Well, I hope you are enjoying my good pitch, bad pitch analyses because I’m sure having fun doing them. Today, for giggles, we are going to look at a few bad pitches. Then tomorrow I am going to tell you about a campaign from Jim Beam that I was pitched last week… as an example of a good pitch 🙂 Later this week, we’ll discuss one simple way to turn a good pitch into a bad pitch. Note: this is not a recommended strategy.
The pitch to me for the Jim Beam campaign gets points for cleverness. Jason Falls pitched me a social media marketing campaign in response to my posts and tweets about social media marketing campaigns. But when I asked the him for more detail on how he pitched his client’s program to other bloggers, Jason ponied up. And sent me some of his pitches. So extra points for guts, dude, because you know I often use screen grabs. Then again, fits with the brand, and that works for me too. More tomorrow. [Jason — if you are counting, as I know you are, that means you get two hits from me. For whatever that’s worth.]
Today, however, we shall laugh at some stupid crap from PR agencies.
Our first victim — a pitch for a video contest for an ice cream bar. Totally unmemorable, says the blogger who forwarded this to me, until she got to the part directing her to post it on her site.
That did not go over so well. And why the pitch made it to MY inbox 🙂 Good blogger relations practice: Never ask a blogger to write. If the pitch is good, you don’t need to ask.
And then of course, there was the end of the email:
I black-box company names but the "X" — that was all them, my friends. Talk about a cut-and-paste pitch. This rep didn’t bother to sign her own name before she launched the email blast. I can’t repeat this enough — of preference, do not use email blast programs to pitch bloggers. Send individual emails. With some standard explanatory verbiage for sure, but hand done, each one. But if you are going to use an email blast, at least make sure your technology doesn’t suck. Signed X. Jeez..
Next, one of my all time favorites, false familiarity. Even worse when combined with poor proofreading.
Hey, buddy. I don’t know you. "Hey" is a dicey form of address when it comes from someone you DO know. Totally inappropriate to someone you do NOT know. Try "Hi" instead. And then there are all the grammar errors. Needless to say, this one goes straight to the round file.
The lesson: proofread. More than once. Be appropriate in how you address the blogger. Hi followed immediately by who you are and why you are writing has always worked well for me: Hi Susan, My name is Susan Getgood and I am working with company X to introduce bloggers to XYZ.
And finally, another example of why is important to tailor the pitch to the blogger AND have something of real value to impart. A contest or drawing usually isn’t enough, unless it offers real recognition based on skill to the blogger. Or a kick ass prize. And even then… those are a dime a dozen these days. How do you distinguish your offer or contest?
Here’s the pitch. What makes it bad?
It’s all about the product, the service, the offer. How the blogger can help this company promote their contest and their site. For free. Not about her at all. Just a pitch for some free coverage.
The sad thing is that this product might resonate if the pitch had been better targeted and better written.
Am I being tough? Absolutely. Because these are wasted opportunities. If I was allowed to give one piece, and only one piece, of advice to companies considering blogger outreach it would be this: Lead with the customer, ie the blogger. Relate to a real problem or concern and then introduce your product or service.
We don’t care about products. We care about how they help us, meet our needs, make us happy. Start there. We’ll fill in the rest.