I've got to tell you folks something that I'd rather not mention because it's a poor reflection of PR hacks incorrectly tapping the blogosphere. You know what my blog is about - hi-tech PR. You know where I work - Voce. I don't hide that. Shoot, I even blog about my clients when I feel like it - you know why? Because it's my blog, that's why. I'm the first to say I'm not a journalist just because I blog. I blog to raise visibility for my firm. If you're a PR blogger and that's why you blog but you can't say that to your audience, get out. We all have an agenda. It's either our own brand our our client's brand or our firm's brand. I'm promoting Voce and my clients. Now that we've cleared that up - again - let me describe a pitch I received today from a hack representing a tech company. First of all - and this kind of cracks me up - the subject of the pitch is "briefing at active voice." That's nice. I wish Active Voice had walls and a lobby and a coffee maker but it's just a place in my head (or throat) for now. Here is the opening of the pitch (with certain info removed so feelings aren't hurt - that's not the point of this post):
Principals of XXXX, a XXXX provider of XXXXX would like to be considered as a possible source for future stories you may be working on regarding XXXXX and the problem both small and medium sized businesses are facing to stay in XXXX. We will be in your area the week of March 14 and would like to arrange a meeting with any editors and reporters of Active Voice that would be willing in meeting us for a half hour briefing to explore opportunities. Can you spare a half hour to meet us?
So I start to think, why did I show up on this person's radar screen. Don't get me wrong, it's flattering in a way. Somebody is reading this stuff besides other Voce employees (after I set their browser to default-open to Active Voice). I go to MediaMap and guess what, ol' Active Voice is listed. Here is what it says:
Active Voice simply offers thoughts of high-Technology Public Relations. A blog (or Web log) is a frequently updated Internet diary, which includes commentary, hyperlinks, and personal observations. Most blogs have links to other similar blogs, creating a community of information and sharing of ideas. Many do not have editors or publishers, but rather are the responsibility of the journalist (or blogger) who writes them...Knowing the focus of a blog is important before contacting a blogger. Many blogs are targeted to a specific topic and only cover information that relates to that topic.
Other than "simply offers" - the description is straightforward. "Focuses on" or "Offers tremendous insight in the area of hi-tech PR" would have been better. The important note is the last sentence - knowing the focus of the blog/blogger. I've never written about the subject/market that this company speaks to. I'm not trying to unnecessarily slam someone here. I've always said that we PR bloggers need to stick together to promote this vehicle before we rip each other apart. This is a lesson to those folks talking about how to pitch bloggers. Go to PR Blogging school first and then talk-to the target blogger. Better yet, start a blog of your own so you have some street credibility and then dip your toes in the water. This is the nice, "Why can't we all get along" Matt talking. My first thought was to accept the pitch invitation and then once they were here at Voce, pitch them on how we do business and take the client away.