What's the difference between a public relations pitch and spam?
Spammers don't send follow-up mail.
S & S Public Relations already earned a Flacky Award nomination for asking a company to review a competing client's product. So I shouldn't be surprised that after an SSPR rep sent me a press release about recycling phones in Venezuela (not exactly Valleywag's beat), she followed up to see if I was still interested.
The average journalist (according to an above-average journalist) gets carpet-bombed with press pitches daily. Writer Paul Boutin has joked that Esther Dyson's idea of $5 e-mail charges should apply to pitches of all kinds. 'Til then, it's just spam.
A few writers (and many bloggers) ask for press pitches; readers can guess what that means about the quality of these outlets' material. Hell, I don't mind getting a few, since they're fun to mock.
But if someone's following up with Valleywag, they must be following up with every recipient. That's why SSPR gets re-nominated for a Flacky Award for spamming journalists.