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Sympathy for a Journalist, Part 2: How to Get Removed from a List
By: Mike Bush
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It may seem like a small complaint, but it’s one that every flack has heard at any number of events where a journalist lists off the things they like least about PR people: I get so many emails that aren’t related to my beat, and PR people just keep sending them.
In short, too much communication about something a person doesn’t want. Sounds familiar.

In addition to list brokers (who are mentioned in the previous link), I’ve had another company go too far in terms of getting in touch with me: a company selling an aftermarket auto warranty.

Without exaggeration, it’s probably four dozen e-mails, at least 20 pieces of direct mail, and a three-times-a-week phone call that you can set your watch to (despite multiple requests on the phone and via writing to remove me from a list).

Finally, upon receiving yet another call, I explained to the telemarketer that all I wanted was to be left alone, and he gave me the best piece of advice available for getting removed from the list:

Ask to be listed as deceased.

I can’t say it will work for reporters trying to get off of a PR media list (after all, if the same flacks who are carpet bombing reporters get a note saying a reporter has passed on, doesn’t that simply mean they can tell a client about another "media touchpoint"?). But, it can’t hurt to try. 

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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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