Have PR folk continued to send me desperate emails requesting I showcase their promotional content on my blog? Yes, I'm afraid they have. And I still wish they so wouldn't bother.
Dear Diamond Geezer, I hope you are well. We hope to offer you complimentary treatments to our flagship spa in Soho in return for a review on your blog. We are <brand name>, London’s original and premier fish therapy concept spa.
I had to read that twice to make sure I wasn't dreaming. But no - "fish therapy concept spa" - very much awake.
In our recent campaign to introduce our offerings to the wider public we noticed that your blog is one of the most prominent among our target groups.
Now I'd be worried if I were you. Ms Chan seems to believe that you, dear reader, are the sort to go dangling your feet in tepid water while tiny fish nibble the dead skin off your toes. And maybe you are, but I bet you wouldn't pay her prices for the privilege.
We are wondering if you would be interested in reviewing our fish therapy treatments? Please do not hesitate to contact us for further enquiries or to arrange a review session.
I bet you're disappointed I turned this one down. You'd love to hear my report from their "basement fish pedicure hall", especially if there were photos. Sorry to disappoint you all, but it ain't happening.
Hi there, I wanted to get in touch to invite you to the event I’m currently working on, <event at ExCel>. At this year’s event we have a whole host of exciting features happening... <Illumination showcase> is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for new lighting solutions! I’d love if you could attend the show to gather content for your site/blog and also blog live from our dedicated bloggers lounge.
Oh Alexandra, do you really think I want to sit in your wi-fi alcove and write rapturously about lightbulbs? Sadly you probably do.
Hi there! I found your blog and think it looks really great! I work with <app name>, an iPhone App that lets anyone publish, discover and share ‘Pocket Tours’ that have geo-tagged ‘spots’ with audio, text and photos. We’d LOVE to have the 'Diamond Geezer tour of London' on <iApp name>.
I bet you would, Olivia. Saves writing your own content, doesn't it, you cheapskate limpets.
Hi, I hope you are well. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to <copywriting agency>. We are a leading online content agency, creating unique daily exclusive news, social & video features for our high profile client base in all major sectors. We are looking for quality content partners and publications interested in receiving EXCLUSIVE UNIQUE bespoke content for their publications.
Do I look like I can't write my own content? Seriously? I emailed Dale and asked him that very question, but alas he has yet to respond.
Apologies for the impersonal email. We’re publishing a non-fiction title: <book title> on May 12th and I wondered if you’d be interested in reviewing the book?
Dear Natalie, you work for the publishing company I just didn't write a book for. So that's a 'No', as you really ought to have guessed.
Hello, My name’s Fabiola and I work for <media agency>, a media agency in London. I think you have a great blog, with a fantastic following and more importantly, great quality. I’m looking to build relationships with influential bloggers. If you are interested I can email you with various information (depending on the individual campaign) on new products, (sometimes with free samples), competitions, videos and unique articles or give you insider tips and exclusive info and content to share with your readers.
Fabiola's request perfectly sums up all that's shallow and shabby about sponsored blogging. She dreams of a world where marketing stunts and vacuous press releases gain precedence over journalistic investigation and independent truth. I am so not going there.
To Fabiola's credit she later emailed me back and apologised for not doing her homework before contacting me. But she won't be the last to try. If you're thinking of following in her footsteps, PR gurus, please take the hint and don't bother.