Blog as Customer Service Agent
Chocolates on the Pillow Aren't Enough
by Jonathan M. Tisch

Why Should I Care About You?

Lots of chatter going on in my email, this week. Notes from around the blogosphere on PR agencies and others who pitch bloggers.

Here's the $64,000 question: WHY? Why are these people so clueless? You know who you are... in fact, it's likely, the whole world knows who you are - because I'm not the only one writing about you. NOTE: I use the pronoun 'you' collectively. There isn't one 'you'... 'you' refers to the collective whole.

As regular readers know, I get a LOT of PR pitches, and invitations to review DVDs. I write about some of them here. When I get relevant content and I have time (and I think it's useful to you, my readers) I use the content.

Most of what I get is blind pitching. When the pitch borders on insanity - meaning it comes from outer-space (as evidenced by the note from the person pitching - which clearly shows they don't know a damn thing about you and your blog), it's not only a useless waste of time, it's insulting. And that's what's happening, more and more.

It's happening more and more because PR agencies, ad agencies, small and mid-sized businesses, and the rest of the business community, are all waking up to the power and reach of blogs and bloggers. It's happening because people will talk. You know it, I know it, the PR agencies and ad agencies know it. You know it. So, we bloggers are bombarded with content from folks who must live in a vacuum...

Content like this, "Did you [blogger] happen to catch Marlo Thomas on the Today Show last week talking about her new discovery, "the Facebook"? Hopefully you're not just learning about the social network from That Girl. But the trust is, today's media landscape is shifting too fast for even many bloggers to keep up with on their own. So..."

And it goes on to pitch the next great thing, which they discovered, started, began, created... I'm not sure. Truth is - it's a blog. NOT the next great thing. NOT even news. And the blogger they pitched isn't toast, folks. She's close to A-list. She's been blogging since 2004! She's a name blogger...I'm only leaving her out of this note because I'm waiting to see if she blogs the story.Confused 

Why this rant today? Well, because it's not about their next great thing... is it? It's not about me, either. It's about you. And when you pitch your products and services to the ladies, it's about them - the ladies. Not you, not the product, not the service. If someone pitches me, it's about me (which, ultimately is about YOU), and if they don't know me... why are they wasting their time and MINE by insulting me with drivel?

If you can't answer the question 'Why should I care about you?' (I being the client or customer), then you shouldn't be pitching. If you insult us with the kind of drivel that was sent to my friend as a PR pitch, showing that the writer was clueless about her, and about blogging in general (yes, Virginia, we know the media landscape is shifting - we're part of it) you risk far more than just losing one customer. You risk inflaming a whole group of loud voices... across the net.

I'm not going to post the REST of the conversation. It got more bizarre as my friend continued to exchange emails. If you want to join in the conversation, you can click here and here... for more stories on what not to do.


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Susan Getgood

Toby is right -- this is a general problem with PR practice, not just blogger relations. The difference of course is that journalists are generally paid for their writing. Journalist says, stupid pr person and puts the sender in the kill file. On the other hand, most bloggers are doing it as a labor of love about something they care about, and take it somewhat personally (and rightly so) that the sender hasn't bothered to learn anything about them before sending a canned pitch.


Yvonne - The funny thing is that is not rocket science. It's simply "good PR." If agencies can't get this right I can't help but wonder about their traditional PR work. I'm not a PR professional so my clients ask me for referrals to PR firms. Guess who I'll tell them to stay miles away from?

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