Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lame Fox

It looks like Annie Slaminsky and I have received exactly the same email from a marketing person keen to have us review a new online product.

I have to say that when I received an email from a 'Ria Campbell' that began 'Dear Patroclus, I think your blog is great; I am a regular visitor and your writing is never less than fun, insightful and entertaining by turns' I was initially flattered, then a mite suspicious, given that I don't know this person and that - to my knowledge - she has never commented on the blog before.

I was made even more suspicious by the fact that some of the punctuation marks in the email had rendered badly, making it look like text that had been copied and pasted from somewhere else. Then I saw Annie's post and realised that Ms Campbell is sending the same flattering email to everyone. I'm not special at all!

Having worked in PR and 'social media marketing', I'm quite painfully aware that a lot of companies are trying to court bloggers these days. Sadly, they're mostly going about it all the wrong way - either by sending bloggers press releases and hoping the blogger will write about them, or by pretending to be a fan of the blogger when in reality they don't read the blog in question at all.

But I did a bit of digging, and was surprised to discover that Ria Campbell works for a company that ought to know better. A company run by one of this country's most successful dotcom entrepreneurs, famed for her successful online and offline marketing techniques. (Can you guess who it is yet?) And a company, therefore, that really ought to know how and how not to approach bloggers. Tsk.

So sorry, Ria, I won't be writing about your 'cool' online service, and if anyone else is reading this who received the same email, I hope you won't be either.


Anonymous said...

Is the title of the post a clue?

I now feel a teensy bit jealous I haven't had this email yet.

GreatSheElephant said...

ass, I didn't get that either. I'm offended.

Yo, Martha. I'm really easily bought (after all, I am a trade journalist), especially at present.

Sean McManus said...

I have more respect for those that just spam a press release than those that try to chummy it up by faking an interest in me personally. You can see they're timewasters straight away, rather than taking a moment to work out that they're lying bastards too.

Hannah said...

Yup, I've had that too. Pfft.

Valerie said...

Writer's Digest recently posted several blog postings suggesting that writers trying to publicize their books find appropriate blogs and nag the authors to interview them or review the books. I think this is going to become increasingly common.

I have noticed that people often submit work to Grasslimb with a bullshit "I really love your magazine" in the cover letter. Because Grasslimb has a small circulation, I'm pretty aware of who has ordered a copy, and, unless all these people are borrowing a friend's copy, most of 'em are lying. And that's reflected in the style of their writing, which is generally inappropriate. You can't really fool people this way for very long, as you've proven...

GreatSheElephant said...

I'm really confused about this now - how come Annie's was genuine and yours wasn't?

patroclus said...

Well, it seems it was genuine, although we both got exactly the same email, and so apparently did Hannah.

In an effort to make amends I have signed up for the service in question and will make my report soon.

Lettuce Hater said...

i keep getting similar emails from make-up/fashion soi-disant blogs in the states

they gush madly about how they lerve my blog and that they have linked to me, so i should now do the decent thing and link to them

and then i point out to them (if ever i can be fagged) that i haven't been writing at urban chick for, ooh, almost a year

like, doh

but martha lane fox! she should know better! shame on her

Anonymous said...

boo - feeling slightly ... alright then, very - envious. no one is soliciting me whatsoever! i'd be putty in their hands, tbh, if they expressed even the slightest interest ... *sighs theatrically*

nuttycow said...

Ha! I got that too. And I thought I was the special one.

Declined, politely.