Writer responds ‘I love you’ to PR pitches

A reporter’s monthlong inbox experiment proves that PR pros hunger not only for press release pickups, but for meaningful relationships. Don’t we all?

It is a tale of love for the ages, worthy of William Shakespeare or Jane Austen.

Ralph Jones, a writer whose inbox is flooded with press releases, spent a month replying to every such email with the words “I love you.”

In a recent piece for Hexjam.com, Jones tenderly details his prank and the amusing responses he got. Some PR pros ignored the intimate declaration from a stranger; others played along. A few were so taken aback that they promised to remove Jones from their mailing lists.

One guy named Michael told Jones, “I love you too,” leading to increasing declarations of ardor (“I love you more,” “I love you so much it hurts,” “I love you more than the vast majority of my family”).

The exchanges highlight a problem for both sides. Reporters are overwhelmed, and they become a bit giddy (or panicky) at the relentless onslaught of irrelevant announcements. Yet PR pros are often forced to pump out FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE emails by bosses who don’t care whether the messages have no chance of getting picked up.

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