Apparently when I express less-than-complimentary opinions about PR agencies I am in fact ruining it for all those bloggers who'd very much like to be involved in on-message marketing. Would-be advertisers read posts like mine, allegedly, then decide to terminate their blogger outreach programmes in case everyone else is as overtly aggressive as me. No, I can't see it either.
See, I think there's a flaw in Justin's argument, which is to assume that PR companies read what I write and then hold back. They don't. They keep on sending requests, in spite of everything, and they keep assuming I'll take the bait. And I still won't.
One tactic which has cropped up several times this week (from individuals rather than PR behemoths) is the "guest post". Can we write a guest post for your blog, people ask, as if I am somehow unable to think up something coherent to write myself. What they rarely stop to consider is whether their chosen target is amenable to guest-blogging, or even whether the intended subject matter is appropriate. No, they just want an opportunity, a way in, an uncensored platform. Sorry folks, not here.
Hi, Are you looking for guest posts about diamond jewelry and engagement rings? I am talking about high quality posts and articles written by native English speakers from the diamond industry where all I request is one link back to our site at the bottom of the post in the Bio.
As opposed to high quality posts and artcles written by non-native English speakers, presumably. No thanks, Tal, I'll pass.
Hi there, My name is <name> and I am a black cab driver and tour guide in London. I really enjoy dipping into your blog - and love that you cover so much more of London than the 'Knowledge!'... I was wondering if you offered any advertising opportunities on your site - or would consider me writing a guest post on your blog?
When somebody says they love my blog, then appears never to have noticed how advert-free it is, I do wonder. Sorry, no fare today.
Good day, My name is <Dave Something> and I write for the <Property Blog Based In London> and I am looking for some exposure for both myself and my blog. Would you be amenable to my writing a guest blog for your site, please? Kind regards, Dave
I get more requests about property-plugging than anything else, closely followed by hotel-promotion. That must be where the money is. Or else where the hardest-to-shift subject matter is.
And one more, this time a chain of emails between a would-be guest-poster and myself.
Inquiry regarding sponsoring your blog diamondgeezer Hello, I would be interested to buy a blogroll or blogpost on your diamondgeezer.blogspot.com. Thanks to let me know the prices. David
Hi David A blogroll is £500000, and a blogpost is double that. Let me know which you’d prefer. dg
I prefer blogpost. David
Great. In which case a blogpost is £1000000. Will you be paying cash, cheque or electronically? dg
Even better. There’s a shrubbery along Bow Road at George Lansbury House. Please leave the million pounds there, in used notes, and then get back to me. dg
I haven't heard anything from David since.
OK, so I bet that 'David' is one of you lot taking the piss. But when it comes down to genuine PR folk seeking to offload their branded messages online, sorry, I don't believe that me throwing tantrums harms anyone else's chances. They're still going to fire out press releases and freebies, and various bloggers and journalists are still going to cut-and-paste the contents without any attempt at objective criticism.
Ian puts it better. I really ought to ask him to write a guest post on the subject.