Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 1995)

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Subject: Re: How should public relations pros work with mailing lists
From: Mathias . Koerber @ swi . com . sg (Mathias Koerber)
Organization: SW International Systems Pte Ltd
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 09:08:37 +0800 (SST)
To: moore @ cs . utk . edu (Keith Moore)
Cc: nruggles @ panix . com, list-managers-digest @ GreatCircle . COM, moore @ cs . utk . edu
Disclaimer: My company pays me to work, not speak for them. So there !
In-reply-to: <> from "Keith Moore" at Feb 21, 95 07:17:24 pm
Reply-to: Mathias . Koerber @ swi . com . sg

According to Keith Moore
| > When promoting clients on the net, my partners and I would like to
| > distribute announcements and special offers to relevant mailing lists, but
| > we DON'T want to antagonize subscribers or list owners. So how should we do
| > it?
| There may be no way to do so.  Mailing lists aren't generally created
| for the purpose of allowing people to advertise on them.  Your
| question is sort of like asking "how does one knit a slice of cake?"
How about this scheme:

Mailing lists with subscribers interested in public announcements/ads could
establish a companion list for just such things...

| > 1) Have you ever accepted publicity/advertising announcements on your list?
| > Would you?
| Advertising might be appropriate on some of my lists.  For instance, I
| maintain a list that deals with a specific type of laptop computer,
| which needs special hard disks, software, cases, batteries, etc.  An
| occasional brief note from a supplier about products designed for this
| model of laptop might be welcome, because it is information that is
| relevant to the list and not easily found elsewhere.  However,
| advertising hype would NOT be welcomed, and neither would an extensive
| list of products or services.  
| Also, if the number of ads were even a small fraction (say 5%) of the
| number of total messages, the utility of the list would suffer too
| much to make it worthwhile.  So even if most ads were appropriate, I
| might have to disallow advertisements because there would otherwise be
| too many of them.
| > 2) Would it matter if you were contacted personally by email or phone
| > _before_ someone sent an unsolicited announcement to your list?
| I don't have time to answer such queries.  Obviously, I'd rather
| someone ask before posting an inappropriate message, but even taking
| my time to read their message and figure out whether the message is
| appropriate is too much of an imposition if I have to do it very
| often.
| I'd much prefer that people read the list and see whether it is
| appropriate before advertising there.  One good rule would be: don't
| even attempt to advertise to any list or newsgroup that you don't read
| regularly.
| > 3) Would you allow an announcement that included offers, prices, or
| > ordering instructions for a product or service? If not, how should offers,
| > prices, and other clearly commercial material be handled? Web pages? Email
| > address for info?
| Any ads should be brief.  Pointers to web pages or email servers are a
| good way to provide more information.
| > 4) How would you react if someone offered to pay you to post an "ad" to
| > your list? Would your reaction change if the "ad" was clearly relevant to
| > the list topic? Would it matter how much money you were offered?
| I would not accept money for advertising to any of my lists, and I
| would not join any list that accepted money for advertising.  The
| reason is that no amount of money you could afford is worth the
| interruption and time it takes to read even a single off-topic
| message.
| Either the message is appropriate, in which case it costs nothing to
| post, or it's inappropriate, and you can't post it for any price.
| > 5) Would you open your subscriber list to an unsolicited direct emailing
| > under any circumstances? 
| No.  I would consider this an abuse of my list members' trust.
| > What if you got paid for it? 
| Hell, no.  I'd be *less* likely to do this for money, because that
| smacks of favoritism.  Either the list membership is open to everyone,
| or you can't have it for any price.
| > What if you could
| > review the proposed mailing beforehand and were assured no other mailings
| > would go out?
| I don't have time to do that, even if you want to pay me to do it.
| Something you have to realize: the real cost of advertising by mass
| emailing isn't in the cost it takes to produce the material or send it
| out.  The real cost is in everybody's time in reading it, even if they
| just delete the message.  If ads decrease the signal-to-noise ratio on
| a mailing list to a point that it's unusable, you've destroyed a
| valuable resource, and there's no way you can pay for that.
| Keith Moore

Mathias Koerber                                        Tel: +65 / 7780066 x 29
SW International Systems Pte Ltd                            Fax: +65 / 7779401
14 Science Park Drive #04-01                 email:
The Maxwell, Singapore Science Park
S'pore 0511         <A HREF=>MK</A>
* Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft,  die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft *

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