Monday, February 25, 2013

Blogger relations: PR dinosaurs need to retire or get with the program

I wasn’t planning to write another blog post about blogger relations so soon and then this showed up in my inbox this morning.

 
It pretty much sums up why it’s critical for PR people to stay current, build relationships with bloggers and do their research.

What’s wrong?
Lots.

I won’t get into all the details but here’s a taste:
  1. No relationship. He has no prior relationship with me, nor does he appear to be making an effort to have one. 
  2. Spray and pray. How many other people are included in his list of “undisclosed recipients”?
  3. Lack of passion. He isn’t telling me why I should be interested in his client’s product but rather that I should read about it then decide if I’m interested in doing a story or review. As their publicist, shouldn’t he be sharing their story and passion for the product in a more interesting way than flipping me a couple press releases?
But the real icing on the cake is laziness and lack of knowledge to counsel his client:
“If you are interested [sic], please send me all of your social media stats to review and then I will let you know if the company approves your qualifications. Thanks very much”
Ouch!

For the record, I don’t make a habit of outing PR people who send me bad pitches. Heck, I sometimes help PR agencies and other clients with their influencer relations. But I don’t have a lot of patience for people who keep trying to bring an entire industry down.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share.

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17 comments:

  1. I'm still trying to digest this Eden - completely "spray and pray" here and missing the number one attribute of social media - "being social". Engage, build relationships and show that you appreciate your audience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andy, thanks for your comment and so true. I think a lot of people in the industry are feeling the same way as you, if the comments on Facebook are any indication.

      I'd have a hard time believing this approach ever worked in media relations.

      Delete
  2. Holy! That email is nothing short of rude!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy, thanks for your comment. That didn't cross my mind but come to think of it, you're right.

      Delete
  3. Do you think this was really a PR person? Did it come from an agency? It lacks any sense of even basic "media relations" skills. This is not PR. It is not social media. It is spam.

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    Replies
    1. David thanks for asking. He is really a PR person who has been in the business a while but he's not that much older than me. ;) He's had his own firm for several years and was a director of PR and marketing previously, according to his company's website. I can't make this crap up, spam or otherwise. I should Google his client in a few days to see if I can find any pick-up.

      Delete
    2. Wow. With that MUCH experience, I'm left to wonder if perhaps he's outsourced the blogger outreach efforts to a third-party spam-"service".

      That said I got a really nice pitch from the Canadian Cancer Society recently that hit all the right notes for me.

      Delete
    3. Wow. As someone who has done a lot of work in telecom I was going to say that the barriers to entry in the "save money on you're [sic] home phone" business are pretty low, so an inept pitch like this is not surprising. The fact that it's from a PR professional is a bit of a shock.

      I also have to say that "dinosaur" is a state of mind, not an age thing (guessing, I've got about two decades on this guy). Many clients want to treat blogs like a modern version of mass marketing, looking for a quick hit. It's inept to let them try something like this.

      Delete
    4. David and Alan thanks for your comments.

      There are lots of people building smart relationships and sharing great information and opportunities. This guy isn't one of them and the pitch wasn't done by a third-party from what I've seen from him in the past. He pitched me a couple years ago too.

      Dinosaur was used metaphorically. Some would say I'm a dinosaur too. It's entirely in reference to state of mind and state of practice. I don't think you have 20 years on this guy either. ;)

      Delete
  4. I'm sorry. I haven't gotten past the email yet. You want me to send my social media stats and then you'll determine if I'm worthy of your client? You didn't figure that out BEFORE you sent me an email? I realize this is going to get me in trouble with people who think I shouldn't say this, but sometimes it really is true: I HATE PR PEOPLE. #theend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gini, thanks for stopping by. I'm still having a hard time getting past the email myself. Besides all the nonsense in his message, he still included THREE news releases - one copied into the email and two attached – so what was to stop anyone from covering the product without his client's approval? The whole thing is one crazy mess. #pathetic

      Delete
  5. Wow. I get lots of pitches like that. But nobody's actually ever asked me for my numbers. Tacky.

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    Replies
    1. Mom on Mars, thanks for your comment. We all get lousy pitches but do you really get lots of ones this bad? Yikes!

      Delete
  6. Suzanne Settino10:28 pm

    Oh dear. I certainly hope he is a very green 20-something juuuust getting started. Forget PR - He's got a lot to learn about life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzanne, thanks for visiting. This person is someone who has been in communications and marketing for a long time. In addition to director level experience on the client side, he's had his own company for the past 14 years, according to his website bio. The pitch was not spam nor fiction, as I've also been asked.

      Delete

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