Here we go again…. PR gone bad…

Matthew Podboy calls out an untargeted pitch he recieved from an online service provider, regarding the possibility of a briefing for any future stories he might be writing on subject X.

I also received this pitch, as I imagine did many others.  They actually sent two similar pitches within a day of each other.

Now the very first lesson in pitching blogs is to read the blog you are pitching.  Get a basic understanding where the author is coming from, what subjects they’re interested in and what is the style of the writing. I can’t imagine you’d send a pitch to a magazine you have never read or researched. Maybe I’m wrong on that score.

Anyhow if the publicist in question had taken the time (probably all of ten-fifteen seconds), they would have realized that the product/service they are pitching is completely inapplicable to this blog. Completely. Mistake number one.

If they had taken the time to read even a week’s postings the publicist in question would have found a post I recently wrote on pitching blogs that would have saved him making this mistake.

However, the pitch was a mail merge which rather than being targeted was sent to probably a large number of bloggers. How do I know? Check out this paragraph for tell tale mail merge problems:

“Tom                 , we’d like to meet you and see where we might be able to serve as a source for future articles and offer some possible story ideas for your readers.  If you’d like to have a one-on-one briefing, we’d like to get on your calendar right now. Please drop us an e-mail with times you’ve got available and we’ll confirm your appointment and briefing.”

The spaces after my name point to the tell tale signs of an incompetent mail merge.

Looks like I’m not that special after all.

Now before anyone thinks I’m being overly harsh here, I get loads of pitches, some good, some OK, some awful.

If you need to promote your clients to the PR/Marketing audience and you have something interesting to say, then get in touch.  But for god’s sake do a little bit of research. This blog covers PR and Marketing related issues. That includes PR/Marketing services, useful applications, techniques, books there’s a huge rang eof subjects.  However it is not a blog about tax, legal affairs, politics or domestic cleaning agents.  You might spot that from the headline of the blog.


Thanks to Steve Rubel who points to Nick Wreden‘s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Blog PR:

  • Never pitch, personalize
  • Respect a blogger’s time and intelligence
  • “A blog is not about you, it is about me”
  • Quality, not quantity
  • Feed the food chain
  • It’s no longer just about the media
  • Keep learning