I’ve got more than a few posts pending, including part 2 of my analysis of the published FTC guidelines on commercial endorsements and an update on Blog with Integrity, but today I received an email that demanded immediate attention.
As many of you know, I collect bad pitches. I use them here on the blog and in my workshops. Someday perhaps they will even make it into a book about community engagement. I get a few myself (and for some reason more lately), but the best source of pitches — good and bad — are my friends and readers.
Today’s example, from a reader, was just about the worst pitch ever. It’s bad enough when bloggers get press releases that quote their previous reviews on the topic. That’s clueless and stupid.
When the pitch plagiarizes a blogger’s own words, and they send her the pitch? There really are no words.
Here’s the pitch, dated 10/22/09:
And here’s the post from which the content was lifted, from 9/29/09:
Yes, my friends, apparently, this PR agency took the blogger’s intellectual property, changed a few words, and then sent her the pitch. There’s so much wrong with this whole scenario that it’s hard to know what’s worse — stealing the post or stupidly sending the pitch to the victim.
How do I know that it was the PR agency that ripped off the blogger and not vice versa? Apart from the dates, which make it pretty obvious? Gut. While I’ve only met this blogger once, at BlogHer Boston last year, I have no reason to doubt her. She also had no problem being identified in this post, an inevitable consequence of her by-line. I double-checked.
The agency in question? It’s like the umpteenth time someone has sent me one of their pitches as a bad pitch, and I’ve received more than a few crappy ones from them myself.
This is why PR agencies have to be more than crisp when reaching out to bloggers. You have to be damn near perfect because there are dopes out there doing crap like this.
Makes me sick and embarrassed for the marketing and communications profession.