Dear *insert PR person name here*,

Editors note: This is in no way directed to those wonderful PR folks I have a relationship with.

Thank you very much for taking the time to contact me. I even appreciate that you put together a personal line or two at the front of your copy/paste pitch. That “How to Work With Mommy Bloggers” seminar is really showing! Since I am overly busy and this is the 5th email like this I received in the last two hours,  I am going to leave this letter up so I can just link you to it. *anyone else too busy to write their own feel free to send them this link*

I would like to address some parts of your pitch here. Don’t worry if this is not the exact wording you used in yours, it all sounds the same to us “mommy bloggers”, trust me.

I’m emailing you because I’m working with **** to get the word out about their ***** program!

So, are you wanting to get the word out to me?

I think your readers would be really interested in this because….

Oh, you want me to tell my ‘readers’!

We’d love if you wanted to write a post about it.  Let me know what you think or if you have any questions!

SURE, cause I have absolutely nothing better to do with my time. I have two kids that I homeschool, run 4 active communities, blah, blah, blah. I don’t have time to go to the bathroom but hey, let me risk a bladder infection so I can rush right over and give you some free publicity!

OK, here is my question. My ‘readers’ (I much prefer to call them my friends) come to my site(s) because they want to see what is going on with me, my family, or the community I have built. You want me to take time away from connecting with my readers to tell them about yours and the 5 other pitches I got just like this today? And you want me to do it cause I think they would care? They don’t, trust me. Let me put it this way, people read blogs for the same reason they watch TV shows-entertainment and education. The trend to DVR’ing through commercials works the same way online. Believe me, if I throw your press release up, their eyes will glaze over and turn me off. Now, why would I want to risk my very hard earned relationship with my friends to essentially run a public service announcement for you??? I don’t know you. I have no vested interest in you or your product.

Lots of talk going on in the PR world about earned vs. purchased content. There is no way on gods green earth you are going to ‘earn’ my time when you attempt to start out a relationship like this with me. You do realize this is the equivalent of meeting a stranger in the bar and asking them to put out on the first date??? Some girls may be that easy. Sorry, I am not.

I am a really nice person, and I am sorry that I had to use such strong language but the thing is, you don’t get it if I don’t. I have PR relationships that I would bend over backwards for. That is “earned”. It is a two way street. I have worked with them in the past,  they have a good quality program and don’t happen to have a big budget right now. I get that! Glad to help out if I can, especially if it is something with a charitable twist. But if you are a Fortune 500 company and your first contact with me is the pitch above, don’t be surprised if a. am kind and just delete, b. tell all my friends c. tell all my friends at a convention than sit around and have a drink laughing at how stupid you are!

and just a note, you are most likely going to get a c if you send me this after I have nicely given you option a.

I emailed my pitch a couple of weeks ago and wanted to ensure you’d received it.

So, please let me give you some advice before you delete out my name and forward the pitch on to the next blogger on your list who is likely a friend or associate of mine.

Think about how you would feel if a total stranger walked up to you and asked you to call all your friends, relatives, business partner, your doorman, your kids and so on shout from the rooftops that XYZ is having a promotion. And they want you to do it for free with absolutely no benefit to you except the good will that you got to share this news! I am guessing you would give them a crazy eye and walk quickly past.That is how I feel, except it happens to me at least 5 times a day.

Want to work with me? Chances are, if you have a quality product, are a nice person, build a relationship with me and consider ME in the equation we could have a long term relationship and that ‘earned’ pr you are looking for will come.

And if you are still reading at this point, it is hopefully because you truly want to make your pitch less delete worthy in the future. May I suggest that you go read the very talented Geek Mommy’s take on this. Read the comments. You will see that I am not alone in my feelings. It is a very good discussion.

Come Along, Enjoy the Fun, as I Possibly Poison My Family!

*sung to the tune of the Mickey Mouse Club* “Come along, enjoy the fun, as I possibly poison my family!”

