PRs under fire for level of junk e-mail

Editors of some of the UK’s biggest magazines hit out at PRs this week for wasting their time and clogging up their screens by sending irrelevant e-mails.

It follows a plea to Press Gazette from a fed-up editor, whose frustration is shared by other editors, including Heat’s Mark Frith.

He said the level of junk e-mail had increased threefold in the past three months.

Jane Ennis, Now editor, described it as a "complete nightmare".

She said: "It was easier to ignore a lot of inappropriate press releases when they came through the post but when it’s an e-mail you have to open it.

"It is people who have never ever read your publication suggesting wildly inappropriate things." Take A Break editor John Dale accused certain PRs of wrecking what should be a good system.

He said he feared the problem will get worse because editors’ direct e-mail addresses are being published in directories.

Peter Genower, editor of What’s on TV, said: "I have about 20 e-mails from PRs every day that I zap instantly.

"I am more likely to open and read a well-targeted press release in the post than unsolicited e-mails." Editors said the useless e-mails ranged from invitations to furniture shows to details about German health centres.

By Ruth Addicott

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