Several PR agencies were implicated last week when Gina Trapani posted a blacklist of agencies that sent pitches to her personal e-mail address. But it wasn’t just PR agencies that were considered at fault. Fingers also pointed at media database companies because Cision had Trapani’s personal e-mail address listed in its contact roster.
Stephen Debruyn, VP of marketing at Cision, told PRWeek, the company doesn’t put editors’ or bloggers’ e-mail addresses into the database unless it’s publicly available. Every blog listing in its database – including Trapani’s before it was removed—has a note warning users to be respectful about pitches with some suggestions, he added.
“I want to emphasize that Cision’s database is a service to the industry, it is not intended as a tool for spammers,” he said. “In fact, it is created to help ethical PR practitioners do a better job, as editors’ preferences about how/when to be contacted, or not, are always mentioned prominently.”
Kevin Dugan, director of marketing at FRCH Design, also chimed in on the blacklist. He told me, “Outing online did not start with Chris Anderson, or reporters for that matter. It started from inside the industry. Richard Laermer and I started outing PR people two years ago on the Bad Pitch blog. Why? We were/are tired of the industry’s minority making our profession look bad.”