yesterday:

An apology from Brody PR - I created a list of social media experts who might be interested in reviewing a new guide to social media for small biz. I inadvertently put the list name in the cc: box, rather than the bcc: box. A few folks must have hit the "reply all" button, rather than clicking on the "unsubscribe link" at the bottom, which started a stream of spam. Please accept my personal apology, albeit a little late in the day, since I was trying to remove everyone who wanted to be unsubscribed from the list immediately.

Beth Brody also e-mailed a personal apology. Also, to be clear, I understand that accidents happen on e-mail. What I DON'T understand, though, were all the people who should have known better hitting the reply-to-all button.

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