Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

I don't know what it is, but I find that I always begin to succumb to blogger outreach efforts. Maybe it's because I like the attention.

But when it goes wrong - and it doesn't take much - I get turned off pretty quickly. About a month or so ago, my colleague Scott Greg Verdino wrote about his experience with a less than buttoned-up blogger outreach effort.

Well, I recently received an invitation to check out Flektor, a site that allows you to host all of your photos, video, music and text and to essentially create multimedia scrapbooks to share with friends. An interesting site, one that I might be tempted to review. What made it even more attractive is that the pitch was actually one of the smoothest ones I've received. Here are some things they did well:

  • They were specific - they named the blog that linked to my site (and it happened to be one that I know and respect)
  • Did their homework - they noted that I write about social media and innovation
  • Clear goals & objectives - they were very upfront about being in the midst of a social media campaign and wanting to connect with influential bloggers
  • They were empathetic - they noted that unsolicited emails can be a turn-off, so this would be the only one I received
  • Offered a two-way dialog - more than just a one-way pitch, they wrote they'd be open to comments, feedback, interviews and specifically stated their methods were "purely one-on-one interaction with people who like" the service
  • A decidedly human approach - they requested that I let them know if I decide to write something about the service, noting "we monitor, but nobody's perfect"

Sounds like a lock, right? Well, I got to the end of the email and it said:
I look forward to hearing from you!
Many Thanks, David!
'Doh! Looks like I won't be participating. Maybe they'll have better luck with David.

In this day and age - especially with form letters (which it turns out this was), such an error is inexcusable. The technology should be able to merge databases with forms. And if it's a personalized approach, then it shouldn't be happening. With a little effort and attention to detail, these errors can be eradicated, saving clients a lot of money in wasted outreach efforts. And maybe it even makes sense to put together something like Ogilvy PR's Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics.

Bottom line, this is more than PR 101 - it's common courtesy in any social environment: pay attention to people you're talking to, make them feel like they're important to you, and for God's sake, get their names right.

Has this happened to you?

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