Dear Sarah Miller / Axis PR – Pretty please, stop spamming me. Please?

UPDATE MARCH 2010: Since this posting I have not received any further annoucements from Sarah Miller or Axis PR. Please see newest update at the bottom of this post.

Dearest Sarah,

It’s really no secret that I hate unsolicited e-mail from PR firms. Hate really isn’t a strong enough word but you get the idea, I’m not a fan. I have the term “For Immediate Release” in my autodelete filter so that I’ll never see an e-mail with that included. That helps, but it doesn’t stop everything. Like e-mails from you and your company Axis PR.

I’ve been getting mail from you for over a year now. Looking at my archives I see that I first started getting e-mails from you about some VIP night at the House of Blues, and later for Mobile Monday & Mobile Excellence Awards events. Since I have no interest in the HOB VIP stuff, and I already know about MM stuff, I asked you to be taken off the list. That was in mid 2007. I asked nicely, and got no reply. Unless you count getting the same announcement e-mails from you the following month a reply.

Since then I’ve replied countless times asking, always nicely and patiently to be removed from your lists. I don’t know who you are or where you got my e-mail from, but I don’t want, and never wanted, the junk you send me all the time. Sometimes you respond, sometimes you don’t. But I still get the e-mails from you. A quick scan of a few replies from you over the last year shows that sometimes you apologize for the mistake and say I’ll be removed, sometimes you say you aren’t sending me anything, and sometimes you say you’ll look into it. No matter what, I still get the e-mails. It’s frustrating really, but somehow just adding your e-mail to my autodelete list seems like letting you win. You added me to your lists without my permission, you should find me and remove me.

Today when I e-mailed again, asking to be removed you changed your story and said you only run opt in lists and it’s my fault I am getting your e-mails. Emails I might add that do not have any kind of unsubscribe link or option anywhere. Not only is that clearly a lie since you’ve told me previously that I must have been added by mistake, but 3 months ago you told me you were removing me from all of the lists you run with no suggestion that I happened to opt into all of them (including ones I have no interest in at all).

When I pointed this out to you you resorted to calling me names, saying I was an abusive asshole, and that I wasn’t the kind of person who should be invited to your VIP events to begin with. Is name calling really necessary? I do agree with you that I’m not the kind of person who should be at your events which is why I keep asking you to stop inviting me. You keep telling me I’m not on your list and yet I keep getting invites.

Blaming people isn’t a good thing to do, and clearly you have people on your lists that you don’t want. I think it’s in the best interest for you and your clients for you to take a look at your lists and remove anyone who you don’t know is personally interested. Calling people assholes and telling them to just block your e-mail doesn’t seem like the best way to work with media.

This is my public plea. Since e-mailing you directly hasn’t worked, I’m trying this. From now on everytime you send me something rather than replying to you, I’m going to post again asking you to take me off your list. Maybe that will have better results.

Now, I will say good day to you,

-s

UPDATE MARCH 2010: Since this posting I have not received any further annoucements from Sarah Miller or Axis PR. In March 2010 she contacted me and asked me to update the posting with that information. I offered her space to add a statement as well and she asked that I post this Q&A. Enjoy!

What do you most like about your job?

There are so many challenging aspects to PR and marketing that I love as a CEO. I relish getting back down to the very basics: spending time talking with clients and strategizing ways to help them grow their business from the ground up is an invaluable and exciting experience.

Whether it’s securing stories in the press, developing speaking opportunities, participating in strategic planning or just helping to put brand or partnership deals together, seeing the end-result of our work and helping clients achieve their goals is inspiring and rewarding. At the end of any given day, if we can help resolve or remove a client’s challenges on any level to enable them to move closer towards achieving their goals – it’s a good day.

What’s the biggest challenge in your job?

Balance and time. Knowing when the day is actually over even when it’s way past midnight. Running a fast-paced PR firm, in addition to managing clients and running industry-leading events such as the Mobile Excellence Awards and Mobile Mondays, doesn’t leave much time for anything else.

Each day is different from the day before and we always make sure our clients are the priority, so finding any personal time to do anything else or to attend networking events is difficult at times. But all the intense work is the worth the sacrifice when we see our clients accomplish their goals and success.

