I get far fewer approaches from PR companies and commercial interests than most high-profile bloggers. But I'd rather have none.
Here are three examples that arrived recently. The first is from Sylvia.
I stumbled across your blog and I thought it was beautifully written.
Promotional emails often start with a bit of ego massage before the pitch kicks in.
I am working with a friend on a new property tech venture which has neighbourhoods at its heart. For us, finding a home goes well beyond the walls of your flat to your neighbours, local bars and restaurants, parks and all the little places that give identity to a neighbourhood.
It's an estate agent app, isn't it? A greedy start-up attempting to topslice the booming property crisis. I'm already switching off.
We are starting out in East London (Shoreditch, Dalston, Hackney, Angel, Canary Wharf) and are looking for people who know it, love it and can bring it to life for others with words (and photos).
I don't even live in any of those areas, for heaven's sake. Bow's hipster revamp is running slow.
We want to help regular people find a home in a city like London by giving them a feel for a neighbourhood's true character. As content will sit at the heart of the home search, your words (and photos) will be invaluable to anyone looking to find a home in London.
Sylvia's brainwave is to combine house sales with local content, except she doesn't have any local content, which would seem to put a fatal damper on potential profits.
Would you be interested in contributing content for us and we can find a way to reward you for your help?
I tend not to write puff pieces about sipping bespoke cappuccinos in pocket parks. So no, Sylvia, I wouldn't.
Then this arrived from Scott.
To all employees, friends & family of Diamond Geezer,
It's amazing how quickly a promotional email can misfire.
You may have already heard that we’re opening <BBQ restaurant> in <central Lambeth>.
Given that this restaurant is five miles from where I live, no, actually not.
We're inviting locals in for dinner & drinks before we officially open to the rest of London. If you fancy joining us between Thursday 1st & Thursday 15th October, we’ll be offering 50% off your total bill.
Scott's offer is a half-price meal during his soft launch phase, which is no big deal. And only because I'm a potential influencer who might big-up his fledgling restaurant on social media.
We can accommodate tables of 4, 6 and 8. Let me know when you’d like to come down. Look forward to seeing you soon.
Sorry Scott, I'm a 1. Don't expect me down any time soon.
And then there was this unlikely missive.
I'm Stephanie, and I represent London-based <massage company>, a first of its kind company offering professional massages at the home/hotel/gym/office of the client.
I worried where this might be leading. And rightly so.
We are currently searching for London-based bloggers and vloggers to collaborate with, in an exchange of services.
It's not every day you get the offer of a free massage in your inbox (except in your spam folder, obviously).
We were hoping you might be interested in writing a review of our services or posting a youtube video, following treatment from one of our professional and vetted therapists.
At least Stephanie wasn't proposing a YouTube video during the treatment. Much as you'd love to watch the outcome, I had to let her down gently.
Best look elsewhere, Stephanie.
So very wildly off target…
All the best.
We parted on amicable terms.
Yeah I figured that much.
But at least nobody can say I didn't try!
Best of luck,
Alas Stephanie is just one of a battalion of 21st century marketing underlings, their job to fire out volleys of outreach emails in the vain hope that somebody somewhere might be interested in prostituting themselves. I am not that somebody. Please send your promotional messages elsewhere.