If you send me an email with the word Diploma in the subject line, I won’t get it. Rather frustrating since I teach the CIPR Diploma course, but most of my students are bright enough to remember this golden rule.
David Henderson notes his spam filter sends press releases straight to the trash folder. I perversely like the idea that all press releases should go direct to spam, not passing go and definitely not picking up £200. Why? Because it might make PR practitioners realise that media relations is not a direct marketing function and there is no room for junk PR.
Chicken Yoghurt writes “a message for representatives of PR and advertising companies” in press release format highlighting how irritating it is to be viewed as simply a channel for promotional purposes.
Most bloggers aren’t really that different from credible journalists in terms of having a purpose to their writing. This might be to convey news, or to interest even entertain themselves and others. Few decided to set up as a billboard offering a free plugging service.
If you want a pure promo – that’s called advertising – then you’d better have something that is genuinely interesting or news, then take the time to understand who you are targeting. That means being genuine – and recognising whether or not your approach will be welcome.
As Tom Coates notes with his view on press releases: This is not a brothel
Having said that, I’m sure if I was touting round a chance to drive a shiny new sportscar model, hot from Frankfurt, some bloggers would be less resistant to my approach.
Steven Davies (who was accused by Tom Coates as causing him to drown in press releases) posts positively about receiving an O2 Cocoon phone to review. I’m not clear what the deal is here (loan or gift), but an advertising agency, VCCP, is behind the strategy of a blogosphere launch.
Philip Young finds himself applying different rules on receiving a freebie O2 Cocoon phone compared to his days as a journalist when such goodies were seen as “part and parcel of doing my job”.
Maybe “traditional journalists” have developed a hard shell to what most bloggers view as intrusive contact. And like in any exchange relationship maybe your reaction depends what’s on offer and what is expected in return.
The issue may also be that bloggers feel they are developing communal relationships rather than commercial ones. To take up Coates point – they want to feel admired and be loved for who they are rather than feeling viewed as a cheap squeeze.