Reading through The Bad Pitch Blog by Kevin Dugan and Richard Laerner really does bring home to you how appallingly bad some of our colleagues in the PR profession are in how they reach out to people to pitch their clients’ wares.
Like many of you, I get pitches almost daily, nearly all of which aren’t worth any time at all.
Most illustrate only that the sender has not actually read my blog, neither directly nor via the RSS feed, and so has no sense at all about the type of thing that interests me and which I write about. The sender hasn’t looked at Technorati or other online resource to get any sense of where I fit in the blogosphere pecking order and so am I worth spending any time on, ie, do I actually have any influence anywhere, perceived or otherwise.
Plus they have no clue as to my geographic location which is not in the United States (yes, over 95% of the pathetic pitches I receive come from PRs in the US promoting things that are relevant mostly in US markets).
Other than thinking that those pitching are just completely stupid, how else can I explain the ongoing stream of irrelevant PR pitches I get?
Unlike some of my fellow PR bloggers, I don’t write about these bad pitches. Occasionally I’ll email some info to Kevin purely from the humour/novelty point of view (if a pitch really was excruciatingly bad). I have even written back to a sender with some gentle comments on how they might improve their pitching, but I’ve never had any replies to such feedback.
Nearly always, I just delete those received emails and add the sender’s domain to my email blacklist.
So when I do get one that is actually quite good, that’s the one I want to let you know about.
In the coming weeks, I plan to be writing some opinions here about the Cocoon, a new 3G quadband mobile phone from O2 in the UK that was launched in June. I’m going to do this because of a good pitch (plus I think it’s quite a cool product).
Here’s what Peter Kwong of O2’s
PR ad agency VCCP in London did:
- He read my blog.
- He left comments on a couple of posts.
- I replied to one, to which he replied further. That’s the start of a conversation.
- Then he emailed me about his client’s product.
I read Peter’s email because I remembered his name from our blog conversation.
Primarily, though, I read the email with a favoured eye because it contained information that is relevant to my interests.
So after an exchange of emails, I said yes, do send me a Cocoon and I’ll happily play with it. And so I received a brand new Cocoon on Saturday.
One thing that’s quite clear is that Peter’s approach to me is part of a clear outreach programme from his agency involving other bloggers (and there’s a blog).
That’s very different indeed to many of the bad pitches I receive where it’s clear (or at least apparent) that the contact is one-off or simply a distribution list approach. It’s usually impossible to know where outreach to me fits into any other PR activity.
I’m under no obligation to write anything publicly about the Cocoon. Equally, there’s no obligation to return the phone – I can keep it or give it away. I haven’t decided what I’ll do with it yet (it’s early days).
But I will write about it. A good pitch deserves at least that.
Read and digest. Then act accordingly.
I live in hope.