Everyone who lives in the marketing/public relations world understands that the blogger community has immense reach and influence now. Because of this, it’s pretty rare to find any type of media campaign or marketing push that doesn’t include some type of relevant blogger outreach these days.
I’ll write the obvious. I am a blogger. And, although it’s a part time, kind of informal gig for me, MeasuringUp is clearly seen by some (delusional folks) as a medium that can be useful in promoting various issues/offerings/etc. I know this because every few weeks I’ll receive a pitch from some public relations and/or marketing people on behalf of their clients. Just like my firm does, they send me information in the hopes that I will write about their client or his/her service or product.
Receiving these pitches is a bit surreal for me. I guess by now, I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, any blog could be a vehicle to generate awareness for someone’s offering. It’s just so bizarre and equally ironic though because I’ve sat the other side (with this person pitching me) for my entire career. And now, a story is being sent my way just like it would be pushed out to traditional media and/or other bloggers. The other point is that it’s hard to look in the mirror and believe that my blog could actually have any real influence in helping these marketers push their agendas. Oh well…
Although I always read each pitch, I rarely end up writing about any of them. The fascinating part of this topic is that a large percentage of these pitch people are sending me information that is irrelevant for my blog. Some are even forwarding crap that is so far off the beat and path, it’s clear that I’m just one little blogger who is part of a much bigger database that this email was blindly forwarded to.
Seeing life from the other side makes me understand so much more why reporters always complain that the public relations community (at large) does a poor job of communicating germane story topics based on the type of media outlet, beat and geography that each writer covers. Ever since I began my career, these stories have been abound. Quite frankly, it’s typically the number one pet peeve that the media have with my profession. It’s interesting to see that some things never change. My guess is that it’s actually worse now because so many non-PR professionals are sending out scores of poorly written, and irrelevant pitches to bloggers everywhere in hopes of some pick up. Yes, the Internet has opened up a new world to most anyone who wants to communicate or offer some commercial message to bloggers. That’s a pretty scary new reality.
The other cold fact is that some bloggers have no issues publicizing these same terrible pitches. They simply post the query or write about the topic and call out the individual. When this happens, those people are embarrassed and clients are typically annoyed. So, beware. I’m not that mean. But, wanted to point to a few, generic examples of blog pitches that made no sense for MeasuringUp:
- John sent me an email asking if I’d feature his client’s new soap scrub which removes 100 percent fungus and bacteria from human bodies. He thinks that my blog is the perfect outlet for target consumers to know about it. What do you think?
- Mike wanted me to feature his new client, a star 22 year old singer, who made it to the third round in American Idol two years ago. He asked if I’d like to interview her and then write about our conversation. I’m sure MeasuringUp's readers would be enthralled to read about that interview…
- Sarah asked if I’m interested in interviewing her client, an author who has written a new diet cook book on healthy recipes for kids. Do I look like a mommy blogger?
- Karen sent me three separate pitches all focused on the latest, greatest launch of a new lap top. I won’t call out which brand. But, this example is really sad because it’s clearly a PR agency professional who is pitching her client’s latest product. She has gone so far astray by targeting MeasuringUp….
And, the pitches keep on coming…