Mar162011

The PR Pitch Debacle.

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Also known as the worst PR Pitch ever. Really.

So many of us in the blogging world deal with PR pitches on a daily basis. Some good, and some very, very bad. Some of the bad ones make me giggle and I either delete or give a quick “no thanks”. I make it a habit to work with those who not only value me (starting with knowing my name), but also value my readers. Recently I received such a bad PR pitch that I couldn’t just delete it.

It was going in the “Bad PR Pitch Hall of Fame”.

And of course, I couldn’t just keep this letter to myself. Because I’m also sticking up for you, my dear reader. In this instance, it was you who was really going to get short-changed. And that’s not going to happen on my watch.

I’m also posting this for the new blogger on the block. I want them to know that your time is worth something. Don’t be so desperate for content that you’ll work for nothing. Let’s just face it. These PR folks who are asking something for nothing are just using you.

First, their letter in bold with my commentary in italics:

Greetings! Oh, so you didn’t even use my name? Okay, I can *kinda* let that slide.

Spring is just four short days away and COMPANY NAME HERE is celebrating with a Spring Easter Hop.

We’re excited to introduce you to our new line of Easter INSERT PRODUCT HERE, each provides only the highest quality ingredients and is filled with smiles!

We’d like to invite you to visit INSERT STORE LINK HERE

and check out our INSERT PRODUCT HERE. And because we know that there are many households out there celebrating the season we’re looking for mom bloggers to spread the word through a Spring Hop Giveaway Campaign.

Wow! Sounds exciting right? Read on…

As part of the INSERT COMPANY NAME HERE and Gift Spring Hop, we’re asking you to host a giveaway. It can run anytime between now and April 15, 2011. One winner will be selected on April 16th, from all entries collectively among all of the participating blogs for the grand prize of a COMPANY NAME HERE and Gift Easter PRODUCT HERE of their choice up to $50.

Wait, you mean that you’re choosing only ONE winner from all the blogs that post about you, your Facebook Page, your Blogspot blog (what kind of company is on Blogspot anyway? Shouldn’t you be a .com?) and your twitter? WOW. JUST WOW. And I don’t mean that in a good way. You don’t even value my readers enough to guarantee one of them a win. What a joke.

Because we know your time is valuable, participating bloggers will be entered to win a COMPANY NAME HERE and Gift Easter PRODUCT HERE of their choice, up to $50. Participating Bloggers will also receive first priority for our Mother’s Day promotion.

LOL. Really. My time is valuable, so you’re giving me the *chance to win* something. And I’ll get first priority for your Mother’s Day campaign? OH GOODY!

We’re also offering blog exposure. Each blog participating will have the opportunity to be featured on OUR COMPANY BLOGSPOT BLOG and we’ll help promote all participating blogs by including a link to all blog’s participating for easy location. We’ll include your blog on our Facebook Wall so our fans can find your COMPANY NAME HERE (but you’re probably not going to win, since it’s not guaranteed that a reader of mine will) Giveaway. We’ll also be selecting one blogger each day as the “Golden Blog” where entrants will earn FIVE entries on that blog, that day.

Golden Blog? Seriously? I checked your page, and while you have more fans than I do, it’s not that much, and certainly not worth my time.

For this campaign, posts should be posted beginning on 3/16 and no later than 4/14. Posts should include a link to Again, more requirements, but nothing guaranteed.

THEIR LINK HERE using the anchor text EASTER GIFT PRODUCT. Feel free to talk about any of the Easter PRODUCT on our page and use our logo or any pictures for your post. We ask that you include the following as “Additional Entry” options;

AGAIN MORE REQUIREMENTS, but NOTHING in return

“Like” COMPANY on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/)

“Follow” COMPANY Blog (http://blogspot.com/)

“Follow” COMPANY on Twitter (http://twitter.com/)

Once the post is live, please send the link to COMPANYpr@gmail.com.

Yet another requirement.

We will be choosing one blogger at random from those who report their links by the posting deadline to receive an Easter PRODUCT of their choice from COMPANY (up to $50)

Key word “consider”. That means, they don’t have to pick anyone, if they don’t want to. I see right through your little scam…

One entry from all blogs’ entries collectively will be randomly chosen on April 16 to receive a COMPAMY PRODUCT of their choice up to $50 (US only, please). Giveaways should end no later than 4/15

Additionally, all links reported will be shared on our Facebook page and those blogs will be featured on COMPANY Blog. Information will be sent when links are received.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything additional for your post.

Thank you so much for participating,

And here’s my return email:

Well, Hello PR person!

I’d like to thank you for thinking of me to promote your Spring Giveaway Hop, however I must decline.

As I’m sure you don’t work for free, neither do I. I don’t blog for the “chance” to win something, and I don’t giveaway something on my blog that a reader of mine isn’t guaranteed to win. My blog isn’t free advertising space. It’s a place where I connect my readers with companies that value my content, value my opinion, value my time and value my readers. And in all honesty, you’re asking for quite a bit in exchange for possible exposure on your Facebook fan page.

I work very hard at building my readership and their trust. I would never recommend a product I’ve never tried or had an experience with.

With that said, I’d like for you to read a well-written post by the Bloggess on this topic:   http://thebloggess.com/heres-a-picture-of-wil-wheaton-collating-papers/

And to quote the famous blogger, “Please take me off the mailing list of bloggers-who-are-so-desperate-for-content-that-we-assume-they’ll-write-for-free-about-pretty-much-anything-we-hand-them.  I would, however, be thrilled to be placed on your list of bloggers-whose-time-is-worth-real-compensation-and-whose-highly-reasonable-rate-sheets-are-available-at-your-request.”

Have a great day!

Sincerely,

DD

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