May 30, 2009

PR Pitches Promise to Trade Diggs for Coverage

As the blog has gained in visibility, so to have the inbound pitches. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they are horrible - and some are just downright off-topic, and get deleted. But one the more recent trends I've seen is a promise by the PR rep to push the story to Digg "if the review is great". Twice this month, I have received near-identical pitches, ostensibly from two different people at two different PR agencies, ending with the following two lines, after having introduced their new iPhone apps:

"Let me know - I can send promo code right away. If the review is great we will digg it as hell."

Never mind the cookie cutter wrap-up and the substandard English, or even that the pitches have been for less than interesting iPhone applications. Call me snooty or idealistic, but I have a very real problem with the idea that if my review is deemed "great", that the PR team will try and reward me with traffic by manipulating Digg - even if I think they don't have the Digg juice to do it.

An excerpt from one such pitch in early May

I'm not going to stand on a pedestal and make a rant about paid posts, or how bloggers are allowed to curry favor or get bias, but this is a stupid practice I could really live without. Because I'm a nice guy, I won't be outing which agencies, individuals or which products are pitched this way, but I bet some of you reading this have gotten the same template garbage.

Do you really think you're earning bonus points with me because you're Web 2.0 savvy enough to know what Digg is?

If you want to entice me into writing about your product, don't do it with a promise of Diggs. Show me that you know what I usually cover, and that your offer is something my audience wants to know. And please don't send me a link from a top tech blog as evidence that your stuff is awesome, because if somebody else already debuted your story, it's already old. Digg it?