The other day I got a pitch that caught my eye. I get a lot of bad pitches every day, but this one really took the cake. Subject: Our Favorite Mommy! Kourtney Kardashian
It went like this:
To be honest, I found it insulting. First of all, the pitch is condescending. Secondly, if the publicist had checked out my site, she’d have learned a few things about me. I don’t cover fashion, for one thing, and I’m not a gossip columnist nor am I into people like Kourtney Kardashian. Most of all, I don’t like being called a “mommy” or being told to write about a “mommy”. Basically, no one can call me “mommy” except my own children.
The truth is that I get these kinds of pitches everyday. I am sure we all do. I don’t blame the publicist for sending this to me. After all, I’m a mom blogger by default. I have the word “mom” in my URL, I talk about family travel, things I do with my kids.
But I do blame her for the tone of this pitch and way it was written. “Hi There!” means that she sent the same pitch to everyone, without looking at any of our blogs. Where’s the personal touch to make me feel like we should work together?
I responded with this statement:
Thank you, but I do not blog about fashion or Kourtney Kardashian.
There was only one other time I ever snapped back hard at a publicist. Usually I bite my tongue or keep my rejection more dignified. Many times, I just say nothing. That particular time, the publicist and I somehow got past my snap and I did end up covering the product she was suggesting I cover. This time, as expected, I heard nothing back. Let’s be honest. The publicist should have responded in some way. She could have said, “Thanks for letting me know. We will be sure to send more appropriate fits for your content.” Or something. But I got nothing.
So, this happens. I let it pass. But I actually haven’t forgotten about it. I get so tired of being treated like my blog exists to throw any content up that publicists suggest, regardless of what it is.
Until I ran into a tweet about the marvelous blogger, The Bloggess, who I worship. She tells it like is and is very frank about bad publicity and how bloggers deserve respect. Apparently, she got the same pitch or some variation of it and sent the publicist here.
Well, the publicist didn’t like that response very much and wrote back a nasty response. She must have forwarded the conversation to her boss, who accidentally replied all and called The Bloggess a “fucking bitch.”
Then Jenny, AKA The Bloggess, wrote:
I apologize if you were offended by my email. Honestly, I’ve been
sending that thing out to PR people for the last year and this is the
first time I didn’t have someone respond with either a laugh, or with a
simple “No problem. We’ll remove you from the list.” In fact, many PR
companies have turned this entire thing around and sent really hysterical
exchanges to me, which I’ve used to promote their great work in
understanding (and working with) the unique personalities of the very
bloggers they’re trying to reach out to.
Well. Then the VP told her:
We will do a better job to research who we are
pitching but maybe you should be flattered that you are even viewed relevant enough
to be pitched at all instead of alienated PR firms and PR people – who are actually
the livelihood of any journalists business. Don’t be offended, you started the
cursing game so maybe we should all just laugh it off and plan not to work together
in the future.
So, why am I reacting to this now? Because I’m so proud of Jenny for standing up to this company and I’m so proud of the 948 comments her post has generated. I don’t like being treated like an idiot either and I really wish that publicists would take more time to think about each pitch and think about each blogger they are pitching to. We are intelligent women with strong educational and career histories. We are “relevant”! We are often even older and wiser than the person pitching us.
As someone who works in social media myself, I would never send someone a pitch like this, and I hope that @BrandlinkComm learns from their mistake. Perhaps companies should employ some of us, or people with vast marketing backgrounds to handle their social media outreach, rather than use recent college graduates, interns or people who take minimum wage. Social media and publicity go hand in hand. Let professionals do the job.
Great job, Jenny.