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.

What is Twitter?

and why am I so obsessed with it?

twitter_bird

I realized that I have two very distinct group of friends, those who get social media and those who have no clue what I am talking about. If you are in the ‘get it’ group you can stop reading now. This is to those of you who have no idea what twitter is, why I tweet, or what the heck a tweet even is.

Social media is a term used for sites where people interact and share things on the web. I started in social media as a way to share my websites with others. My first venture was stumble upon. I still love stumble upon but it is not nearly as interactive as twitter. About a year ago I started playing with twitter. At first, I totally didn’t get it. I sort of used it like stumble upon (a way to share links) but I began to realize it is so much more. It is a way to quickly interact with the world. The other day I was bicycle shopping with Bob and it was taking forever! So, I started tweeting from my iphone about how I may impale myself on the handlebars if it doesn’t end soon and sure enough, 30 seconds later I get a tweet back from a twitter ‘friend’ in Tehran sympathizing. OK, seriously, I would think someone in Tehran could care less about my bicycle shopping experiences right now but how surreal is that? Twitter is a super fast conversation with the world.

Critics of twitter claim that they don’t have time in their day to read what 1,ooo’s of people are eating for dinner and such minutia and I agree but the thing is that those tweets (the message sent on twitter) scroll by so fast that you barely notice and honestly, sometimes I do now care cause darn, it sounds good.I have connected with so many people via twitter that have become real life friends. I credit it with making my move to Denver easier. There is a huge social media (specifically twitter) community and we do get together quite often either for happy hours or charity events. It is a very supportive community.

Twitter has helped me professionally as well. As you probably know, I hold monthly twitter parties. It is a chance to get together virtually and socialize. They are a blast and I would dare say, an anticipated event for some. We do some amazing giveaways during the parties. I have connected with companies and PR reps that I probably never would have had the chance to if it were not for twitter. For example, last month I had the chance to meet some great bloggers that I admire courtesy of a trip to Oscar Mayer headquarters. Companies are on twitter and for the most part they are listening to us. What a valuable chance to have a two way conversation with a brand you care about.
icon_facebookFacebook is another social media outlet that I use. My friend Jason said it best yesterday though. Facebook is like virtual yearbook where most people connect on a smaller, more personal scale. I don’t really care too much for facebook though. I probably just don’t ‘get it’  but  I prefer the fast paced, 140 character world of twitter.

So, in a nut shell, that is what twitter is, why I use it and why I think you should too. Twitter is addictive though so be careful and another warning, don’t just hop on and expect people to start talking to you right away. Twitter is a conversation and just like at a real life party, you need to make connections.

I am @chaotic_barb on twitter so if you get started, follow me, send me a message and I will try to help you meet some more twitter friends.

On the side you should be able to connect with me on lots of social media sites. Please do :)