07Oct

My Response to The Bloggess Episode (and Bad Pitches)

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:

Hi There!
Just wanted to share this season’s Mommy must have accessory! Have a great day and if you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask! Thank you J
“Teaching Mason the ABC’s is as Easy as 1-2-3!”
Courtney Kardashian
Our favorite celebrity mom Kourtney Kardashian is proving that fashion doesn’t have to stop on the streets, but instead showing that “education is chic.” And what better way to teach your little one the ABC’s than by wearing this season’s hottest accessory, House ofHolland for Pretty Polly hosiery. The Kardashian’s once again show they are right on trend, and this is on Mommy’s are all going to want to follow.   
Brand: House of Holland for Pretty Polly

 

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.

TheCultureMom.com

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.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Uhmm, even if one is a mom who writes a blog about fashion and Kourtney Kardashian, this pitch is still hideous.

    1. As a mom the pitch is all wrong: Teaching your kids the ABCs with tights? No wonder the Chinese are kicking are asses all over the planet. How about teaching them with an actual book?

    2. As a fashionista the pitch is all wrong: Come on, these tights are hideous. A story about how they are “just right” for a costume called “The wicked witch of Sesame Street” could have worked though. Creativity people, just a little of it goes a long way.

    3. As a fan on Kourtney Kardashian this pitch is all wrong: Ok, I don’t even know who KK is, but if I DID actually write about her, I’d want to know how she is SETTING trends not just staying on them. That’s so YESTERDAY. (Dear god, let this not be a trend.)

    Thanks for sharing the actual pitch Holly. I’ve been having fits of giggles over the whole thing since last night, and this was just icing on the cake. ^carol

  2. LOL! That is funny. I got the SAME EXACT pitch! I laughed, said “really” and deleted it. I rarely cover fashion also so I didnt even waste my time in responding. .

  3. I’m offended by the apostrophe abuse in that press release. My eye’s! ;)

  4. Aisha G @ Hartlyn Kids says:

    This is a joke right? Because really, those tights can’t be real. I’m going with that was a joke lol.

  5. I got that same pitch too! I also don’t blog about celebrities (especially Kardashians) or fashion. Unless you count one post about my love for mom jeans.
    I’ve mostly been annoyed that these PR firms send what amounts to spam with no unsubscribe link in their useless emails. Then I read Jenny’s post and I found all sorts of new reasons to be annoyed. I’m trying to decide if I should reply with a statement about their behavior, or just a simple “Stop sending me crap!” Hard to decide.

  6. When I got that same pitch I didn’t even look that closely after the first few words about teaching Mason the ABCs, as I realized it was one of many pitches that totally disregarded that my blog is for parents of teens and not for babys and young kids. The word teens is in the title of my blog! It isn’t like the PR people even have to read my blog to find it out.

    Most of the time I don’t even bother emailing back because I just feel it isn’t worth the time. I think what the Bloggess did was fantastic, but since I am not as creative in that way, I just ignore them.

  7. I loved Jenny’s response- and her “hold on for a demonstration of relevancy”. Truly awesome. She deserves serious kudos for standing up and fighting back. They were really out of line and completely unprofessional. No matter how angry you are, you never call someone a name like that. Especially in an email!

    I agree that these PR companies should hire people who actually have a sense of what bloggers are doing and who they are. It seems that they blindly send out pitches to mailing lists without any type of connection or research to whom they are sending to. I read tons of pitches and mostly delete them. I am a mom and a blogger but not necessarily a mommy blogger. When I was an executive and a mom I was never called a mommy executive, even though I talked about my kids. I wish that term would disappear.

  8. 9Well done to you for standing up to them. I was in PR, admittedly not fashion PR and I tell you now that they so did not do their homework. A light hearted reply admitting one’s mistake goes a long way. A good PR executive knows this, often they inherit lists and don’t clean them up to suit client and thus should have an ‘oops sorry’ statement ready for such moments.

    Bottom line. How dare they?

    You go girl!