Stuart Bruce says that the combination of media databases and inexperienced PR executives are the root cause of PR spam.

“While I applaud [the inconvenient PR truth] initiative, I’m not totally convinced about either the approach or if it will work. It also fails to mention the elephant in the room – the media database companies”

Perhaps we can learn from network theory? Media databases are a form of automation that promote mechanical networks. They enable PR executives to distribute press releases to lists of journalists with whom they have no prior relationship.

To follow the network argument through to its conclusion means building knowledge of the media that you’re targeting and forging organic relationships.

The rise of blogs and proliferation of traditional media means research is more important than ever. The answer lies in balancing the efficiency of databases while maintaining relevance and building organic relationships.