Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the difference between spam and a "pitch"

A lot of the work that I do with Tell Ten Friends is in PR. For the past few months, I've seen some success in pitching stories about my clients to bloggers in addition to the "mainstream" media. The only way to do this right is to follow a certain degree of blogging etiquette, so as not to labeled a spammer.

Most fans of this blog have their own great blogs, many of which have large audiences. As the rest of the world catches up with RSS and the online conversation, those audiences are going to be more and more coveted by PR firms and various other "marketers."

This means two things:

1. Bloggers will see plenty of pitches
2. Bloggers will see plenty of spam

I'm here to help identify the difference, in a blinding flash of the obvious: Spam was written for "them," while pitches are written for you. The principle difference is whether or not they have taken the time to identify you by name, prove that they've read your blog, and leave legitimate contact information for themselves.

I receive plenty of spam- some comes randomly via email, some comes in the form of comments here on the blog, and yesterday I coined a term because I get so much "MySpam" via MySpace. But today I received an honest-to-goodness pitch.

Here's what they did right:

1. Used my name
2. Wrote the subject line specifically for me.
3. Complimented me on my blog and even quoted two separate posts (flattery will get you everywhere).
4. Left his full name
5. Sent it from his personal email address, with a link to it in his signature.

Not because I'm plugging his product but rather because he was so diligent, I'm going to link to him: And I'll let their site do the talking.

To be fair to "Benjamin" and his project, I won't offer my review of the product here, but rather I'd love to hear what my readers have to say. Follow the link to their site, and please leave your feedback in the comments section here. I'll pass it on to them via email, along with my two cents.

Comment away.


At 7:34 PM, Blogger whoami123 said...

We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at this infinate goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Whoami

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Okay, you made me laugh. Well done.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Jordan I know exactly what you mean. It hasn't migrated over to the Garden yet, thankfully, but occasionally I'll get emails from someone through BMA wanting me to write a post about them, with the 'pitch' usually being 'Hey thought you would like this, thanks.'. and then a link. I ignore them all.

However there is one PR firm that always refers to me by my name, mentions a post I left on BMA that they liked, and answers any emails I have about the campaign within the hour. I go out of my way to post about every email tip I get from her, all because she took a few minutes to personalize the email.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

I've yet to see good blog spam or pitch. Maybe I'm just in the wrong marketing niche :)


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