A great example of why to only send targeted pitches to bloggers
Bloggers are very similar to journalists, with one big exception: most of them are free to write whatever they want without any organizational rules stopping them.
Even if a journalist hates your company’s pitch, they usually won’t say anything publicly. However, if you pitch a blogger the wrong way, there can be major repercussions.
A great example is the following case of a major mommy blogger being sent an off-topic pitch by a PR flack. The PR person who sent her an email for a celebrity that she didn’t care about obviously did not do any research prior to mass emailing the pitch to a list they probably got off Cision or MediaAtlas. The blogger’s response was simply sending a picture of Wil Wheaton. The PR person (I hesitate to say the word “professional” in this case) that pitched her said her response was uncalled for. Then, a VP at her agency who was copied sent a reply-all email calling her a bitch. She saw it, and was not happy.
Right now, the PR firm in question looks pretty stupid to everyone who comes across the story. Their whole PR nightmare could have easily been prevented if the dumb junior account executive (I’m guessing they were junior because someone with experience should know better) just spent a few minutes researching the blog before sending a pitch. It could also have been prevented by not responding at all. Why risk potentially alienating a blogger that might cover one of your clients later? The blogger openly stated she doesn’t have a problem with pitches, she just has a problem with bad ones.
If you’re a company thinking of hiring an agency, make sure they know to only send targeted pitches. Don’t sacrifice your reputation by blasting pitches with a shotgun. To my fellow PR people – research bloggers before pitching, do your jobs respectfully and educate clients on the best practices you follow in regards to pitching bloggers.