Dana Rudolph

Worst PR Pitches of the Year

Filed By Dana Rudolph | January 02, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: bad pitches, bad PR attempts, marketing, Mombian, pr, pr pitches, public relations, rules for pitching a blog

I get a lot of e-mail from PR firms wanting me to blog about their products at Mombian.com (which, if you don't know and it isn't obvious, is a site for lesbian moms). I usually give them a glance, having once myself managed public relations for a dotcom. I figure it's good karma. Still, some of them are so clearly off target it makes me laugh. Here are a few gems I've received over the past year. Names removed or changed to protect the guilty.

I saw your website's page and felt that you have a wonderful resource which can be of interest to users on my website who are looking our for born again marry life partners. I have a site that provides best profiles of Christian matrimony, Indian born again, catholic & Christian believers. I would greatly appreciate a link from your site to mine.

Not that one can't be deeply Christian and lesbian. I just figure that if this was a site for LGBT Christians, they would have specified. In this case, I'm guessing they wouldn't really accept our type.

According to UrbanDictionary.com--manscaping is "male grooming below the belt." But now, a NY-based CEO has taken that term to a whole new level. Meet Jane Doe, CEO/Founder of [Company]-- a product that claims to 'color the hair down there.' According to Jane, sales to the male demographic are up 15% this year--a projected 4% increase in just one year. So does this prove that manscaping is on the rise??

I'd love to link you up with Jane to discuss this 'manscaping' trend and the various options that are out there for men to take care of their 'hair down there.'

Hmm. I think I'll forward that one to Bil.

[Received in August, part of the pre-Prop 8 California-wedding bandwagon]

Subject: STORY IDEA: How the GLBT community can celebrate marriage nationwide

As same sex couples in California rejoice with marriage licenses available now, couples across the country can celebrate this special occasion by getting married in a virtual world.

On [Web site], a social interaction site, same sex couples can get hitched, plan an elaborate reception, and enjoy an intimate wedding night online.

The site itself seems, in fact, to be a more salacious version of Second Life (though not affiliated with it). Yes, that's right. Instead of real marriages we can have pretend ones in a sex-focused virtual world. Don't even get me started....

I won't even bother to include the umpteen pitches I get for fashion and beauty products. Sure, some lesbians use them—they're not inappropriate on that score. It's just that I don't happen to blog about such things.

Herewith Dana's First Rule of Pitching a Product to a Blog: Read the blog first.

Closely followed by Dana's Second Rule of Pitching a Product to a Blog: Tell me how it benefits my specific audience.

And number three, the "No Free Lunch" Rule: Don't assume I'm going to blog about your product out of the goodness of my heart. Offer me a review copy/sample, or just ask your ad folks to buy an ad.

And my fourth, since I'm on a roll: Strunk & White. Read it. Learn it. Love it.

Thanks to the PR reps who actually do these things. I look forward to hearing about your products and appreciate your reaching out to the LGBT community.

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We've have recently had some offers like this and our blogs are only a few months old. The offers have been almost completely off base. If something was relevant and we liked it then we would consider it

On our book site we do receive some relevant books to review and that's great, but even there some of the offers were clearly from folks who didn't bother to read the website at all.

Hmm. I think I'll forward that one to Bil.

I wouldn't give him any ideas....

I believe Dana is telling me I need to manscape. Geez, thanks Dana! *grins*

I do a recurring post here on TBP called, "I Get Mail" that's just about the same thing you did. If they're that bad, I point them out.

But the virtual sex world? I totally did a post on them. LOL

Well, Bil, I enjoyed meeting you in December, but let me state for the record that we didn't get that close. Your grooming is between you and Jerame. :-)

I'm sure you and I get many of the same pitches; I'm guessing you wouldn't have highlighted the manscaping one as inappropriate, though (regardless of whether you needed it personally).

I'd feel bad about missing your post on the virtual sex world, but I see it was over a year ago. Sometimes I can't remember what I myself wrote last week. Maybe it was just the timing of the pitch I got that I felt was tactless. I have nothing against virtual sex, if that's what someone is into; promoting a virtual wedding as a substitute for an actual marriage, though, seemed a bit insensitive.

(I was going to say it's like giving a kid a stuffed animal when she really wants a pony, but of course, that's not quite accurate. More like giving a kid a stuffed animal when she really wants a pony, and they live in farm country, and all the other kids have ponies, and without a pony it takes her twice as long to get to school everyday, and then she's tired and has to struggle twice as hard to do well. Or maybe I should stop with the strained analogies already.)

I'm just glad you didn't try to weave sex, a pony, and manscaping together. Some posts are better left unwritten. :)

As for the mea culpa on the Utherverse post, don't worry. I didn't remember I'd done it until I read your description of them. LOL