In case the title isn't fair enough warning - this is a rant I kept hoping I wouldn't have to write, but I'm about fed up with the PR madness.
Before I start, there are a number of PR people who do GET it and we have nice, respectful relationships. I appreciate them and help them whenever I can. You know who you are.
Now, for the rest of you, there are a few things you need to understand:
- I do not blog for a living. I have clients and their projects are what pay my bills. They—not you—are my first priority.
- I cannot drop everything because your client is launching a new product tomorrow. Didn't you know that before today? Your urgency is not my urgency. Give me some lead time to work it into my schedule. I'll respect your embargo date. But I'll also appreciate getting to be one of the first to publish a story covering your topic.
- I have a niche. I write about B2B marketing. Period. If your product, book, news or whatever else you're looking for press coverage about doesn't fit in with the theme of B2B marketing, don't send me your stuff. If you don't know the difference between B2B and B2C - go figure it out. Yes, amazingly, there are actually some PR people who don't know this.
- Spamming me with a press release with no human message above it telling me why I should care isn't going to get you anywhere. It's rude.
- Do not send me attachments unless I ask for them. It's presumptuous.
- Why is it you think you don't have to follow CAN SPAM rules? Oh, wait, I get it. It's because you're afraid everyone you spam would unsubscribe if you gave them the opportunity. Wise up and do it anyway. Beyond being considerate, there's a little thing called the law. Plus, if I respond and ask to be removed from your list - pay attention!
- If you want me to respond to your request, spend a few minutes and read my blog and then use what you've learned to tell me why you think I'd be interested in learning more and writing about what you're promoting. Better yet, comment on my blog so that I get to know you and understand that you actually care about the topics I cover.
- You also should understand that spam sent in representation of your client leaves an impression with me about your client. That they do business with someone who behaves this way rubs off on them. Is that what you want? Really?
- Oh, and if I don't respond to your email, sending another one a few days later trying to guilt me into responding isn't going to work. I don't owe you anything. And your presumptuous behavior is making things worse.
I don't think this is asking too much. If you want something from me (essentially free work - see #1 above) you should be willing to make an effort. But in case you're feeling put out, perhaps you should understand what building relationships with bloggers can do for you.
- Bloggers have loyal followers that rely on them and their recommendations to find options to explore and to learn more about topics they're interested in.
- Many bloggers are syndicated. If they write about your stuff, it's likely the post will be picked up in numerous places that have audiences with interests similar to their own readers.
- Many bloggers are also heavily involved in social media and share their blog posts in those venues. They often have a network that proactively helps to share their posts - even more exposure for your clients.
- Once you've established a relationship with a blogger because you bring them something valuable to share with their readers, it's likely that they'll share your stuff again.
I'd say that the pay offs of a healthy and respectful blogger relationship are worth your time and effort. If not, that's fine. Just take me off your list. There are plenty of PR people who will make the effort and leave you in the dust with the results they get for their clients.