Showing posts with label Bad Pitch Blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bad Pitch Blog. Show all posts

Friday, October 5

Listening To Publishers: PR Practitioners

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes it does. A public relations firm starts filling the inbox with random pitches, pictures, and press releases. It's not so bad because some of them are close to what you publish. It's not so bad until they start sending the follow-up emails. So you delete some, unread.

Then you delete a few more. And then you delete a few more. It's nothing personal, but you have 20-some emails you do want to read and that deserve a response — public relations professionals who have taken the time to get to know what you publish. But the sheer volume from one gets in the way.

Sure, you want to look at them. There is always that little part of you that wonders if you are passing up on something that fits. You know other publishers and bloggers on the blind bulk list feel the same way because the view counts on the landing pages always have more than two people. So maybe they don't.

Then one day it happens. You find your finger hovering over the spam button. Something makes you hesitate. You never signed on to be that publisher. You want to give this public relations firm a chance.

So you send an email...

Hey [protected],

We really appreciate all the pitches you send over for consideration and I am sure we will cover some of the artists you represent sooner or later. However, I have to ask. Is there any way we can stay on your pitch list but be taken off your blind follow-up list?

All the best, 

And then they respond...

Follow up is key! I'm just trying to figure out if you're going to post or not! We'd love to work with your blog on syndicating our content, and we can affiliate as well and syndicate yours as well!

I already know how this might have turned out with Jennifer Lawson. I've already covered the bit by Chris Anderson. I even shared a pitch gone bad story before, although it was a bit more tempered.

I did kick around ideas for a follow-up response with a few colleagues. It would have easily made for an interesting if not insensitive post with high marks in entertainment value, especially because I just recently reviewed a band that insisted their public relations firm "fix or pull" an email because I made the mistake of, egad, quoting the front man who later regretted what he said after his band wasn't happy.

There is something to be said about the scorched earth approach, but I didn't start another publication for that reason. No, I think (but could always change my mind) I'll say nothing whatsoever and let those pitches fall into the void. Can you imagine? How many heavily touted pitch lists are sent nowhere with pride?

If you work in public relations, it might make you wonder about tactics too. Lawson and Anderson (and myself on occasion) did you a favor to improve your practice whether you realize it or not. It's much easier, although not as entertaining, to say nothing whatsoever. Follow up is the key, indeed.

Tuesday, September 2

Earning Distinction: HWH PR

bad pitch award
HWH PR was apparently awarded the Bad Pitch Blog Lifetime Achievement Award for the worst in public relations yesterday. This dubious distinction comes after two years of spamming bloggers, journalists, and anyone else who might be unfortunate enough to make their mass blast email list.

The Bad Pitch Blog sums up its assessment as “Blasting news releases to anyone with an email address and ignoring their replies is not practicing media relations – it’s spamming.” Case in point, HWH PR is the one reason I won’t write anything about MyClick technology and everything about MyClick’s inability to hire a public relations firm that knows what they are doing.

Even after writing a post that outlined several shortcomings of the so-called public relations firm (without naming it) and asking to be removed from all future pitches, HWH PR continues to send me one poorly written pitch after another, with the most recent from Lois Whitman landing in my spam folder just last month. The release is nothing more than an embarrassing exercise in turning client news into non-news:

Visitors to China Mobile’s Pavilion at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Exhibition are experiencing MyClick’s unique breakthrough image-matching technology. The MyClick technology allows visitors to access instant information and pass on their best wishes to the Olympic Games with just a few clicks on their mobile phones.

One would think even a first year student of public relations would be able to find some semblance of a news story for an upstart company landing some space at the Olympics, but not HWH PR. They trivialize any hope of a hook to the point of absurdity. Even if I could have salvaged the story for them, I already know that it is a complete waste of time to contact this firm.

They have no idea who they send pitches to and don’t want to be bothered by the people they pitch. It’s about that simple. Other HWH PR “spam, don’t speak” clients include Samsung, Westinghouse Digital, and Dotster.


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