This is the email that I, and scores of other bloggers, received this afternoon from Tami Queen at VOCUS, a company that claims to make PR management faster and easier. Notice that they didn’t say better.
Subject: Five Golden Rules for Blogger Relations
Countless accounts of “PR Flaks” who have spammed bloggers, mis-targeted pitches or just plain gotten blogger relations wrong fill the Internet. Don’t risk finding your next pitch blasted on your favorite blog! ”
As a Public Relations professional, it is your job to find every opportunity to get your organization covered and be an expert on the inner-workings of the media. However, the explosion of the blogosphere has left many confused and wondering: How do bloggers operate? What type of approach will get my news covered? How can I integrate blogs into my overall PR strategy?
The new media landscape calls for additional tactics and approaches to the PR practitioner’s toolbox. Download the FREE Vocus white paper “Five Golden Rules for Blogger Relations”
What’s sad about this pitch is that the White Paper includes interviews with my friend Shel Holtz and my Twitter buddy, Susan Getgood, both of whom are surely appalled that their names are in an email message that spammed bloggers.
VOCUS WTF were you thinking when you hit “Send”?
Here are my rules for publicists who want to pitch me, and believe it or not, pitches are welcome.
Here’s a grumpy post on how not to pitch me.
Reactions from other bloggers who were spammed with the Vocus message here and here
UPDATE: Shel Holtz and Susan Getgood are both astounded at the way VOCUS chose to pitch bloggers.
Holtz said in email today:
Out of control, indeed. … I assumed (and we know what happens when one assumes, right?) that good PR would be practiced in its distribution. Clearly, I was mistaken.
… from now on, I’m going to ask how these things are going to be promoted. Live and learn.
Susan Getgood, who posted about this today on her blog, said in email yesterday:
I am pretty livid about it …Actually, I would have preferred that Vocus follow the advice of the experts they interviewed for the paper rather than abuse our reputations in this manner, but I guess we can’t have everything :-(
Short story: Vocus screwed up here, they know it, but they have good intentions. Sure, it suits their commercial purpose of distinguishing their solution from others, but if they are willing to help educate people on how to do it right, I’ll give them the chance. They talk a good game. Now I wanna see them walk it.