“Streak”ing or Stalking? How Publicists Can Use Gmail’s New Plugin, Streak


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By Dee Donavanik, Publicity Director of MEDIA CONNECT DC


Recently there has been a lot of discussion about Streak, a new Gmail extension which, according to mediabistro, “allows you to be even more OCD over pitches.” Like a super version of a read-receipt, the extension allows users to not only see when an email was read, but where and how as well.

For publicists who are frequently pitching the media, I suppose this could definitely come in handy. It’s always frustrating when you think you are sending a really on-point story idea to someone, only to never hear back. Your wishful thinking could come true and you would see that perhaps the journalist opened it on their iPhone while they were at the train station and just hasn’t gotten back to you yet. Or maybe the producer was sitting on their PC at their office desk and just deleted the email without even opening it.  In this case, is knowledge power? Or is it more like stalking?

In a time when people seem to be growing more concerned about internet privacy, it will be interesting to see how this develops. If people do start using it, there is definitely potential for backlash especially since it seems that the only way to opt out is to block all images from any incoming messages (which most people would seem unlikely to do).

So, is knowing when and where your email was read worth it?  Would it really strengthen your case to remind an editor you know that they read your pitch while they were standing in line at a Starbucks? Or will the information just end up consuming you and make you obsess about work at another level?

While I’m sure it has some benefits, I personally think knowing too much would make me more stressed, so I’ll hold off on Streak for now.



Related: Meet Our MC Team: Dee Donavanik


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