SEE UPDATES BELOW…
I know I just posted a few hours ago, but I’m posting again because you all know how dedicated I am to writing about PR pitches (both good and bad) and this one just can’t wait. I got a form letter email pitch (more than one, actually) about a Kardashian sister being spotted in pantyhose.
Actual line from email:
“The Kardashian’s once again show they are right on trend, and this is on (sic) Mommy’s are all going to want to follow.”
As I do with all unsolicited form-letters about celebrities-doing-shit-no-one-cares-about, I replied with my usual, simple response:
me: And here’s a picture of Wil Wheaton collating.
I got a response from the woman who sent the original email:
That wasn’t very nice. We send certain pitches out to people so they have the chance of getting more hits on their page. We’ll make note of this email in moving forward and remember if we have any advertising opportunities with any of our clients not to go through you.
Best of luck to you.
That sort of email might be threatening to a blogger who makes a living by getting advertisers who go through PR companies, but I’m not, and (as far as I know) neither are most people. For the most part, my blog is supported by people. People who are bloggers. This becomes relevant soon.
I wasn’t going to respond, as she did have a point, but then a VP of the company (Jose) hit “reply all”. With me on the reply-all.
Jose: “What a fucking bitch!”
Wow. I sort of felt bad for the guy (as I’ve accidentally fallen victim to the reply-all trap as well) and I considered just cowing down and remaining quietly chastened by this man, but then I remembered that this isn’t the 18th century and that I’ve never taken a high road in my entire life.
Hi. This is sort of why “reply all” doesn’t usually work well for
companies. Unless, of course, you decided that “What a fucking bitch” was
a great response from a public relations company. Personally, I preferred
the “Best of luck to you” one, which was much more honest and cutting,
while still being professional.
If you’ve read my blog you would know that a great deal of my blog deals
with the importance of public relations companies doing research before
sending form letters to bloggers. Specifically, I’m very vocal about
ridiculous pitches involving celebrities using products. So much so that
I made that actual Wil Wheaton collating paper page to combat this very
sort of thing in a quick and painless way. My blog has nothing to do with
fashion, the Kardashians or pantyhose…none of which I understand, to be
honest. Plus, you’ve sent me this form letter TWICE today. I only point
this out so you can delete this *ahem* “fucking bitch” from all of the
mailing lists you have me on, rather than just one.
Also, 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. Just a thought.
Jenny (aka “fucking bitch”)
I don’t know what I expected, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t this:
Jose: I get it and I was out of line by saying that however you put way too much effort
into your approach. A simple “I don’t cover this, no thanks” or “Please remove”
would suffice. To go out of your way to be snarky and rude is a little
inappropriate. Again, I should’ve been less harsh – but I also feel like your email
was rude and unprofessional as well. 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.
Wow. Jose was sticking to his guns. Sadly for both of us, so was I.
“You should be flattered that you are even viewed relevant enough to be pitched at all.”
You sure know how to flatter a girl. Are you even in
public relations? Am I on Candid Camera? Because I’m kind of baffled.
Please stand by for a demonstration of relevancy.
And then I tweeted to @BrandlinkComm to let them know that one of their VPs just sent me an email referring to me as “a fucking bitch.” And many, many of my 164,000 followers replied and retweeted in the most clever and hysterically awesome ways imaginable.
And it was beautiful.
PS. The reason I post this is not to have everyone go all angry-villager on the company. It’s to remind other bloggers that there are some amazing and wonderful PR companies out there who will do their research and will make your life wonderful. And there are other PR companies that will try to shame you into posting their irrelevant spam and threaten you with talk of not using you in the future for when they’re doing advertising. Those PR firms are assholes and you should probably question everything they say.
You are amazing. You are relevant. Your work is worth protecting and standing up for. And you will find wonderful PR companies to work with over time.
Even if you are “a fucking bitch.”
UPDATED: I love you people. Really. Thank you for always having my back and for being so supportive during this weirdness. Jose has apologized, and I’ve been assured by the woman in charge of the company that they are aware and are handling it the best way they know how, so let’s give them some air and let them have the chance to do that. *deep breath*
Now let’s all go have a drink. Make mine a double.