The Bad PR List

Ok, that's it. Hey, Public Relations and Marketing Firms trying to get bloggers to write about the product you're tasked with selling. If I get another press release from you, I'm going to ignore you. In fact, I'm going to add you to my spam filter and post your company's name to a list of marketing firms that legitimate companies should AVOID when trying to share what they're doing with others.

Today, someone sent me--again--a request to post a press release on my blog or to write about a product they're trying to "market" and share information about. Do you honestly think I'm going to include the product you're trying to market in a blog entry IF you confuse my blog with another person's? Come on...go read my article on bulk emailing to learn how to do it the right way.

Here's the email (all marketing information excised):
Hey Miguel,
I saw your site, Apophenia, and would love for you to write a post about [blah blah blah]. Here is some information on the project, or check out [blahlink] to learn more...

[content removed]

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like content with photos and videos of [blah's] latest explorations. As a heads up, I will be sending along another project that may interest you!

Apophenia? Sheesh...that's Danah Boyd's blog. Here's my response to this PR Firm:
Howdy! Apophenia is Danah Boyd's blog...mine is Around the Corner.

If you want to do mass/bulk emailing, use a product like Worldcast...that way, you can get a list of all the bloggers and put them in column A, their blog titles in column B in an Excel spreadsheet, then Fairlogic's Worldcast and import the info. It's the easiest way to keep things straight.

Read my article on the subject.

Instead of spamming bloggers, why don't you start a blog and build a relationship with your target audience? Then, when you write about something that's worth sharing, you'll be able to share a link with edubloggers to something you've written instead of asking for freebie blog entries, the equivalent of cold-calling.
Wait...I didn't send that email. I wanted to but decided to just hit DELETE. Instead, I'm writing this blog entry.

I like what these folks had to say about bloggers and PR marketing:
...most bloggers who take the time to post about a company are more likely to add their two cents than to cut & paste some PR malarkey into their blog. They’re more likely to ridicule our PR malarkey than regurgitate it without further comment.
Source: PR Squared
At this one firm, they write:
[removed] Marketing knows you can’t depend on just one or two ways to get the word out anymore. We understand the new media environment. It’s cheaper, more effective and a whole lot more fun to create synergy across messaging channels. It also costs a lot less than traditional agencies might tell you. Those agencies are hanging onto their stuffy old ways of telling your story because they make more money that way. At [removed], we think that's dumb.
Source: Kept silent to protect the inept
What's wrong with this approach? I'll be happy to tell you--it's dumb. It's dumb because you're trying to manipulate the social media to fit your financial needs, spamming bloggers to get the word out. Is this the "right" way to do PR 2.0? Here's some advice:
  1. Write your own blog entries and make sure the stories ARE stories worth repeating, relevant and interesting in their own right. Entice me with an engaging story but hint at the possibilities so that I can pursue the story from MY blogger's perspective.
  2. Stop being disingenuous. Let me look that word up...lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere. Yep, that's right. Your friendly email "Hey Miguel" did NOT come across as authentic and're trying to get me to spend precious time writing about a product YOU were paid to advertise. Why should I bother when I'm NOT paid to do this?
  3. Embed some 2-minute media that is engaging. And, put the link in the email so I don't have to go chase it in the other link. Make it easy for me to find.
  4. Remember that other bloggers are a link away. If we all start talking about something at the same time, what's the point? Treat us with some respect.
  5. Drop real stories or interviews/quotes from people rather than hit me up with marketing language. As a blogger, I'm interested in REAL stories...why should anyone have to wade through marketing garbage?
  6. Leave a comment on my blog rather than send me an email out of the blue.
  7. Follow PR Squared's template. I like this template.

Here is my list of Public Relations/Marketing Firms that haven't a clue yet (that's MY opinion, at least) and should be avoided at all costs:
  1. Nobody one that spams me will get put on this list.
I'm sure more will be added soon. What firms would you add and WHY?

Extra Reading for You "PR 2.0 Wannabees:"

Subscribe to Around the

Be sure to visit the ShareMore! Wiki.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Mr. RCollins said…
Another complaint I have is the lack of pricing information. If you can't put your pricing info on your website, I view that as a solution that is too expensive and move on to another company that has more transparent pricing. Don't make me have to contact you to find out how much a product costs!

Popular posts from this blog

Rough and Ready - #iPad Created Narrated Slideshow

Old Made New: Back to Bunsen Labs Linux (Updated)

The Inside Scoop: EdTech 2020 Virtual Conference #edtech #zoom