Did you hear all the drama about BlogHer ’09 in Chicago? Someone caused a major scandal at the Paula Deen event. Well, if you didn’t hear about it, let me fill you in. Some girl had the nerve to tell Paula Deen that she can’t even hard boil an egg!  It went something like this:

Strange girl: “Paula, my husband really admires you and I would love to learn how to cook like you! How can I start learning the basics?”

Paula: “No worries, sweetie (I think I may have imagined the sweetie part). Just start watching the Food Network”

Strange Girl: “No, see, that is way too complicated. I don’t know how to hard boil an egg yet”

Paula: *mouth on floor* ” I have just the perfect thing for you! Go to the store and get my book called My First Cookbook. You will find it in the toddler area!” *audience laughs* “Now, don’t be embarrassed about it, you go right on and work your way through that book” *she honestly is just as sweet in person as one of her pies*

51WQZu-4NmL._SL160_OK, OK, I admit…I am that girl! and YES! Paula Deen did tell me to buy a toddler cookbook. There were many witnesses!

When people first meet me and the subject of cooking comes up, they do the polite little giggle that I don’t know how to cook. They don’t really get that when I say I don’t know how to cook, I really, really mean it. My best friends and family know though that it is not a silly little joke. They run for their lives if I say I made something. I try, I really, really do. It just never turns out well!

In order to give you some relative background on my kitchen mishaps here are some of the highlights:

  • After Carter was born we hired a catering service for a while. Instructions said “put in oven for 20 minutes at 35o”. Instructions never said, remove plastic lid. Nice oven fire on that one.
  • I once bought a mix of banana bread and made it for the PTA. I had no idea that vegetable oil could go bad! Nearly poisoned the PTA.
  • I made boxed mac and cheese and it came out as round as a ball. What? Doesn’t yours?
  • I made pesto once with cilantro instead of basil…might not have been bad if I planned it that way but I just didn’t know the difference. Hey, I tried.

Thank god my husband is an amazing cook. The poor guy has to be. If I say I am cooking, both the fire department and local take out are put on alert.

Economically, it never made sense for me to cook! We would have to throw it out and order out anyway. So, it got to the point where we just ordered out. Our typical dinner plans are this:

Husband at 5:00 on cell: “Hey, whats for dinner?” *by this he means what do you want me to bring home*

Me: “I don’t know what what do you feel like?”

Husband: “Haven’t had Changs all week. Want that?”

Me: “Sure. I will call it in”

Yes, a variation of this happens every night at 5 in our house. Do I have the best husband in the world, or what?

People ask how this is even possible. How can a 30 ‘something’ woman with 2 kids not know how to hard boil an egg?? Well, I blame my family really! My parents worked in restaurants my whole life. To me, that is where food came from! They never cooked at home (except barbeques) and my Grandma Ragone died when I was really young. One of my best food memories as a kid was going there every Sunday for Eggplant Parm.  Man, she would roll over in her grave if she saw what I mess I was! So, see it really is not my fault, I grew up thinking that food came from styrofoam containers! *yes mom, you should feel guilty* (to be fair, with my competitive swimming schedule growing up, there was not much time to eat at home)

But, here is the deal. I really would like to learn how to cook. I am afraid of the kitchen though with all my past experiences. But, the many women at BlogHer who came up to me afterwards and actually thanked me for speaking up and saying what they were too afraid to encouraged me to follow Paula’s advice. So, I am getting a copy of My First Cookbook and working my way through it. I would love to give credit to the funny girl at BlogHer who gave me the title for my new series “The UnFoodie: Mayhem and Mishaps in My Kitchen” but I cannot remember who it was. Leave me a comment please if it was you! So, keep watching here as my family suffers the trials and tribulations of my attempt to follow Paula’s advice.

pauladeen

Oh, and if any of my friends or family want to tell some embarrassing food stories about me, feel free to in the comments. People may then believe that I am so not joking here!

Loot Lovin Linky

It is that magical time of week to reach out into the blogosphere and win something fun. I have a $25 Giftcard from Build-A-Bear giveaway still going on and the Oscar Mayer lunch kit with gift card as well. Sign up for those and then start making your way through some of these awesome ones: