The Unfiltered Truth: How We Reduce Email Spam for Reporters

Lou Carlozo July 13, 2020

Close up view of a gmail inbox.
Photo by Stephen Phillips – Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

 

If you’re in the same journalistic boat as me, you enjoy using Qwoted as a reporter, writer or editor. I used the platform all three ways prior to my arrival here—and have always found it a huge help.

 

And perhaps like me, you’ve never gotten to see the “PR and expert” view. It helps guarantee upstanding PR behavior and reduce reporter spam. But how? And so, a quick look under the hood! And the first thing you’ll notice is what isn’t there—a sales engine.

 

Unlike Others, We Don’t Sell Reporter Emails.

Most if not all tech companies in the PR space sell reporter emails and phone numbers. Brands and agencies subscribe monthly to access these databases, often spending tens of thousands of dollars a year for the privilege. Recently, these companies have added sophisticated mass-mailing functionality to their offerings. So if you’re wondering why the sheer volume of emails in your inbox has increased, that’s a major reason.

 

This is also why it’s historically been so tricky to build a functioning network in this space: because multibillion-dollar firms have been selling one side’s emails for years.

 

But at Qwoted, it’s quite the opposite: We put reporters in control. No PR user can message a reporter in the platform unless they have initiated a new Expert Source Request. Once they send a pitch, they can’t send a second message unless the reporter responds.

 

‘Unlocking’ Source Requests

Firstly, PR users cannot just see each reporter. To do this they must first ‘unlock’ a Source Request. When they do, a field appears where they can submit their pitch. This makes it easier to correspond inside the platform rather than porting over to email.

 

We limit the number of “unlocks” and track the ratio of “unlocks” to “pitches.” If a user unlocks all the time without pitching, that’s a pretty good indication that they’re emailing a lot and the platform prevents them from unlocking any more reporters.

 

This enables us to prevent multiple reporters unlocks at once and reduce the number of emails flying into your inbox. For further instruction around giving your inbox a break, check out our page on reducing email spam related to your expert source request.

 

Benefits to Pitching

Since every stick needs a commensurate carrot, we give PR several benefits to pitching inside the platform vs over email. The first is a “read receipt”-–PRs get an alert when you read their pitches. But to repeat, they cannot reach out again unless you reply first to unlock the conversation.

 

Another key benefit for pitching inside Qwoted is saved pitches and expert source profiles. When they come to pitch an expert they’ve put forward in the past, we present them with a saved source profile and the language they’ve used to describe them. This saves them time having to re-write out their expert’s qualifications every time.

 

As you can see, we’re doing a lot on the PR-user side to ensure media reps stick to the rules and avoid emailing reporters directly. But if you want to do more on your own you can always download our instructions for how to reduce Qwoted-related emails here.

 

If you have additional ideas for any features, including for how to reduce PR spam, we would love to have you join our Reporter Board to guide the direction of the platform and network!

 

Lou Carlozo is the Editor of Chief of Qwoted: lou@qwoted.com

 

Check out Lou Carlozo’s Bankadelic podcast: Part two of a special podcast dedicated to women, leadership and financial services, featuring four female standouts who share their experiences and sharp insights.