Pot Pourri of Pungent Pitches
Yes, friends, it is that time again. The weekly Bad Pitch post on Marketing Roadmaps. And we have some doozies for you today in honor of my appearances on the live BlogTalk Radio shows, For Immediate Release at 1 pm Eastern and Motherhood Uncensored at 9 pm Eastern.
A note about our first example, which was sent to a shopping blog written by a parent blogger. Normally I black out all identifying details in a bad pitch -- company, product, blogger who shared it, PR flack who sent it. For you to experience the full impact of this pitch, however, I have to include the product name. That said, keep in mind that my focus is on whether the pitch is good or bad, not whether the product is. You have to make up your own mind about that.
Leaving aside all the puns and bad bathroom jokes I could make, all of which are tempting, but not relevant to the topic at hand, what's wrong with the pitch? It's completely off-topic for a shopping blog aimed at parents. It's more suited for Carrie Bradshaw and her Sex And The City pals. This is then compounded by the commission of the most common errors we see in blog pitching -- bad salutation, over-use of emphatic punctuation and adjectives and sales pitch language. Could this product successfully be pitched to a blogger? Maybe, but I’m guessing that the only people who will actually write about it will do so for the humor value.
I’m no exception.
Next example.The link request. I've mentioned before that you should never ask for links or link exchanges. Here's one for the record books in terms of presumption and borderline rudeness.
It was a bulk blast, there is absolutely no information or reason given for why this blogger might want to link to the site, and the blogger who forwarded it to me said she was particularly turned off by the presumption of compliance -- "thanks for your cooperation." Bottom line, if you want a link, buy an ad. If you want a relationship, tell a story, offer some value, become a resource for the blogger. She'll decide if and when she writes about you.
Some of the other fun stuff in people's inboxes this week included:
This highly personalized pitch for a something called a "Task Economy," with attachment. Don't ask me what it is. I didn't read the attachment. Check out the cool reference numbers. So much better than signing your email.
Here's the third email received by a mom blogger for an event in the San Francisco Bay Area for which she did not RSVP. Given that she lives in another state. This is a common problem with event promotions; firms often do not take the time to find out if the bloggers live in the area. Personally, I don't think it is that hard to find this information, but I'll give a pass on the initial invite. But not on the third reminder if the blogger does not respond. That's called stalking. Oh, and fix your database. The only person you should be addressing as Mother is your own.
What's worse than being invited to attend an event in another town or city? Being pitched on an event that has already occured to which you were not invited. The mom blogger who forwarded me this next pitch noted: "Here's another that just makes me shake my head. Actually, I think most of my bad pitches come from this same person. Always some PR release about something I have no interest in. :)"
What was wrong here? As noted, it's a pitch to write about a past event. Bloggers rarely want to write about an event in the past that they did not attend, even if the event is something that interests them. In this case, it was also completely off-topic for the mom blogger. Other problems: six jpg attachments and sloppy work. Note the duplicate mention of the beauty blogger who participated in the event. The event itself sounds interesting. It's a shame that the outreach wasn't better.
That's it for this week's supply of pungent pitches. Friday, we'll have an analysis of a near-miss, a pitch that could have been much better with just a little more thought.
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