Blogger Relations – Digital Agencies Suck at it Too

I am blogging

In retrospect I shouldn’t have had a go at the Ogilvy PR Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics – incidentally they’re back with a V2 which you can find here. Having looked at some of the things I’ve been getting recently, people involved in this kind of activity really do need some help. So sorry for being cranky about it before, you guys are doing a good thing!

Just to make it clear I’m not having a pop at anyone here. And I’ve deliberately removed any traces of who sent it and what client it might be for as that’s not the point. The post is designed to illustrate some of the clangers that people are still making when they try to approach bloggers. Or at the very least some of the things that work (or don’t work) when you’re approaching me.

1. Why did you pick me?

From my contact form I can see how people got to the site, in this most recent instance it was through: For those of you who don’t know Scamp has a very nice chart of Ad Blogs. So the fact that this person who mailed me had come from there immediately makes me suspicious.

My guess would be that most of the blogs in that chart have had an approach from this person. That makes me feel cheap and used. Not a good start point.

2. The Greeting


Thought you might be interested in the latest [client name] digital campaign from [agency name].

Well it’s not personalised, which is bad. But at least it doesn’t say ‘Hi’ which really annoys me. But I’m immediately suspecting that this person has done no research and has made absolutely no effort. Straightaway I’m thinking ‘blogspam’!

When doing blogger outreach, or whatever it’s called today, you have to realise that it’s a 2-way relationship. By putting your campaign on my blog I’m going to be delivering you traffic (at some small level), a bit of awareness and link juice (the stuff that makes your Google search ranking better). The very least you can do in return is give my ego a tiny little stroke and pretend that you’ve written a mail just for me. All it would take is to look at the title of my blog and copy my name into the mail.

Even better if it felt like you’d read my blog, and you thought I’d be interested because… Or even better be a bit honest and say something like “I’m a bit nervous about sending you a viral because I know you’ve got a bit of a thing about virals”. If someone did that I’d have huge respect for them.

But the really sad thing is that I know a few people that work in the agency that this came from. And geographically they’re only a few streets away from where I work. So a tiny little bit of research and a line that acknowledged some of that very basic stuff would have made all the difference. Honestly it would.

I’m not sure how many people this approach went out to. But I’m almost certain spending 10 minutes crafting each mail would end up driving significantly higher and more positive coverage. (Actually I bet someone’s done some research on that, or if they haven’t they ought to).

3. The Content of the Mail

Here’s a link to the campaign hub and a movie featured on the home page of the site: [link goes here]

While here’s a link to a viral that only lives on youtube:

Be interesting to hear your views on these

[sender name]

Well I guess it’s short.

As an aside my view on the ‘films’ in question. They’re quite good. I really love the skyscraper ads that go alongside them though. They really work for me. And I would have blogged about them if the email had been nice.

As I said I’m not having a dig. The email is a bog standard one, and I’ve had much much worse. Do go and have a look at the Ogilvy PR Code of Ethics, you’ll start to see that it’s not an easy thing to get right and there’s lots of things to consider.

6 thoughts on “Blogger Relations – Digital Agencies Suck at it Too”

  1. heheheh

    too funny – got the same email – replied in a similar vein.

    But the fact that it reminded me of me at bestival made me giggle…

    And it’s better than some of the generic press releases I’ve been getting recently. They really suck. I got one about an agency being appointed in Canada. Sheesh.

  2. O and to be balanced – have had some really nice approaches too – where people who knew my name said nice things about my blog asked permission to send me stuff later on!

    That was ace.

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