It pays to tweet, and questions for Vocus PR

It sure does pay to tweet when you’ve got a complaint, because it can get someone’s attention in a hurry.

On Wednesday, I posted a blog entry about the unwanted spam that I receive from the Vocus PR service, “Can we vaporize Vocus with a medical laser? Please?

I also tweeted it, as “How can I get #vocuspr to stop spamming me?”

That got a response, in the form of a direct message from user @vocus_robinlane, saying, “Hi Alan, I am with vocus, DM me and I can help you.”

I did, and then shortly received a polite email from a lady named Rebecca:

Dear Mr. Zeichick,

Your contact information has been removed from the Vocus Media Database. Our apologies for any inconvenience you may have been caused.

The Vocus Media Research Team

Am I satisfied? Of course not! I responded to the Vocus Media Research Team asking,

Thank you, Rebecca, for your response.

I have a more general question: How do journalists and analysts control how their information is used in your database of over 800,000 records — without using Twitter and their blog to make a fuss, and thus provoke a response from your company?

And yes, that’s why I made the fuss — because I couldn’t find any other way to get your company’s attention. Several polite messages that I sent to email hidden; JavaScript is required went unanswered.

I’ve spent time searching your website, and haven’t seen a place where a journalist or analyst can see if they’re in that huge database, and if so, decide to remove him/herself, or choose which types of contacts they would receive, and make sure that the contact information in that database is accurate and up-to-date.

It’s not that I’m opposed to receiving press releases. I like finding out about things that are relevant to the technologies that I cover. What I don’t like is being in media directories where I don’t have control over my information and how it’s used, and thus I’m flooded with irrelevant information. You wouldn’t believe some of the press releases I’ve received via Vocus!

Is there a better way? Of course. PR Newswire lets me select the types of press releases I want to receive. Your system appears to place all the control in the hands of the companies who access your database, and if they want to use your service to send me garbage, that’s totally up to them.

Please let me know how journalists and analysts can easily control the information in your database, and also control how it’s used — other than tweeting something nasty about #vocuspr — and I’ll share that info, in a polite way, in my blog for other journalists/analysts to see.

Thanks, -Alan Z

Am still waiting for a response. Will post the answer, if I get one.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick