Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 1995)
 

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Subject: Re: How should public relations pros work with mailing lists
From: woods @ ncar . ucar . edu (Greg Woods)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 95 11:38:17 MST
To: nruggles @ panix . com (Neil Ruggles)
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <v0211010dab75716b6df0@[166.84.254.224]>; from "Neil Ruggles" at Feb 27, 95 12:10 pm

> You suggest it is the
> advertiser who would be getting the handout.

And I maintain that this is so.

>I suggest its the READER today
> who is getting the handout.

Well, yes, of course. But it is generally the intention of the list manager
to provide this service to the readers. It is generally NOT the intention
to provide a free conduit for advertisers! Especially if to do so would
degrade the service provided to the readers.

Neil, you asked for feedback. Read it. Most people here seem to be
saying that they would allow advertising on their lists either not at
all or only if they felt it was of use to their readers. They don't
give a damn about the needs and desires of the advertisers. Nor should
they be obliged to. And I guarantee that if you ignore this feedback
you are getting, and advertise on lists anyway in contradiction of the
wishes of the list managers and list readers, you are going to create
more bad publicity for your products than good. Obviously that is not
the goal of advertising!

Internet mail lists are, in general,  NOT analagous to magazines. There
is going to be LESS tolerance for blatant commercialism. Nevertheless,
there is a place for commercialism on the net (despite some of the more
radical opinions expressed here). But it has to be done with the
understanding that techniques that apply to magazine readers do NOT
apply to mail list readers. It isn't likely that a well-constructed
ad in a magazine will HURT your business. It may or may not help, but
it isn't likely to harm. This is NOT the case for Internet mail lists.
Even a well-constructed ad, posted inappropriately, can generate hostility
towards your business and towards your client's business. You would
do well to recognize this difference.

--Greg


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