Media Culpa’s top 10 blog pitch pet peeves

At what point does pitching a blogger become spam? Well it doesn’t take much, if you ask me. I have been biting my tongue for very long (I don’t want to be like Chris “Long Tail” Anderson), but now I feel it’s time to let off some steam. So, without further ado, here are my top ten blog pitch pet peeves.

1. Don’t send me press releases about stuff I don’t blog about.
You would be amazed if you knew the kind of press releases I get. I have been on the Swedish Christian Democrats mailing list since the last election. Hello! I don’t write about politics and I have no intention to start now. Read my blog for a while so you get a sense of what topics I cover.

2. Don’t send me press releases from a generic sender.
Who on earth is “mediaservice”? Answer: the Swedish Christian Democrats again. I would rather have a dialogue with an identifiable human being.

3. Don’t send me attachements.
It’s bad enough if you send attachements to someone’s job, but you are sending me this stuff to my home computer. If this thing breaks, I’m toast. I don’t have an IT support to call if I get at trojan or a virus. I can’t afford to open anything with an attachement if it’s not from a trusted sender.

4. Don’t send me press releases with nothing but attachements.
How dumb are you if the only thing there is in the email is a jpeg file? Do you really expect me to open this crap? One of Sweden’s largest media corporations should read this and be ashamed. Bonus pet peeve: the attachement is 5 MB or more.

5. Don’t send me press releases with vague headlines.
Same company as above. Don’t send me an email just telling me to “hold the date” and forcing me to open an image file to find out what the date is about. I won’t do it.

6. Don’t send the same personalized letter twice, from different people.
Leading PR agency advises leading software company. Sends very nice letter to bloggers, asking if they can send a press release about a news story. Same “personalized letter” comes slightly adjusted from a second person at the same company a few weeks later. That makes our “dialogue” feel fake.

7. Don’t send me yesterday’s news.
Same PR agency as above. Sent me a press release dated the day before (yes, really!). And besides, the whole story had already been covered the same morning by the leading business daily, which made it not so interesting for me.

8. Don’t send me the same release twice within ten minutes.
This happens more often than you could imagine. Oh please, check your mailing lists for duplicates, would you? Bonus pet peeve: if you mess up and need to send out a new corrected press release, don’t demand that the blogger who just blogged the story shall update his blog post within minutes. I take responsibility for my own content and reputation, thank you very much.

9. If I tell you to stop, please do.
If you wonder why I have chosen to only name the Christian Democrats on this list, it is because they are the absolute worst on blogger relations. When I finally got tired of observing them making fools out of themselves, I sent them a polite email telling them to remove me from their mailing list because I wasn’t interested. That’s exactly one week ago and I still get their press releases. Nike was right: just do it!

10. Don’t send press releases at all.
Get to know me. Build a relationship. That’s why there is a ‘social’ in front of ‘media’ when we talk about blogs.

So what to do? A good start would be to check out the “pitching bloggers” section of the NewPR Wiki and this list of links.

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