Not too long ago I got an email from a person I didn’t know with the subject line: ‘I was just on your blog’.
Well, naturally I was curious. I opened the note only to read how much the woman liked my blog (flattered) and, how she felt it was an ideal place to promote a giveaway for of a pair of Ugg boots. She even offered $100 if I could drive enough traffic to her site.
Well, thanks but no thanks. It was clear she hadn’t read my blog or bothered to engage me other than by offering a vapid compliment that was easy to see through.
In other words, an irrelevant pitch. Something the PR industry has been accused (and guilty) of again and again.
And, it’s true. As it’s been said many, many times, we have to go beyond form letters and lists gleaned from databases and offer journalists something of value to them. We have to read what they write, understand their point of view and show them why our stories might be of interest to their readers.
However, there’s a flip side to all of this. Sometimes, we do target the right journalists and bloggers, read their articles/posts (often look forward to them), feel we grasp what they’re after and tailor what we think is a perfect story for them. Only to hear someone say: ‘You don’t have a clue about what I write about.’
This can also be a canned message. And possibly a knee-jerk response to all the bad pitches they’ve received.
So maybe all of us – journalists/bloggers and PR – need to step back and realize we’re on a two-way street in the same community and try to have a little more respect – on both sides of the fence.