Chris wrote a hilarious post the other day about the ridiculous pitches we receive as bloggers. We’ve all been through the “I don’t respond to email addressed to ‘Dear Mommyblogger’ or addressed to someone else” thing, and Chris does a great job of explaining why pretending to hype an “opportunity” to someone that is really a request for advertising in return for some crappy free product is just insulting and dumb.
But I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve decided that that at the very least, you kind of have to admire the chutzpah of those pitches. I mean, they’re terrible. AWFUL. But someone must be falling for them, right? So maybe even at a low rate of return, it works out to be advantageous for them. And if you want to be completely technical, offering free product in return for space on someone’s blog is indeed an “opportunity,” albeit one that doesn’t seem like it would appeal to many people with brains.
But I’ve decided that my favorite pitch to hate has got to be the ones that are even dumber than that.
I mean, yes, I’m not interested in being pitched diapers when my “baby” is 10, true. However insulting it is, I’m being offered SOMETHING. But even more often than I get those sorts of pitches, I get all of these SUPER FRIENDLY pitches that are really all about INFORMATION.
[Cue the “The more you know!” television commercial music.]
“Dear Mir,” they start out, “I’m writing you today with some exciting news!” (Oh, good, I think. Maybe I’ve won the lottery. Or we’re bringing all our troops home. Or I lost five pounds and didn’t notice.) “Your readers will be really excited to…” it continues, and then the thing that comes after is something like “view this new YouTube video” or “hear about our contest” or “find out that webbed toes are completely normal.” The theme is universal, though—they’re just reaching out to me with some information “to share with your readers.”
I dunno. I mean, I’m pretty sure that no one is coming here for press releases, but I could be wrong. Do let me know if that’s what you’ve been looking for, all this time. Anyone? Anyone? Buuuuueller? Right.
But the JOY and ENTHUSIASM with which these people assure me that they have the information my readers are dying to get, and their UTTER CONVICTION that I won’t want to delay in disseminating said important facts immediately, well, it’s kind of endearing.
Of course, taken out of context a bit, it’s also just plain weird. Think about it: Basically someone is contacting me out of the blue to ask me, as someone they don’t know, to share the information they give me with a bunch of other people who THEY don’t know. I don’t remember putting anywhere on any of my sites a little “Do you have something completely unrelated to anything I’ve ever said or done which you’re certain will be of the utmost importance not only to me, but also to my readers? PLEASE CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY!” button, but maybe I’ve forgotten.
I often wonder what it’s like to be one of those marketers. I’m thinking I want to know how it feels.
Which is why I’m spending the rest of the day with the phone book. I’ll be randomly dialing people and saying things like,
“Well hi there, John. I happened to notice from glancing at the phone book that you live on Main Street, and that’s such an incredible coincidence, because I’ve DRIVEN on Main Street! Small world, huh? Anyway! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve decided that the Caramel Crunch rice cake snacks are the best flavor, and I’m sure everyone you know cannot WAIT to hear the news! Feel free to post this to your Facebook and other pages at your earliest convenience. No, it’s okay. My pleasure!”
“Is this Sue? It is? That’s fantastic, because I was hoping to reach someone named Sue. You see, I have been known to use the letters S, U, and E in my everyday writing, which I’m pretty sure makes us second cousins in some countries. Anyhoo, I just wanted to let you know that not enough children in the United States are getting their recommended daily allowance of selenium. I know, I couldn’t believe it either! But it’s true, and you should probably talk to your doctor about vaccinating. I mean, supplementing. Oh hell, I really don’t know. Could you just find the time to mention it to everybody, though? I’m sure everyone you’ve ever met is dying to find out all about it. You don’t mind, do you? Awesome. Thanks so much.”
I share because I care, you know. Now go tell at least twenty people. No need to thank me!