Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dear PR & Marketing Reps - Be Transparent & Honest - Truthiness Is Not An Option

I wasn't going to post today, and then an email exchange happened that didn't make me happy at all - It made me feel lied to.

Dear PR/ Marketing Folks: 
There are certain ways to reach out to the Diabetes Patient Blogger. 
First, don’t start by saying that “we suffer from diabetes.”
I don’t suffer from diabetes just like I don’t suffer from having freckles or being born in New Jersey. 
However I do “suffer” from peoples preconceived notions about what diabetes is & that diabetes is the person with diabetes fault. 
Secondly: Don’t tell me all the gruesome diabetes statistics in your first three sentences - That doesn’t work with me, either. It's just makes me sad & angry  - And nine times out of 10, it makes me click "delete."
And don’t tell me that you’re doing me a favor by pitching your wares, clients or miracle cures  - You reached out to me, not the other way around. And if I don’t get back to you in 3 minutes, there’s a good reason for it. 
  1. Work is crazy
  2. I’m doing my homework on your subject matter
  3. It’s pretty obvious to me that you’re full of shit and I don’t want to waste my time or energy
  4. I’m focusing my energies on your peers who were transparent from the get-go with their intro email. 
FINALLY - And what inspired this post: Be transparent and honest when you reach out to me and my diabetes compatriots. 
Don’t pass yourself off as another indy blogger looking to gain more writing experience and offering to write an informative blog post for me about..... Oh, I don’t know..... Let’s say medical malpractice and how certain drugs interact with one another..... And you happen to rep a...... A legal type of entity. 
Because even if there's "potential" in your email, that potential gets lost in the manner in which it was delivered.

Here’s the thing, when I look you up on Linkedin and search engine the shit of you, 
I’m going to find out what you really do, who you really work for and what your title is.
I’ll even find out what school graduated from - I have degree in literature and a minor bordering on Major in Google - I will find out. For God sakes, I interned at ‘Radio Times,” NPR honed my research skills!
And when I call you out on your BS, and then you email me back and tell me that you really are a Pro Blogger, and that you spend your days writing blog posts for your companies clients, THAT’S GREAT!  
I commend you & thank you for giving me hope that such jobs exist! 
Hell, I’d love to blog for Nutella or a travel website - Or a Diabetes organization/company that I love and respect - And You give me hope that I can! THANK YOU.

But promoting truthiness in your intentions instead of the truth when it comes to who you are and why you're reaching out - Of course I’m going to call you out on your bullshit!  

According Merriam Webster, defines Social Media as: 
Forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)

And according to Wikipedia: Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”
In this age of Social Media and continuing the conversation - A little transparency goes a hell of a long way - Especially in the Diabetes On-Line Community. 
By reaching out to us and not being transparent, you’re not helping anyone.

You’re not helping my community - not one bit - and by not helping them, in no way, shape or form are you helping me! 
You’re not helping your PR/Marketing peers who are transparent - And who work hard to develop and cultivate the Social Media aspect of the businesses they rep. You’re actually making their job much more difficult.

And lastly, you’re disrespecting your client - And don't even realize it!
How can you help your client if you don't approach your client's target market in a respectful & honest way? 

Seriously, It’s not rocket science - And you sir, are no rocket scientist~

1 comment:

Scott S said...

This is a huge problem that is only avoided by not making one's email address public (once the genie is out of that bottle, you cannot un-do it). That said, its interesting that companies trying to cash in on the diabetes segment (in fact, its NOT a single segment as most poorly written pitches presume, perhaps their first failure) aren't required to do the same kind of due diligence that any other business might undertake for another consumer segment. For that reason, the productivity of such blind pitches fail, and deservedly so.