Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Note to companies: We aren't the bad guys

Recently, David at Logic + Emotion got a personalized email from PR firm Edelman, letting him know about one of their clients, Getty Images and some new photographers they have brought on board. As David says, this is a smart move for Edelman, because it shows that they took the time to read L+E, and decided that David might be interested in this.

Almost daily, I got 'blind' emails from companies and agencies wanting me to check out ( about), their latest spot/flash game/whatever. Normally these consist of little more than 'Hey man, we just started this, thought you might think it's cool, thanks!', with no contact information, or any reason why I should care. To be fair, some people are very helpful, they carefully explain what the deal is, why I should care, and are happy to provide more information.

But another thing that happens almost daily, is that companies will visit The Viral Garden, usually after doing a Google or Technorati search for their company. Case in point, yesterday someone from T-Mobile in the UK came by to look at the post I wrote about their 'subtle' concert promotion they are running. They came and left.

Why do companies do this?

They send mass emails out to every ad/marketing blog they can find, yet ignore the ones that are ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT THEM. Very short-sighted. Yesterday when the T-Mobile rep visited here, either they read my post and agreed with what I said, or they didn't. If they did, all they had to do was spend literally 60 seconds sending me a quick email saying thanks for helping to promote our concert campaign. Or if they disagreed, all they had to do was send an email quickly explaining their reasoning behind the campaign.

To any companies reading this, trust me, taking a minute to give some feedback to a blogger that writes about you is NEVER a bad thing. Even if you think we are idiots that have no idea what you are trying to accomplish, just send us an email telling us where you think we got it wrong, and 99% of us will blog 'your side' of the story, and thank you for coming. If you want to REALLY be smart, invite us to email you from now on if we want to discuss any marketing initiatives your company has in the future.

And for any of you thinking 'Oh c'mon, you're just one blogger, how can talking to one blogger make a difference?', read this.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree to everything you said. Though I think that some company execs are actually *nervous* about posting. (I'm in PR so I hear this a lot from clients) We do advise them to read and to post but often it's the case of nerves. Blogs are a new outlet to many corporations, especially in countries outside the US.

Anonymous said...

Hey, all I can say is Edelman. You don't get more mainstream than this. It's a sign of things to come.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I'm definitely not in corp America anymore, but I can tell you when I was with AT&T and Harrisdirect, I wouldn't have been allowed to post a comment. That is especially true with a financial services company where one simple comment could get a licensed rep in trouble for slamming a stock.

Not saying that we should be happy with status quo, but it takes corporate changes to free up a corporate blogger to make a comment. Corporate policies need to change.