Talk about awkward

I know I have mentioned before about how all the traditional marketing rules don't apply in blogging. Many, if not most, marketers don't get it. Hey, don't get defensive. The fact that you read my blog means you get blogging and you're exceptionally good looking and well-liked to boot. I swear.

Lately, I have noticed companies using PR or marketing firms to raise awareness for their products by contacting bloggers through their blogs. The e-mail reads a little like a press release with a line here or there suggesting that you might want to blog about this ("work the word 'blog" into your e-mail template, Charles"). Thankfully, they skip the faux-flattery about being a reader of your blog. They wouldn't want to have to prove it by showing any glimmer of recognition about your content. You can't be flattered. They sent the same mail to everyone that came up in their Technorati search. They have no concept of the marketing fluff generated by a public blog where anyone can contact you. Ah, the crap I get. They don't get it. They are the blogosphere equivalent of the rapping granny: AWKWARD!

If their lacking understanding of the blogosphere weren't enough to keep them from doing this, you would think their understanding of PR dynamics would.

I will generally blog about products that I actually use. So approaching me about some product I've never used (or even heard of, in most cases) makes zero sense to me. What's the buzz value in having some random blogger (albeit, one with an audience you are obviously interested in), blog about your product that you spent time pitching to them but they have never used? I don't do flackery. If I use it and like it, I'll talk about it. If you want me to use it, build it for me and give me access to it (for free, because I don't pay full price and I don't pay at all unless I know it's going to provide some value). Seriously, just shoot my trial password over to me in e-mail and quit wasting my time with the marketing pitch. Then you've got a chance of getting my attention. Understand what could make me WANT to talk about it. You sending me an e-mail and pitching it to me is not a reason for me to blog about it. If I wanted to provide advertising, I'd charge for it.

Whatever you do, do not, under any circumstances, have your PR firm contact me about it. Are you kidding me?

Comments (5)

  1. DY says:

    Marketing and effective activation of brands, at least for the next 5-10 years, will likely continue to evolve toward social networks and self-defined communities. Smart marketeers and brand gurus will get this. Anyone who practices "unsafe blogging" will be flogged and their flackery will no doubt be seen as less than authentic. People are smart, they quickly see through the blog foggers.


  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, but it’s still annoying.

  3. DY says:

    Agreed. Like gum on your shoe.

  4. Paul says:

    Similarly, when marketing or PR types get their hands on the "corporate" or CEO’s blog, disaster happens.  I have helped a couple of my clients to set up blogs, and I often get the question from a CEO/President/CTO whether it wouldn’t be better to have marketing or PR do it because "they’re better writers".  My answer is keep them as far away from the blog as possible (if they want to do their own, fine, but leave everyone else’s alone).

    Marketing and PR types have a strong tendency to want to "package" things or say it just right, and to control information.  In a blog, this always comes across as contrived, impersonal and inauthentic, and that destroys the whole reason for doing it.

    I’m awfully nasty to my own kind, aren’t I?

    btw, I think it’s because the traditional marketing rules you describe were always wrong. Haven’t we always had a higher respect for the plain spoken person of integrity who says what they mean and means what they say?  I don’t know if you remember this, but Lee Iaccoca’s ads for the K car stood out as authentic and trustworthy, and they saved Chrysler from collapse at a time when they were staring down the brink.  Today, he would have been a blogger.

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    I remember K cars but not the ads. I think I must have been about 12 when they came out. I agree with your point. I thikn sometimes slick can get peoples’ attention but they always respect the straight talker and in times of crisis that pretty much the only way to go.

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