Monday, July 14, 2008

Good and bad P.R. habits, all from the same person

Today I got a pitch that boggled my mind a bit. It illustrated my point that companies and agencies are taking the Underpants Gnomes approach to blogger outreach beautifully.

Step 1: Bloggers!! It's all about bloggers!! have to get to bloggers!! Blogger, bloggers, BLOGGERS!!!

Step 3: Profit!

In this case, profit being attention or link love or traffic or whatever it is that they think bloggers will get them.

What is the missing step 2? Actually reading that blogger, figuring out what might make them tick...and if you, P.R. person have anything to tell them or offer or share that falls amongst those things that make them tick.

So what happened? This weekend, having fallen so behind on my blog book reviews that there was no hope of catching up with thoughtful, substantive reviews, I instead wrote a post giving my quick thumbs up/thumbs down and one paragraph thoughts on the 15 or so books I've read in the last 6 months.

By this morning I had an email in my Inbox clearly prompted because someone has an ego-feed running on one of the author's names. A NY Museum is doing an exhibit of the author's artifacts, and clearly they're aware of who's writing about this person they have a vested interest in. Good for them. I truly am impressed by the speed of this blogger outreach person's reaction to a post I published Saturday.

Admiration ends there though. Why?

Well, first and foremost: my review of the book was only one paragraph long. Surely you could have taken the time to read it and learn that I DIDN'T LIKE THE BOOK. It was over-hyped and very disappointing to me. I even used the words that it didn't "resonate" with me.

Why on earth would I a) want to go to your exhibit or b) "share this exciting info" with my readers, and you so presumptuously THANKED ME FOR DOING.

Other little reasons include that the museum is in NY, so an invitations is kind of useless to me out here on the entire other side of the country.

And finally, the email came from a poor woman who isn't even allowed to have her own named email address, but rather the email address is:

So clearly they have the most important person doing this very important blogger outreach, right?

I don't understand this habit that mostly I notice non-profits have. Yes, I realize they do it even with Directors. To me it screams "we're such an unstable and unpleasant environment that we have high turnover and don't want to have to both to take the 2 seconds it takes to create email forwards or send out promotion or new hire announcements, and we'd rather just have impersonal, generic email addresses."

Is it just me that finds this very strange?

Anyway: In this case Step 2 would have required reading one paragraph, ONE. not even my whole blog. not even a week or two of my blogging to get a sense of me. No, it was all in that one paragraph. Right there next to the author's name.

And you would have saved yourself this ranty post, Ms. Executive Intern from Unnamed Museum.

is it just me?


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two cool BlogHer things-one of which you can vote on

Two way cool things happened to BlogHer this week.

The first is that we're one of the nominees for the FastCompany Fast 50 Reader's Choice.

What's that, you ask? Here's how they describe it:

Every year Fast Company magazine highlights the most innovative companies worldwide that take business to new creative heights. features additional companies, nominated by our readers, that also embody these ideals. Below are all the nominees for the Reader Favorites. Read the entries, rate them, and comment on them. On July 15 the editors of will determine the 50 most innovative reader favorites based on overall user feedback and rating.

So, feel free to check it out and, oh yeah, guess I should mention it: VOTE.

The second is just craaaazy.

This blog called NxE (stands for North x East) decided to publish their list of the 50 most influential women bloggers.

I cannot even tell you where BlogHer falls...because if you're like me you will do a double-take and spit out your coffee. In a totally good way.

That's right, check it!

People are of course bringing up all sorts of women who should be on the list (which is the problem with any such list) but hey, I'm going to decide to be happy about being on it anyway. And to my knowledge, no, I don't know the guys who run this site.

So, nice week for BlogHer, and a nice way to go into conference week.

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