This segment is from Episode 24 of the Beyond Social Media Show

I’ve updated this post with another, more recent example of how not to pitch bloggers. Here’s the transcript from this segment of the Beyond Social Media Show episode:

David Erickson: In our never-ending quest to educate people on how to pitch bloggers, I’ve got an example that I need to run by all you because it’s classic.

I got an email with a subject line of Infographic Suggestion for trends.e-strategyblog.com, which of course is one of my blogs. So, I’m interested in infographics; I’m going to take a look. I noticed that the person who sent it, the name of the sender is Sophia Loren. So that’s usually going to be a red flag for me to consider it spam because I know that Sofia Loren is not emailing me. So they email says hi–

Albert Maruggi: It could be her daughter. I’d look into it.

David Erickson: I have to look at it because I’m intrigued from my professional point of view. But–“Hi, my name is Sophia and I work with (and I want to name the name of the company) leading resource for data visualization and creative infographics. We just published an infographic on our site called Mission Mars One. Considering the overlap in subject matter with your blog, I thought perhaps you’d be interested in sharing this with your readers along with your posts.”

So I, of course–then they have the removal legalease at the bottom of the email where it says you’re on a list but we didn’t put you on a list, we realize that you’re not on the list and we won’t send anything to you again. So, if you want to be removed from our list respond thusly. Okay.

So I responded to it and I just said, “What’s the overlap?” Because there was none.

Albert Albert Maruggi: Yeah.

David Erickson: She said, “Thanks for getting in touch. Sorry for our mistake in email template. As there is infographic category in your site and is related to technology I have shared this with you.” I have an infographics category and I talked about technology–doesn’t matter what type of technology–or the fact that I never posted on space, ever, or Mars, ever.

BL Ochman: I have. They could have sent it to me.

David Erickson: So, I’ll forward you this email, then.

BL Ochman: Send it my way, Dave.

David Erickson: So, budding PR people don’t—

Screenshot: Poor Blogger Outreach Pitch Example

Here’s another, more recent example:

Screenshot: Completely Irrelevant Pitch Email to Minnesota Vikings Blog.

Pitch By Comment Spam

Press Release Spam - 11/16/09

The screenshot above displays some comment spam I received on this blog yesterday. I’ve redacted any information that identifies the spammer and the spammer’s client. I’m not interested in outing anyone but I am interested in practices that are detrimental to my profession.

The spammer copy and pasted a press release in its entirety and posted it as a comment to a blog post from 2006 announcing the launch of AliShops.com.

The press release was accompanied by a short note: “Please post to your blog, thank you!” The release itself announced Black Friday specials from some area restaurants.

I don’t want to pull the Righteous Rage of a Blogger act, but on the other hand, I don’t even know what led this person to believe that I’d want to post a press release. I’ve never done so in the past. The blog post to which she submitted the comment spam was only peripherally related to the press release. It was about the launch of a shopping Web site and since the release touted Black Friday food specials, I guess that was close enough.

Yes, I write about restaurant marketing and about shopping in relation to retail marketing but it should be clear from a mere glance that this blog is not about shopping or eating.

I’m not complaining about the blind pitch. Unfortunately, I get them all the time but that is why the delete button was invented. What bothers me is that this pitch came from a firm that has been at it for eight years and one that promotes their PR 2.0 expertise. Eight years is plenty enough time to learn Blogger Relations 101.

Beyond the obvious disservice done to the client in the present case, I guess I find it a little breathtaking that anyone with a few years of experience would not know the fundamentals.