Friday, October 24, 2014

PR Pitches that Make Me Go Whaaat!?

I had initially planned to post on something else, but I received a pitch that really irked me so much and just made me so, erm.. flabbergasted that I had to write something about it and all the other #PRfail pitches I receive. Warning, slight rant ahead so run now if you don't want to read a rather negative post.

I don't usually rant on the blog because I like to have it as a positive place and my mum taught me that if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. However, right now, I'm in the mood to let some people know that they are really pushing it and need to think before clicking on that "send" button.

Most of the time, the brands and PR reps I work with are super nice and I enjoy those working relationships a lot. A few have even blossomed to friendships, and I'm thankful that blogging has brought me such wonderful souls and opportunities to enrich my life.

However, there's also the other side of the coin and if you've approached me but I haven't replied or worked with you before, it might be because of one of the following reasons:
  • you sent me a "Dear Blogger" or "Dear Blog Name" email. 
  • you called me by another blogger's name
  • you called my kid by another blogger's kid's name {seriously, I'm not making this up!}
  • you say that I have 3 kids... o.O"
  • you make it sound like you are doing me a favour by sending me that pitch or invite
  • you sent me an invite to your event, which is happening the next day 
  • you say that you don't have a budget for bloggers, but you are one of the "big brands"
  • you offer me a measly voucher that is only valid with a minimum spending sum on your site
And the list goes on. Really. If you are a brilliant brand and I haven't gotten back to you yet, it also might be because I have to go through so much crap like this in my inbox and missed your email. For that I'm truly sorry, and please contact me again!! :P

Most of the time, I just roll my eyes and delete the email or if it's really a joke, move it to my #PRfail folder. Yes, I do have one. It's like my blacklist of sorts.

I'm generally a nice person, and I won't go around b*itching about your brand or PR firm because I think that you sent that email maybe due to inexperience, maybe due to lack of time or maybe just human error.

Also, ain't nobody got time to deal with crap all the time.

Let me state outright as well that I don't think that I'm so high and mighty as a blogger, that all pitches and invites should make me feel like a queen. No, I'm a human being just like you and like any other, I expect you to treat me, and my work, with common courtesy and respect.

Sending me an email without addressing me correctly, is not giving me respect.

Sending me an email blatantly saying you love my blog, but not showing that you actually read it and understand my work and my readers, is not giving me respect.

Sending me an email inherently saying that since I blog with passion, why should I be compensated for my time and effort when I'm already doing what I like, is not giving me respect.

Sending me an email inviting me to your event, but dictating that it should be my honour to be invited and I am required to send in a blog post by a certain date, is not giving me respect.

I wonder if the brands and PR firms know that such invites and pitches just pisses bloggers off. How about if it went something like this,

Brand: Hey, I want you to handle this account for me.
PR firm: Ok, what's your budget?
Brand: You mean I've to pay you?? How about I give you a sample.
PR firm: Erm, but I'm working for you, I need to get paid.
Brand: But I'm so popular, this will give you exposure and help boost your reputation.
PR firm: Yes, but it's also work. I need to feed my family or work on other projects that actually pay.
Brand: But you like to do PR work, right? That's why you are in the business so why expect payment? How about I give you a S$20 voucher? But you'll need to spend S$50 and no free delivery.

Or like this,

Brand: Hey Monkey, you are selected to come join in my event.
PR firm: Erm, actually my name is Bananas. Selected? Is there a prize?
Brand: No, but you are honoured to be part of 10,0000 other people to come to my picnic.
PR firm: Oh ok.
Brand: There's lots of opportunities to interview our GOHs and photo ops for you too! Don't forget to bring your camera.
PR firm: Rigggghhhht.
Brand: And you must write about it and print a full-page ad for me 1 week later.
PR firm: Am I paid for this?
Brand: No. And it's not a request, it's a requirement.

This my friends, this is what we bloggers have to deal with sometimes.

Just like there are some bloggers that give the blogosphere a bad name, so are some brands and PR firms. I'm not saying that everything has to be dealt with in money terms, because relationships are very important to me and respect is key in building that. Respect me as a blogger, and I will respect and respond to you.

As a blogger, what frustrates you the most?
What's the worst pitch or weirdest request you've ever received?



collin said...

I feel bloggers like us need to be respected. Sometimes these companies just simple bo chup. They want to hit their targets..grggh

Kathy said...

Sounds like a lot of people want a lot for nothing. Stand your ground.

Kirsty said...

I love the fact that you have a PRFail folder - I think I'll start one of those up myself! There are some poor pitches out there but also, thankfully some very good ones. Showing basic respect and actually proving that they have reviewed your blog and think it;s a good fit for whatever they are promoting is a great start :)

Six Little Hearts said...

Can I link to this on my work with me page?! Hilarious!

I have one PR who sends me these amazing opportunities to interview people I have never heard of. She can't pay me (no budget despite the big brand) and if I request tickets instead they're already allocated so - no!

