PR Blunder, Pithching to Bloggers the Wrong way.

I recently got a comment on Buying Digital Camera Guide for Dummies. Now why am I writing about this comment? If it were a spam comment I would not have given a damn. However, it was a PR pitch. In an earlier post I analyzed some good ways and some not so good ways of emailing your customers. In this post, I will talk about some fundamental mistakes you can do while pitching to bloggers, and mistakes you should avoid. Read on for more.

The company in discussion is mapmyindia, and as mentioned earlier, a certain person by the name Tarun Gupta left a comment on by blog post. The comment is for all to see over here.

  • This guy did not even bother to address me by my name. I am sure he did not even bother to find out.
  • Did this guy, read even a single post of mine? I don't think so. I don't even think he saw my profile(he posted the same stuff as comment on two other blogs of mine).
  • Why the heck should I use their widgets in my blog?
It really annoys me and am sure annoys you my readers, to come across such irrelevant comments. It is very sad that a company like mapmyindia for which I had admiration until this incident should stoop to such cheap tactics. (I am even averse now to take their name).

Blogosphere is abuzz with what not to do while pitching to bloggers, but I guess it falls on deaf ears of these folks.

Jennifer Laycock has a list of 5 mistakes that can cost you dearly when pitching to bloggers.

  • Use the right name. (This guy got that wrong)
  • Don't lie about reading a blog (Again wrong on this front)
  • Check to see if a blogger accepts pitches (No sign of this)
  • Don't pitch irrelevant products( partially guilty)
  • Don't make assumptions(What do you say?)
What you have to realize before it's too late is that bloggers are not like traditional media. They are here for a passion not for dough. So any amount of goodies, pitches cannot earn you their trust. But, that is not to say that bloggers are a bunch of stubborns. The way to get closer to bloggers is through conversation over the blog. Yes, it is a bit hard but you don't have a choice as you can see in this case of me vs mapmyindia.

What do you feel? What did you do in such situations? Am I right in not endorsing the product?
Please leave your comments.

Must read Links:
Some thoughts on pitching Bloggers
How to Pitch Bloggers
Pitching Bloggers: 10 things that make bloggers angry
Blogger Relations 101

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5 comments:

Himanshu Sheth said...

Hey Ramjee,
Even I got the very same email and as you have mentioned it is a bad PR blunder...Ooops I would say "It is the worst PR blunder"

I guess,now SMB feel that since no of blogs are growing so we should target them for marketing, which is one of the worst things to do.

As you have mentioned in your earlier article, a one-one email would be great and than the bloggere may think to cover.

In this case,even a "HI RAMJEE" would have worked :)

-Himanshu Sheth

Ramjee said...

@Himanshu,
yeah.. but these guys don't understand that. Also i feel they have outsourced this to some students or so.. who get paid for every comment ;)!!

kpowerinfinity said...

Well, I mostly ignore such stuff. I dont think blogger promotion can be done by explicitly going and commenting on their blogs because bloggers HATE SPAM! Instead, if the product is actually good, and the blogger hears about it, he would write about it in his blog and spread awareness virally.

Most cases, it would be rather stupid to SPAM lots of bloggers. Instead, if the person takes pains to have individual relationships to a few more relevant bloggers that would be much better because if the blogger feels that the stuff is good and relevant, he would be happy to talk about it himself!

Dhivya said...

I agree.. I have had random companies mailing me and asking me to review them or add their widget...

None appealed to me because it was so generic..i know they were not personal emails.. some silly electronically generated mails...

I agree if i like a product i am going to talk about it..write about it..and use their widget..

Ramjee said...

@kpowerinfinity and @dhivya

i agree with you both. i for one belong to the category who just can't stop speaking good about a good product. at the same time.. if something is bad or terrible i also speak terrible things about it.

hope these pr folks understand what they are doing and make better use of their and our time.

i wish they go back to school and redo selling 101!!