I see a lot of tweets on my TL from bloggers which go a bit like this:
‘I get really annoyed when a PR agency contacts me and gets my name wrong #Rage’
‘Why don’t PR people read my writing before contacting me about a sponsored post and a free holiday to the Maldives? #Stupid’
Writing? Fuck off. Who are you? JG Ballard? Okay, an exaggeration. But I see a lot of bloggers moaning about how PR people don’t approach them in the right way and I see this as smugness, a reflection perhaps about how they would only prefer to work with people who’ve read all their posts, know all of their children’s nicknames and know their views on everything from farmers markets, pushchairs to hats. Perhaps some really mean that they’re not confident about that PR’s approach to marketing. Perhaps the idea is, if the PR person can’t take the time to research potential marketing outlets thoroughly then they’re not worth working with.
But I see such criticism as smug. No-one is allowed to make a mistake in today’s world and some bloggers are ever so holier than thou. I see these tweets and see it as an ‘us’ against ‘them’. But I don’t want to be part of an ‘us’, or a ‘them’, which is so full of itself it doesn’t allow for a small margin of error. Ever.
On my old blog I did a thing where I criticised some PR people for calling some bloggers ‘blaggers’ – I think I said something along the lines of ‘having worked in marketing, in my experience some of the biggest blaggers I’ve ever met have been PR’s and journo’s.’ I still stand by that but I also said that not all are like that. I’ve worked with some incredibly talented people who can whack out a press release in minutes because they’re clever, know their clients, know what the fuck they’re doing and have an incredibly thick skin. And I wrote that when I read a piece about bloggers directly contacting PR’s for freebies. But that’s cool isn’t it? If you don’t ask you don’t get? You still need to buy a ticket to win the lottery.
If any PR person contacts me I usually do one or all of the following things;
1) Make an audible excited noise. It goes a bit like this. “Squeeeeeeee!” but in a manly butch kinda way.
2) Send an email back thanking them for contacting and indicating I might be interested but please furnish me with further details
3) Give myself a bit of a mental high-five
4) Re-read the email, wonder if working with someone who wants to promote dog food is a good idea, but figure, hey! I’ve been eating horsemeat for fucking years and didn’t know, so how bad can this stuff be?
I’m flattered by any contact I receive. I couldn’t give a shit if they call me Spencer, Dave, Geoff, Shitlegs, Stewart (I get that sometimes, dunno why) and/or Stud Muffin (I never get that. Hint hint). I don’t get many approaches. Not surprising if you’re familiar with the content of this blog I guess. I’m not on many lists or linked with sites which promise lots of PR opportunities but cause a small meltdown each month when people go up and down in a chart. I’ve been vocal about this in the past so nuff said, and as such I don’t get as many PR approaches as some but each one I get I deal with in a polite, friendly way because I’m pleased, in a small quiet way.
I did a review thingy for Ecover a while back and really enjoyed it. It challenged me as I had to tone down my usual bollocks and bloggle something positive with few swearwords, but I truly believed in it so i was a piece of piss, and I’ve been asked to help promote a really cool campaign about recycling which I’ll do very soon. More details are here but to quote from their information ‘Ecover’s pledge is helping to clean up the planet one bottle at a time’ and I’d urge you to take a look as it makes a heck of a lot of sense. I truly hope all companies look at their packaging in a similar, forward thinking and insightful way but more on that another time…
I realise now that this post might sound like I’m actually pimping myself out a bit. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m saying ‘send me FREE STUFF.’ My cousin once told me ‘Mmmmm. Free. My favourite flavour’ but maybe it’s more of the fact that I have some unspent ire in my bones and find some people a bit fucking smug. And as you know, I don’t DO smug. But maybe, it’s because I want to promote campaigns and work with companies and brands which excite me.
So PR people out there, I’m available for bar mitzvahs, weddings, funerals and bank holidays. And if The Dorchester is looking for a Blogger in Residence then hit me up. Get me on the horn. You know my number.
Perhaps I’m just easily pleased by any PR contact I receive. But then I’m the sort of person that receives a phonecall in the afternoon from a cold caller selling me a new telephone package and I keep them talking, saying softly down the phone ‘But you value me right? That must mean you really love me! YOU LOVE ME! It’s BEEN SO LONG SINCE I’VE FELT LIKE THIS!’
But sadly they hang up and never call back.
What are your experiences of PR people. Good, bad, indifferent? Or are you like me? A dry old cactus in a barren blogging desert. Please let me know and, as always, thanks for reading.