I certainly don't hear from as many PR people as David Roberts does, but when I do hear from them it tends to annoy me for most of the same reasons it annoys him: no hyperlinks, buried ledes, missing background info, generally little evidence that the sender knows what I do or cares if I consider his or her pitch. I particularly enjoyed item #6 on his list of tips:
Do not call me.
I hate the telephone. I know lots of bloggers and journos who feel
the same way, especially the younger ones. I’ll call people for
information when I need to, but I really don’t like to be called and I really don’t like to be pitched over the phone.
And you know what I like very least of all? Being called by someone
who’s “following up on an email.” This is apparently something they
teach in PR school, because it happens constantly.
Guess how many times I’ve seen an email I wanted to do something
with, forgotten about it, and then been helpfully reminded by a phone
call? Zero, that’s how many. Zero times.
I get so many PR calls that I don’t even answer my office phone
anymore. I let it go to voicemail, which gets emailed to me. And then,
if I’m interested, I’ll send a damn email like normal people.
Exactly right. While I get that the phone can be the least bad option for some personal communication, it completely mystifies me why anyone with good vision and an internet connection persists in favoring it for everyday business use. Unless, of course, you're trying to talk to someone who doesn't want to talk to you but can be suckered into picking up. Not me--I'll wait for the e-mail.