Since this website will often deal with “stuff”, emails will often come in (like, all day every day) from the reps of brands and retailers who deal in “stuff”. And more often than not, these emails are completely ludicrous. In an attempt to prevent countless PR Flacks from wasting their own time and their client’s money, here are five approaches that’ll just about guarantee a “go-pound-sand” reaction from this side of the email server.
1. The brand or PR firm asks to write the article
“I represent XYZ. How much would it cost for me to write a piece on your website?”
A billion dollars. Plus a signed ball from the 1927 Yankees, the Holy Prepuce, and a series 1 Jaguar E-Type that’s been upholstered with Yeti. The strangest part about these ridiculous requests is the constant appearance of two words: “High Quality“… as in “I assure you the writing will be high quality!” Always with that damn exclamation point too. I don’t care if you’ve hired every living Poet Laureate to hammer out a post about the company you rep. It’s not happening.
2. Lobbying for a positive review before it’s even written
“Well, I have to be able to tell them you’ll like their product. You will, right?”
Unfortunately, now we’ll never find out, because that review isn’t happening anymore.
3. Requiring contest entrants to jump through social media hoops
“Instead of them just signing up to win, what if they liked our FB page, had to send out a tweet with #IWanttoWinfromBrandXYZ, and then had to post a picture of themselves on Instagram sacrificing a goat to appease us?”
No. If the item to be won is great, your page just might see an increase in likes. Requiring someone to like your FB page (or follow a brand on twitter/instagram/etc) to participate in a contest is hollow, and it does more harm than good.
4. Telling instead of asking.
“We’re going to send you some socks, what’s your address?”
The hell you are.
5. Not describing the product or service.
“Hello. I’m writing on behalf of a very successful fashion brand. I would like to schedule a phone call with you to discuss a new project they’re working on . What time on Monday would work best for us to jump on a call?”
What publicity firm do you work for? Lennay Kekua and Associates? Coy is the crutch of those who don’t believe in what they’re pitching. And it’s over-used to a silly extent. There are no prudes in PR. Give it up or get lost.