Archive for November 7th, 2014

November 7, 2014

PR people – how not to approach bloggers

by backpackingbongos

As a blogger I get a couple of emails a week offering stuff I really don’t want (sadly I never get offered lovely shiny gear that I may actually use) and plenty of other emails that leave me scratching my head. This is a recent example of one that left me scratching my head:


I work with (big brand outdoor name) and recently found Backpacking Bongos while doing some industry research. We love your passion for the outdoors, and noticed that you call out some related sites on your homepage. Would you consider mentioning (big brand outdoor name)? We feel that this page would be especially relevant to your readers:

Web page of big brand outdoor name with a recommended text about one of their product lines.

We also recently launched a blog with many resources designed to encourage more people to get outside. I think your customers would find a lot of value in that too, I especially recommend our (web page of the big brand outdoor names blog) which offers inspiration and some beautiful images

Thanks for the consideration! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.


(name removed)

Associate  |  Paid, Owned, & Earned Media
629 Euclid Avenue, Floor 15, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA

So, if I understand the email correctly, are they looking for me to write a post where I mention this particular brand just for the sheer love of it? In other words are they asking me to provide free advertising for a large brand for absolutely nothing? I wonder if this is how commercial websites work, do PR companies provide this sort of pitch to them, or are they reserved for us dumb bloggers?

I looked up and their strap line is ‘Rosetta is an agency focused on customer engagement. We connect rich data, engaging experiences and robust technologies to forge meaningful relationships with customers that drive business impact‘. Sounds a load of old bollocks to me to be honest and they have not in this instance forged a meaningful relationship with Mr Bongo.

So a couple of tips for PR firms / marketing agencies when approaching bloggers. First of all do your research and find out what we are about. Make a bit of effort and use our names, if you read the blog you would know that my name is James. When you have done this then work out a bit of a sales pitch, what have you got to offer? In this case absolutely nothing I’m afraid.

I responded to the email with one simple line, ‘So you’re asking for free advertising?’. I have yet to get a response.

I’m amazed that brands actually pay companies to produce this dribble. It has put me off considering using any Merrell gear in the future, get your act together and work out how to promote your brand properly. At least you have got the free advertising that you deserve.