112 Belmont Street
Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) for Public Relations People
The best three ways to contact me: 1) e-mail; 2) e-mail; 3) e-mail. I like e-mail because it gets to me fast and I can read it no matter where in the world I am.
I'd prefer if you'd e-mail news and product announcements of less than 25K (25,000 characters), or roughly 10 pages in length, to . It would be appreciated if you mention the name of the company and a short headline in the message subject, e.g. "Megasoft Inc. launches Megadoors version 3.1." Please send messages in plain text format, with no binary attachments.
Any binary attachments, such as Word documents and graphics files, sent to this e-mail address will be deleted without being read. If you persist on sending them, I will block your e-mail address.
Digital photos and other binary attachments should be e-mailed to , which has extra space so you don't clobber my regular e-mail box with that 5 MB TIFF. I prefer photos in JPG format. I find JPG files of 200KB to 500 KB or so usually deliver sufficient detail for print publication. JPGs that are 20KB or less may be fine for a Web site but they are usually of insufficient quality for print.
I no longer accept faxes.
If you've a 25-page or longer opus you're dying to get into my hands immediately, call a courier. Send it to the address at the head of this page.
You can also send marketing brochures, press kits and other literature by postal mail to the address up top. Do not send material intended for me to publications. It is rarely forwarded to me and is delayed in any case.
Please phone me only if I phone you first. I usually do not have the time to return calls from PR people since I must reserve this quality time for my clients.
I write for for three principal markets and occasionally freelance for others. Here are the principal details:
Computer Monitor column; Financial Software Vendor
Directory (July issue, early June deadline)
Reviews & Rankings; Business technology column
Business Buyer's Guides
I review software for MS Windows, Palm OS as well as Web services. Software should be provided on CD-ROM, DVD or 3.5 inch diskettes. Software should be the full-function product available to users. If your software or Web service requires a serial number, pass code or user account to make it fully operational, please include the code with your package. Limited-function demo software and slideshows are not acceptable for review purposes. I review beta software under certain circumstances, but please tell me it's beta before I start the review.
I review hardware including desktop, notebook and handheld computers, cellular phones and other telecommunications devices. Computer hardware should include an installed copy of the primary operating system. Cellular phones and telecommunications devices should be supported by a carrier providing service in Toronto. Please e-mail first before sending hardware. I have limited storage space and want to ensure my schedule permits me to review your hardware on a timely basis. I also review selected computer peripherals including printers, scanners, digital cameras, video cards, telecommunications and network gear.
In addition to your product, please include a press kit and marketing literature, so I can see how you position your product in the marketplace.
Send products for review to the address at the top of this page. Unsolicited materials are not returned. I return hardware valued at more than $500, but not software, after the review is complete.
Yes, particularly if there's a news angle. I prefer one-on-ones, ideally for 45 minutes, but a minimum 30 minutes. Please have available a biography and head and shoulders shot, ideally a digital photo in JPG or TIFF format you can send to me in advance.
I write my own material for the above-noted publications, so I don't use them.
As a general rule, no. I tend to do my own analysis and commentary based upon my experiences.
Yes. I'm most interested in newsworthy announcements where I can interview senior executives. Due to time constraints, I generally limit myself to two out-of-town trips per month. Contact me as early as possible, particularly if your event is held during the peak periods from April to June and September through November. Six to eight weeks notice is ideal.
Are you receiving the dreaded 550 error? You are most likely sending the wrong content or e-mailing it to the wrong e-mail address. Did you read the first answer in this FAQ? I mean every single word of it.
The wrong content is anything other than plain text. HTML mail and binary attachments such as Adobe PSD and Flash are prime examples of wrong content.
I'm not just being obstreperous. These can increase the size of an e-mail message to several megabytes each. I receive up to 100 e-mail news releases a day. If each were 2 MB, I'd be downloading 200 MB. If I'm in a hotel with a dial-up connection, I don't have the time to download that junk. I also don't have the time to educate you. Consequently, I block all e-mail from you. If you want to get unblocked, call me. That's me, not my receptionist, for the slow learners.
If you have a strong stomach and a sense of humor, read: Six dumb PR questions you should never ask
Updated: July 17, 2006