Are Press Releases Considered Spam?

A PR Fuel reader writes: “With the CAN-SPAM Act in place, does a massive press release email blast to the media constitute spam? How does the media feel about receiving unsolicited, email-based press releases, even if they may contain their next story?

Answer: Good question. After reading the actual law — — it does not appear that a press release would constitute a “commercial” solicitation as outlined by CAN-SPAM. To protect yourself however, public relations reps should include all relevant contact information and an option to “opt-out” of future mailings in the body of any future press release email blast.

Regarding unsolicited email sent to the media, there’s not much we can do about it. I get about one hundred press releases each day from various sources and I’ve probably opted to receive less than a dozen of them. If a journalist asks you to remove them from a list, you should do so immediately. I would include the words “press release” somewhere in your e-mail’s subject line. I have “rules” set-up in my email program where anything with the words “press release” go into a special folder. And I do actually go through this folder each day.

As always, the clearer and more targeted your email press release, the better results you’ll get.

Also, you may want to try a service like eReleases press release distribution, which sends press releases only to subscribing journalists. It keeps you safe and ensures you won’t alienate your company or its message with key journalists.

This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (, a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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