Once upon a time, PRs considered me to be an "opinion former" and they used to hound me endlessly about their clients. Quite often they had no idea about my interests or specialisations. While it’s nice to have such a level of attention, I much prefer today’s more thoughtful approaches. Those that contact me now usually know where I hang out (very broadly – collaboration and information management behind and at the edge of the firewall).
In a reminder of the old days, today I received an email from a well-known PR firm trying to interest me, as a blogger, in the activities of its even better-known client. My initial reactions in blue:
Subject: Blogger interviews with head of ******* UK
Gosh, the head of the UK arm of the company. And me just a humble blogger.
We’re in the middle of organising a blogger relations programme to coincide with the business launch of ***** *******. In short we’re looking to see if any bloggers would like to participate in a interview/chat regarding the launch (and other ******* topics) with the managing director of ******* UK, ******* ******.
Before the Queen dishes out honours, the organisers ask each prospective recipient whether they would accept. This seems like a parallel approach. A bit of flattery, a chance to hob-nob… A chance to avoid embarrassment.
Your name along with around four others was recommended as a potential interviewer.
Wow. Five bloggers in the whole of Britain. And I’m one of them. Why? It’s not as if I’m gasping to blog about the company. Maybe it thinks that after such an irresistable offer, I wouldn’t be able to help myself. But I bet the MD will be scripted to within an inch of his life. Where’s the interest in that?
The time it would take place would be early December.
Thank goodness I’m going to Silicon Valley at that time.
Basically, I’m testing the waters at the moment to see if anyone is indeed interested.
Make this a public invite and the bloggers will be queuing, matey.
Anyway, hope you’re well and hope to hear from you soon.
An unusually matey ending. I scanned my machine (104,000 emails and all my files) and can find no mentions of your name, just three cookies which show I’ve visited your blog. I am well thank you, since you ask.
STOP PRESS: A re-scan discovered seven emails from you and one mass mailing. So my sincere apologies for the last remark. We have been in touch as a result of our blogging activities.
I suspect this blog post is going to go down like a lead balloon with the people involved. This is why I’ve anonymised them. I have (or had) good relationships with both the PR firm and its client.
Normally, I’d hit the ‘delete’ key or say ‘sorry, not interested’ but, because I was being approached as a blogger, I thought the email was interesting. It certainly reveals some background to new media PR activity.
I’m not sure what made the PR firm single me out. The offer didn’t relate to the subject matter of this blog. And it certainly didn’t relate to thinkerlog. And, frankly, it barely worked for the IWR blog.
Presumably the PR firm wanted to invoke warm feelings towards its client and the opportunity in the hope that this would result in more positive and less critical coverage than they’d get from the regular press.
Then again, I could be completely wrong. Anyone care to pitch in?