Storage Station

A bird's eye view of the data storage industry.

Advice for PR Folks: Please Don't Email Huge Attachments

The Station, as one might imagine, gets an awful lot of email each day. Most people get their share of email, true, but when you're a journalist on a hot site like eWEEK, believe me, you get a ton. During hot business-day periods an email per minute or two pops into the basket. No kidding.

A good deal of it comes from PR folks looking to get me interested in a story about their clients. Fine. Email is by far the best way to catch my attention, because I have a written record of your message with a time and date attached and can get back to you easily if needed. Keep those electronic cards and letters coming, we like them!

However, we have one very important piece of advice: Please DO NOT sent attachments of pictures or slide decks or PDF presentations unless it's arranged for ahead of time. All the unsolicited e-crud does is clog up eWEEK's corporate VPN and slow down our modest laptops, which try their best to store all the legitimate data we collect every day.

Two cases in point happened today. Event No. 1: Somebody from a big-time Web 2.0 company sent me an unsolicited email message with two embedded high-resolution photos that totaled 4MB. Worse yet, the topic wasn't even close to the data center and storage beat we cover here at eWEEK.

These two irrelevant (to us, anyway) photos stole several minutes of my valuable computer time just getting rendered on my screen. I calmed down, composed myself and sent a courteous but crisp response to the offending PR person, who must be a rookie. Don't they teach you in PR 101 not to irritate media folks with stuff like this? This is not the correct way to convince someone to write about your company.

Event No. 2: The Station agreed to do a briefing with a company, so their PR person sent along -- gasp! -- a 12MB PowerPoint presentation attachment that about choked my already-overworked VPN to death. Unbelievable.

All The Station has to say about that one is this: No company is worth a 12 MB PowerPoint PR attachment, so don't bother making 'em in the first place.

A final note: OMG. The Web 2.0 company PR person mentioned in Event No.1 just emailed The Station an apology for sending the 4MBs worth of unsolicited high-resolution photos, saying she was sorry for the inconvenience. That's fine, thanks, we accept -- just don't do it again.

However, by replying on the same message, she sent the same unwanted, embedded high-res photos A SECOND TIME!

Does the term "unclear on the concept" apply here, perhaps?

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...