Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Annoying Emails

I'm not going to call anyone out on this post, but I just might in the future!

I have received a plethora of emails that annoy me in the past few months. Maybe this post will make a difference...maybe not. But, let's start with the annoying...

Press Release Blog Posts for Free

You know, the emails that contain (basically) press releases and then..."If you would share this info with your readers, we would really appreciate it." I bet you would! Of course, free exposure is the best!

So, what you want me to do is do your job for you, right? You want me to take all of your information, put it in a blog post to my readers and essentially spread the word about your service, products, events, etc. just because I'm a nice person with a blog? You are the PR agent, so you need to come up with a more unique way of coming to me. Let me make this clear: I am not going to spread the word about your cause unless:

1) It benefits me, or
2) It has some close connection to what I believe in...

And even if you hit #2, there's a very slight chance that your product, book, service, event will make it into one of my blog posts because your email annoyed me!

Rejection Emails

I had an email conversation with a blogger that I am friends with just the other day. We were discussing reviews and giveaways and how we email companies to discuss opportunities to promote their products for them for free work with them. She had received a nasty email from a company which she had emailed and was a bit upset. She's not the only poor blogger who has been treated this way. I have received one that I was pretty ticked about. That company is lucky that I didn't blog about it and I am still wondering if I should.

Look, you uppity companies (and this comes from a former business manager!):

1) We are offering you a FREE SERVICE. Be thankful! Advertising of any type costs $$$$$$ and we are offering to do it for free.

2) What we do for you is benefiting you more than it benefits us! How do I figure this? The equation is simple: you send a product worth X amount of dollars. So, add the cost of the product and the shipping. I write a review and post it on my blog, which takes about an hour. Then, I send it out to all of the social media thing-a-ma-bobs (which takes even more time) and you get exposure through Google, too! And, this is ongoing exposure! Once your product is gone (like lotions and candles and finger nail polish), I don't have any residual, but there is a residual effect when I post up something on my stays there forever and is easily searchable through Google. So, who is really getting the shorter end of the stick?

3) If you know anything about Technorati and most of the other website-analysis tools that you use to see if blogger's blogs are up to your standards, you know that a lot of them are based on backlinks, not traffic. Understand what tools you are using to judge blogs before you reject bloggers.

4) If you haven't spent a moment of time reading someone's blog and checking out how many people respond to their blog posts (that means comments), you should never send a rejection letter that is mean. In addition, how can reject a blogger if you've never been to their site?

5) Did you know that bad exposure is 1000 times worse than a good review? One mean rejection letter could earn your company some bad exposure that never goes away. Be careful, polite, professional and remember that you are representing your company when you email bloggers!

6) Even if you think that a blogger does not have enough followers, the chances are that they have enough followers to spread the word about your mean email.

7) Bloggers are people with feelings. Duh! Be nice.

8) Back to the old saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." 'Nuff said.

My final word on this "rant" is: the company that sent me that mean email is very lucky they got away with it. The next mean and unprofessional email that I receive from a company will get posted on Mommy Rantings! Exposure is the key. :)

So, I have three questions: Which emails annoy you? Should I expose the company that sent me the mean email? Would you?


  1. I'd share it. Everyone feels differently but I'm more than willing to pay a few extra bucks to shop with companies willing to go the extra mile in customer service, hire intelligent and friendly employees, and in this age, treat their affiliates with respect.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Elizabeth! I regret not posting anything at the time.

    I'm the same way! That company was dumb enough to NOT look at me as a potential customer. Even if sending out a product for review was not an option at the time, they should have kept in mind that I might still be interested in purchasing their products. Guess what! I won't be buying ANYTHING from them, ever!

  3. LOL, Lady E! I've been following your blog and I KNOW you'd post it!

  4. We have already talked!!! :)

    BTW: I will just say that Popchips and Chobani have been awesome! They are so friendly and have great PR dept!!!!!

  5. My next post should be about the wonderful PR reps that I have worked with, Holly!

  6. I like when a company is thoughtful enough to read my blog (you can tell) and approach me with a reasonable request. A coupon for my readers or a give-away is always nice.

  7. It's your call, because it's your blog and only you can know what you are comfortable with. But I agree with your rant 100%. Some of these companies just don't seem to understand that word-of-mouth is everything, both positively and negatively. If I am pleased with a company or one of it's products, I will sing it's praises all over the place, and I'll remember how I was treated when I am at the grocery store and spend accordingly. Conversely, if a company ticks me off, then I write them off--no second chances. And I'll bad mouth them every chance that I get. Who on earth do they think is buying the majority of goods out there? Mouthy women, that's who !! :) Customer service people, wake up !!!
    Alicia Webster

  8. My point EXACTLY, Alicia! Thanks for your comment!

  9. I have been lucky to have only received friendly rejections so far, but I do have something to say in the defense of the annoying Press Releases, especially ones coming from PR agencies or large companies.

    Some bloggers charge a fee to post them, and I followed along and add a list of fees for this service. I haven't had anyone pay me for this yet. Posting the Press Release for the company will show them that you have a genuine interest in their product, and can quite possibly lead to them sending you a product for review... or in some cases simply sending you a product as thanks for posting the release.

    Press Releases are free content for us. It might now seem like it, but the keywords in the Release will lead Google searchers to your blog and benefit your stats.

    With that said, I post very few. I usually only post for companies who I have already done a review for, or am working on a review. I also post for products which I would love to try out, in hopes that they will consider sending it to me in thanks. (Which some have)

    In the end, I agree that they can be annoying, but you shouldn't completely disregard them.

  10. I appreciate you comment, Missy! And, you are right about the keywords and press releases...however, being an Internet content consultant, I have written hundreds of press releases...and I have yet to see a real press release come to my email. These are wanna-be press releases.

    I am glad you brought that point up, though. Because the search engines distinguish between unique content and copies, you are better off writing your own blog posts than copy and pasting a press release - no matter how great it is. My most original blog posts hit google for keywords.

    In addition, the other annoying aspect is their lack of relevancy. If they're going to send press releases to bloggers, try to match the niche to the topic! I guess I would have to present an example to demonstrate what I mean, but I was trying to be nice. :)

  11. Lots of great reading here, many thanks! I had been searching on yahoo when I observed your post, I’m going to add your feed to Google Reader, I look forward to a lot more from you.


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