For those that haven’t been following the situation, Robert Scoble (Microsoft Evangelist and co-author of Naked Conversations along with Shel Israel) has been attending to his mother in Livingston, Montana, who had a massive stroke last week and isn’t expected to live.
He complained on Sunday that despite his current personal situation, he continues to get product pitches and phone calls. He wonders if people who pitch bloggers read the blogs they are pitching.
His complaint sounds a lot like the ones that reporters have been lodging since I started working in public relations in 1994, and I am sure well before that.
It is a valid complaint, especially in the blogging world since a one-size-fits-all pitch is so universally hated.
However, blogger John Welch doesn’t think so, and he lets Robert have it in this comment:
The truth is, whether you like it or not, you’re part of the media, you get called and emailed, and no, they aren’t going to read your blog to see how your life is going and then try and decide if whatever is happening means “Don’t contact Robert, he’s too shaken/busy/etc with this situation” or “Contact Robert, he could use a little normalcy in his life right now”. (sic)
I argue that the author of a blog you are trying to pitch has no responsibility to you, especially if you are trying to get them to do you a favor.
I wonder if the familiarity of blogging makes people think that blog authors have obligations to them that just don’t exist?
My advice for pitching a blogger, know who you are pitching. Better yet, they should know you. And before you send out that e-mail, read their blog to see if their world has been turned upside down by a family emergency, by travel or other stresses that might make them less receptive.
If so, just wait or send your well-wishes, no strings attached.
This is intelligence you just can’t get from a reporter, so why not use it to time your approach?
On another related note, here are some other current outreach campaigns to bloggers. One is by the mayor of Houston about his new proposed WiFi program via John Wagner and one by Shel Israel for Click TV, with his original post on the subject here and an update about the Click TV Blogger Relations blog.