This is a great question, which is found in our FAQ section, but when it comes to publicity and public relations media contact database contact info for reporters, editors, journalists, critics, reviewers and other media professionals, the answer bears repeating.
Q – How does your data comply with the CAN-SPAM Act?
Usually when such a question is asked, it is confirm intent, clearance and approval to “spray-and-pray” press releases via email, which is completely ineffective with usually a 0% return on effort.
Sending emails to contacts acquired in Media Contact Databases are is very grey area as you are not sending commercial email to individuals to try and get them to purchase a product. You are sending emails to publicly advertised and available email addresses that are put out into the world with the intent to get people to contribute news story leads to media professionals.
Our data is derived from sources in where these individuals have been personally contacted and had given consent to be included, or someone in their company had been contacted to verify and give consent on their behalf.
In 2003, the U.S. Congress passed what is colloquially called the CAN-SPAM Act, establishing legal standards for the sending of commercial email.
The Federal Trade Commission defines a commercial message as any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.
Therefore, emailed press releases promoting your business, or your client’s venture, must comply with the act.
However, the Federal Trade Commission has set 7 helpful guidelines for businesses sending commercial messages. There are 3 of the 7 protocols below, in bold text, that apply especially to press releases:
- Don’t use false or misleading header information.
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
- Identify your email message as a press release, press advisory, or PR-related communication. You must disclose this clearly and conspicuously in the subject line. For instance, your subject line should start with either “PR: etc., etc.” or “Press Release: etc., etc.”
- Tell recipients where you’re located by including a valid postal address in your email or the attached press announcement document.
- Tell recipients how to “opt out” of receiving future emails from you. Therefore, your correspondence has to include a very clear and prominent explanation of how to opt out of your future emails.
- YOU MUST honor all opt-out requests promptly and unconditionally, usually within ten business days after receipt.
- Monitor what your retained publicity agencies or consultants are doing on your behalf and in your name.
Remember, though, that using any media contact database will help you reach the right editors, get your news out, and it must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
Additional reading on the CAN-SPAM Act subject. http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/online-public-relations/pr-and-can-spam-act