How not to do blogger outreach

@Kevin | Social, Strategy

I get pitched often for various blogs that I write. Additionally I get to work with PR people daily and help them use social media to accomplish their goals and their clients goals. Occasionally I run across examples that show how things should be done (I think Ford’s use of social media press releases is one) and other times I run into an example of what not to do.

A month ago I received this e-mail pitching a new service. The PR person that composed the e-mail did a mail merge (which you should never do, it is very unauthentic) and merged it with a draft that had changes on it. Here is the e-mail I received: (note I removed their name and their company)

Hi XKevin,

It’s no secret that tThe music industry has finallybeen increasingly turning turned to the internet (look no further than MySpace Music), driven by thewith the proliferation of mp3s, iPods, and digital music videos. Today, the trend continues with This trend has been taken one step further, with a major record label Universal Music Group today announcing their plans to stream their entire library of music videos content on, to a niche demographic of entertainment-savvy teens.


Site x (, an online magazine and social network designed exclusively for teens, has today announced that they have entered a partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG), to stream the label’s hottest artists’ videos to Sitex’s nearly two million members online. This project is a natural fit, as it will provide sitex’s global network of teens access to the latest music videos from Universal’s suite of top-tier artists, including Jay-Z, Snow Patrol, and Kanye West. UMG’s videos will be made available to all users as content under the title of “Sitex Music Videos,” and will launch within Q4 of 2008.

Please find below a release that contains more details on the announcement. Let me know if you’d be interested in talking with Site X CEO Joe¬† Smith about the deal and other plans that the company has in the entertainment space for its users, and I’d be happy to confirm.



I always tell the PR people that I work with that you have to approach bloggers the way you would traditional media. Shoving a mail merged document with a press release attached is not the way to connect with a person. Plus when you are a little sloppy about your work it really leads to an epic mistake.