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Lee Odden

You Make Me Sick – Viral Video Response

Lee Odden on Feb 4th, 2008     Online Marketing

[Minor edit: Be sure to read the comment thread below for a response from the agency CEO.] An employee of an  Interactive agency sent out pitches to a number of bloggers this morning promoting a “viral video” that I wanted to share. Mind you, I’m not going to share the actual video because it’s sick, racist and violent. “Man makes racist insults, gets asphyxiated and beaten to death by young Asian girls and their parents while another man obliviously chats on his Bluetooth headset nearby.” If you’re into that sort of thing you can find it on your own.

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What I AM sharing is the pitch email and a few screen shots. I get so many pitches each day even though there’s nothing on our contact form to indicated we’re interested in being pitched. It’s so easy to just click delete and move on to the day’s work.

Lee Odden

Public Relations Spam and the Bad Pitch

Lee Odden on Dec 4th, 2006     Online Marketing, Online PR, Rant

It continues to amaze me how many clueless or sloppy PR pitches we get week in and week out. Just last week it ranged from obvious typos/grammatical errors to claims that a story was exclusive and unreleased when a quick check of Google Blog Search showed nothing less than 10 blogs had already posted on the topic. While these are not necessarily dealbreakers for coverage, the one that will guarantee a visit to the trash bin is blatant spin.

I realize as much as anyone, that the job of a public relations expert is to tell compelling stories. But there is a big difference between outright “spin” and a story that is genuinely interesting and newsworthy. Because I am in the public relations business, I may be more suspicious of this than most. But when a pitch relies on a sort of suspension of disbelief effect because of great storytelling, I consider that nothing less than public relations spam.

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