This PR was blacklisted by myself and for months she was quiet but she's begun to knock again...

No thanks. I'm not home. x

Unknown said...

Amen to that sister!! You hit the nail of the there. It really urks me to when PR/Brands just expect us to jump though hoops for nothing! I'm getting so much better at saying no now x

Anonymous said...

This is spot on!

I have my fair share of #facepalm moments. The worst was someone asking for opportunities for review and took so long to revert after I said yes. Then I had problems with purchase and the saga dragged until my voucher code expired. Thereafter, voucher code was reinstated but .... {drum rolls} the website closed down!

Can you feel my pain??!

An Apel a Day said...

Been there! Oh boy! Some people just can push some buttons.

Ai Sakura said...

Colin: I think everybody deserves respect to others, and to their own work too. Not doing proper research or identifying proper blogs to work with to benefit their clients best does not reflect well on their work.

Kathy: True that!

Kirsty: Thankfully, the good ones are really very good :)

Six Little Hearts: Haha go ahead dearie! I'd say just continue to blacklist her. Definitely not worth your time.

Robyn: It's taken me a while, but I've learnt how to say no and better value my time and work too :)

Prayerfull Mum: Gah! What worst luck! But on the bright side, at least you didn't waste time writing the post too.

Alissa: Exactly ;)

Unknown said...

You've nailed it, Ai!

Stacy said...

Heh major frustration oozing out!

I think it's ok to be negative sometimes, life is not all positive.

Monice said...

Wow this post is so relatable!

I absolutely hate it when companies send me a press release without addressing me or saying anything about it. Just attaching a document and expecting me to blog about it for free. Gosh. Can't stand those emails, they're just wasting my time to even look through those junks.

Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me said...

You've hit a nerve with lots of bloggers here I say and rightly so - I get frustrated when brands want me to write for free... it's usually the ones that don't have their head around the way the world is going, eg social media, bloggers and online content! Em xx

Susan said...

Thanks for speaking on behalf of us bloggers. Unfortunately many still view bloggers as second class media and treat us as such. Hopefully, it will evolve with more awareness on how to partner with bloggers.

Masshole Mommy said...

I get some CRAZY things in my inbox, but the ones that get me are the ones addressed to "dear blogger" instead o my name. Or even worse when it's addressed to the wrong name entirely. Ugh!

erica @ to the sea said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who deletes those ridiculous emails... but I can't believe I feel slightly bad when I get a follow up email! Hah. I don't even know how to respond sometimes.

oomph. said...

yep...those go straight to the trash :) i don't even respond or think twice about it.

EssentiallyJess said...

It is just painful some of the pitches that are thrown our way!! It makes me not want to do any PR stuff at all somedays. Except I would probably still get the emails.

mail4rosey said...

I did a sponsored post recently and the person asked me to do more...but since he'd turned down my initial pitch, I went w/someone else who didn't (turn it down). I thanked him for the offer and respectfully declined. Two days later there was 'courtesy money' in my paypal account and a request from that guy to do this, this, this, and this in my e-mail. So bold, but not in a good way. I refunded his money with a polite return e-mail explaining I had already committed on the same type of product with another. It still irks me though, when I think about it.

Unknown said...

A #Prfail folder! I need one too!

As an ex PR person, I am usually quite forgiving toward little mistakes or slip ups. But some really make me roll my eyes and want to scream "hello? Some common sense please!"

Ps wasn't my daughter listed as one of yours in such a pitch once? Teehee. You're welcome to babysit her!

Grace said...

After all this time, I still can't believe how often PR companies get it wrong!!!
And I love the scenarios you made between brands and PR companies. Just drives me batty when they don't treat us with respect or even a standard level of professionalism. Seriously!

Liz Mays said...

It definitely leaves a bad taste in your mouth when they start it off badly. I've seen them like this before: Dear (insert blogger name here):

Are they serious????

Lisa Wood said...

I so hear you!!! I get emails all of the time with "Dear Blogger" - like hello I have "About Us" page - check it out first to find out my name and then send the email! {I actually sent those very words as a reply once!!!}
And the other one I get is "I have written this blog post which your audience will love to read"
Yeah...and did you introduce yourself first? Did I ask you to write it? NOPE so PR company don't send me an email and expect me to post it live without forming a relationship first!!
{That one really gets my back up}
And for not paying to post on our blog - I am sure that the PR company has a budget and they don't write for free :)

Tony Johor Kaki said...

Once, in the middle of a food tasting, the PR manager said her teenage son wants to be a blogger. "Oh great. Why does he want to be a blogger?" "Because bloggers can get free food." 😂😩😢

Walking In May said...

I share your pain my times many only see the fun side of blogging rather. Thank you for speaking out! People might find it hard to believe not everyone writes a blog for money or fame alone, an illness of the concrete jungle society we live in. Have a fabulous weekend ahead and hope to see you in a Cheongsam tea soon!
May x

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