August 22, 2014

PR Firms Comment Spamming?

I’m really disappointed to see that PR firms can stoop so low as to comment spam us bloggers on behalf of their clients. Here’s a comment that came into one of my blogs (to this page) a couple days ago, from Connors Communications (yes, I’ve nofollowed the link):

HitTail is a site dedicated to helping you chase the long tail of natural search… the first of its kind

Doesn’t this smack of comment spam to you? Clearly these folks don’t understand the blogosphere. Granted they didn’t make the URL a clickable link like most comment spammers, but that was probably just out of naivete.

Talk about a public relations strategy that’s bound to backfire!

I’ve heard of PR firms starting faux blogs, ghostblogging, posting fake posts to discussion forums, and emailing bloggers with untargeted, brazen pitches. But comment spamming? This is a new one on me.

Anyone else seen PR firms posting thinly veiled ads for their clients into your blogs’ comments?

11 comments for PR Firms Comment Spamming? »

  1. It’s naiveté (spellchecking is your friend).

    But yes, you’re right… this is supremely stupid.

    Comment by Brian Clark — September 2, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

  2. It’s is inevitable that you will get PR firms that don’t understand the medium and jump in to make gaffes. The solution is to help them understand how to behave properly.

    It’s also hard to make a judgment on how spammy the comment was since you’ve removed it from the source page and edited the extract. It at least appears to be on-topic, but you can’t tell how much it added to the conversation.

    Comment by Stuart Bruce, BMA PR — September 3, 2006 @ 5:19 am

  3. The real problem in the future (i.e. when mainstream business realise there is such as thing as the blogosphere)probably won’t be PR firms doing this stuff.
    It will come from people who will have a crack at doing their own PR. (After all, why wouldn’t they? All you need is an internet connections to participate). Get ready!

    Comment by David Koopmans — September 3, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  4. The comment I quoted was in its entirety.

    Their comment did not add to the conversation. In fact, I don’t think they bothered to even read the post.

    The comment appears to be on-topic only because they searched the blogosphere for the phrase “long tail” and found posts like mine to comment spam.

    Comment by Stephan Spencer — September 4, 2006 @ 12:16 am

  5. Sorry, I thought the “search… ” indicated you’d edited a very long spammy post. If that’s all they put then I agree it adds nothing.

    Comment by Stuart Bruce, BMA PR — September 4, 2006 @ 5:16 am

  6. Of course I’m sorry you feel that way, but where the long tail and search overlap, yes, I am compelled to leave comments. But no, I do not think it is comment spam.

    I am quite passionate about the topic, as the creator of the HitTail application. I created it for Connors Communications, AS their vice president (not a client). I read many blogs, and sometimes I am compelled to leave comments, just as comments on our blog are welcome. I think if you read a few of my blog posts, you will find me to be sincere and on the level.

    Comment by Mike Levin — September 5, 2006 @ 9:47 am

  7. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for clarifying that you weren’t posting it on behalf of a client.

    Nonetheless, when posting on someone else’s blog/site, good public relations is adding to the conversation rather than self-promoting.

    Comment spam is in the eye of the blog owner.

    Comment by Stephan Spencer — September 6, 2006 @ 12:58 am

  8. Indeed, I felt I was adding to the conversation. My post, while brief and connected to a tool I’d developed, I felt was exactly on-topic, and I had read the article top-to-bottom. I guess I never felt the need to either hide my identity (the practice PR firms are often accused of) or wrapping my direct message in flowery text, making me an easy target for anti-PR sentiment.

    Amazingly, I only encountered this attitude twice (this being one time) in the months of soft-beta rollout. Agreed, it’s an eye of the beholder thing.

    Comment by Mike Levin — September 7, 2006 @ 9:21 am

  9. [...] Business Blog Consulting: PR Firms Comment Spamming? Okay, the advice we are giving PR firms and clients is to become part of the conversation in the blogosphere. That does not necessarily mean launch a blog, but it does mean to comment appropriately. Where is that line, though, where you cross from conversing to SPAMming? It is hard to find that line in the sand. [...]

    Pingback by Blog Run » Blog Archive » NYT as PR, ABC and blogs, Comment SPAM (or not being a real part of the conversation) — September 11, 2006 @ 12:46 am

  10. [...] An interesting development transpired here at BBC, a blog conversation broke out.  BBC contributor Stephan Spencer’s post PR Firms Comment Spamming? began a small conversation with the VP of Connors Communications.  Stephan had assumed a comment left on his blog about the long tail was a PR firm touting the latest client’s software program.  Although Stephan was mistaken in his assumption, through the use of blog mining or RSS (now I’m assuming), Mike Levin the person that left the comment, was able to correct his mistake.  In fact Mike was touting the application he had developed for Connors Communications.  [...]

    Pingback by A Blog Conversation : Business Blog Consulting — September 12, 2006 @ 5:36 pm

  11. Those of you who have been regular readers for a while might know that I run another site on environmental issues. Although I won’ t mention the site, it’ s not that hard to find as it is linked in my blogroll. I just received the October issue of Kiplinger’ s and it is the“ Greenâ€? issue, with all sorts of articles about going green and making money, which can go hand in hand if done correctly. One article in particular stood out, as it was a list of 25 different companies that they think you should invest…

    Comment by Andy Michaels' Blog on Internet Marketing and Online Success — March 13, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

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