I just had a pleasant chat with Robin Lane, Director of Public Relations for Vocus. She called to do damage control after my blog and twitter postings.
To make a long story short:
1. At the present time, Vocus does not provide any way for journalists or analysts to directly see or modify their information within the Vocus database. The only automated option today is for journalists/analysts to remove themselves from a specific Vocus customer’s mailing list.
3. At the present time, Vocus does not allow journalists and analysts to control which Vocus customers can access their records. Vocus encourages its customers to spam only relevant journalists and analysts, but of course, the customers have no incentive to self-filter.
Robin agreed with my arguments that this situation does not serve journalists, analysts — or PR professionals. To that end, Robin agreed to bring to her product team three suggestions:
2. Vocus should create a portal system to let journalists and analysts view/edit their records directly, and remove themselves if they want.
3. Vocus should implement filters to stop its PR clients from spamming non-relevant journalists and analysts.
I have offered to assist their product team in developing those services. Let’s see what happens.