Bad pitch blog

7 Feb

I, too, like the premise behind the Bad Pitch Blog. Here’s my example today.

I receive a letter through the post from a company called Vocus. It clearly identifies me as a university lecturer, and offers me a free white paper on ‘The Future of PR’. I’m interested enough to type in the hyperlink from the printed page of the letter, which is signed by the company’s sales director. (This requires two goes as I make a mistake first time). The link takes me to an online form which asks all about me and the turnover of my business (sic).

Suddenly there’s nothing in it for me. No summary of the report to arouse or confirm my interest. The benefits are stacked in favour of the company’s sales director, not me. It’s clearly just a soft sell for the company’s products. I don’t fill in the form (though I can’t stop you from doing so if you’re interested). It’s unlikely: there’s nothing wrong with a direct sales or direct marketing approach for some no-brainer products. But if you’re selling ‘on-demand software for corporate communications and public relations’, shouldn’t you understand a bit more about PR? Shouldn’t you be able to create some news and drive demand that way?

3 Responses to “Bad pitch blog”

  1. Stephen Davies 07/02/2006 at 6:09 pm #

    I received the same letter Richard. I thought it might have been interesting so entered the url, saw what it was, navigated to another page and then put the letter in the bin.
    As soon as I found out they wanted my personal details I lost interest.
    I wonder who passed on our details to them?

  2. Richard Bailey 07/02/2006 at 6:22 pm #

    So did one of my first year students. So it seems they’ve used the CIPR member database to bombard us with their sales pitch. It’s unethical and very, very bad PR for Vocus. Interesting that your reaction was the same as mine. But I no longer run a PR team; nor do you (yet) or Chloe. We are none of us potential customers, but we have all reacted negatively. What a waste of time and money.

  3. Stuart Bruce 07/02/2006 at 7:21 pm #

    I do run a PR company and we actually are possibly looking for a new media database yet I also reacted negatively.
    The turnover question is plain daft and stopped me going any further. How many UK PR companies do they think have a turnover of more than £50 million – the smallest band they provide, the others being £50-£99m and upwards?
    Bell Pottinger, number one in last year’s PR Week league table only reported £39m.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: