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Does this strike anybody else as wrong?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Trouser_Buddah, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Trouser_Buddah

    Trouser_Buddah Active Member

    Our company just informed us that it wants all newspaper employees to hand over all the e-mail addresses of our contacts for promotional and circulation use. This struck most people in our newsroom as completely wrong. I'm sure all of our contacts are going to love receiving spam mail from us and won't feel violated in any way.

    This is part of an e-mail we received today:


    We all enjoy contests and we need you to participate in this one. We're collecting e-mail addresses of our customers and potential customers -- subscribers, non-subscribers, advertisers, news sources, etc. so that we'll be able to use these e-mail addresses to communicate directly with our customers and, potentially, grow our business.

    Please note that these e-mail addresses will NOT be sold to any outside vendor. They will be for our use only. (Circulation Director) is the champion of this contest and has prepared the list of rules below. Also attached are the official spreadsheet of the contest and a brief script you can use when gathering these e-mail addresses. If you have any questions, direct them to (Circulation Director).

    Each Thursday through March 31, please send you new e-mail addresses to (Circulation Director). The employee who gathers the most addresses will win a $100 gift certificate to the advertiser of his/her choice. Two second-place prizes of $50 also will be awarded.

    These addresses need to be for local/area people.

    This is important and is part of a company-wide email push. We need all of you to participate.

    We will use these emails to communicate with customers, readers, and teachers with Subscriber promotions, breaking news announcements, classified promotions, NIE information etc.

    Collection of emails is a company-wide effort to give us the ability to communicate more effectively with our customers. All emails collected will be used by our company and will not be sold to any outside party.

    Every contact that you have with customers and readers is an opportunity to collect an email. You may already have numerous contacts in your Outlook.

    What do you guys and gals think?
  2. a_rosenthal

    a_rosenthal Guest

    Give them fake e-mail addresses.
  3. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't give them the name or email of anyone you value as a contact, source or friend.
  4. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    I can imagine how pleased your contacts are going to be that you gave their e-mail out to someone...even your own circulation director.
  5. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Seems a little shady. It would be one thing to ask subscribers for their e-mail addresses when they update their subscription, or something like that, but to surreptitiously gather them seems a little underhanded.

    On the other hand, if you got the e-mail address because a reader sent you an e-mail to comment on a story or something like that, it guess it's fair game to use that address.

    Like John said, though, I wouldn't burn anyone valuable.
  6. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Them "needing" you to participate and you doing so are two different things.

    'Till they come around collecting by force, don't turn over a thing.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I'll give you two bits for every social security number you can provide me.
  8. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Just tell them that you, in fact, hate contests.
  9. Trouser_Buddah

    Trouser_Buddah Active Member

    When told that some of us might turn out to be conscientious objectors, a higher-up said that the company already has the ability to get into our e-mail and get it for itself if we didn't cooperate... and that we were better off cooperating.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Provided that you keep your email contacts in your work email (which should not be your only copy, you never know what can happen to those things).
  11. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Sign up for Internet newsletters with the circulation director's e-mail address, and for good measure, the address of that higher-up, too. Compile resume materials. Bust out the good stationery for cover letters.
  12. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I like this idea. Go to the library and sign the higher-ups to a whole lot of spam. That could be fun.
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