What is your work priority for 2010?

To expand the agency, its services and to create more industry events that help build and give more back to this vibrant professional community and our clients.

Axis PR has the reputation for delivering above and beyond client and industry expectations – we are constantly striving to bring more value to our clients above and beyond normal expectations of most PR firms out there. So we will be looking into bringing more technology and brand partners on board.

We are also looking to expand the Mobile Excellence Awards. Going into year three the event is showing tremendous growth, and we’re starting the early-planning stages to take it global with strategic partners soon.

What will it take to attract more women to mobile marketing?

The willingness to just open the doors and let them in. There are so many opportunities for bright women in this space! It can be difficult in male-dominated industries at times for some women, so finding someone who will take the time to mentor you and teach you is a valuable benefit. Getting involved in committees, organizations and events is a great way to network and see what opportunities are out there as well.

Our agency has a well-developed outreach system for young women, and we’ll be expanding that through some interesting programs through our events arm.

Your proudest achievement in mobile?

Was in the creation and development of the Mobile Excellence Awards. To see the impact it has had on the industry in the first two years, and watching how much it has grown and influenced the companies and communities involved is an amazing experience. I grew what was supposed to be just another small year-end Mobile Monday networking event into one of the most prestigious and coveted award programs in mobile entertainment.

Creating an entity that is known for honoring the best of the best in mobile entertainment, technology, marketing and media with the support of industry leading partners, media and corporate sponsors has been an amazing journey.

To build something from nothing that offers so much value and insight to companies ranging from startups to brands and studios is something I’m very proud of. I’m extremely honored to be able to watch a lot of these companies grow over the year and then share in the excitement. It’s wonderful to see them get recognized in front of the industry and their peers for their all their hard work.

7 Replies to “Dear Sarah Miller / Axis PR – Pretty please, stop spamming me. Please?”

  1. How about you give us Sara’s email address and we all write her filling her mail box?
    Or…if you have norton or other virus protection with anti-spam properties everytime you “spam” her mail that ISP and domain go into a data base of known spammers.

  2. Well, if we’re keeping lists, I can’t get Adriana at ID Public Relations to stop emailing me about Crumbs. Seriously, I don’t like cupcakes, I don’t buy cupcakes and I don’t write about cupcakes. I certainly don’t need four press releases in five months about frelling cupcakes.

  3. Seems to me that you could make a reasonable argument that a paid press release constitutes a commercial email, and may be illegal under the terms of the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act. CAN-SPAN requires that commercial emails include a viable opt-out mechanism, and provides for a fine of up to $11,000 for each violation.

    Whether or not this is actually a violation in debatable; however, if it were me, I’d file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and let them sort it out — the mere threat of an FTC investigation should be enough to get you off the list forever.

    Learn more at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus61.shtm

  4. I like those tips from bikingla. I think those insidious Grouply messages from so-called “enthusiastic members” that Yahoo! and other group members keep receiving are clearly spam as well (repeated messages based on a template). I’m dubious that the FTC would do much about stopping emails based on an individual complaint, but I’m all for making the threat of filing an FTC complaint as a deterrent at least, and following through with the complaint if necessary.

  5. I finally got around to unsubscribing from the email list put out by Materials & Applications (the folks that build those art projects on Silver Lake Boulevard), and as a fucking reward, now I get on average an email a day telling me “You have been unsubscribed from the Emanate1 mailing list.” Fuckerz.

  6. Sadly, Axis PR gives the profession of Public Relations a BAD name. But, in checking the credentials of the three folk involved with the company, not one has a degree in PR or journalism. SO, it’s obvious that they never learned about the ethics involved in the profession. I’d follow the advice of others above — report them and block them. Further communiques will do no good! (IMHO)

  7. One other thought, if you really want to play hardball. Just contact the client Axis is representing, and remind them that they are ultimately responsible for any actions their PR agency carries out on their behalf. And that they can be held responsible for any violations, as well as suffer from any negative publicity that may result.

    Once Axis starts getting calls from angry clients — or loses an account — I guarantee you’ll be taken off their lists permanently.

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