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?