Friday, February 15, 2008

Me? Getting Pitched?

As some may know, I'm a PR guy. Been in the business for 14 years or so. Since my journalism days (started with the Boston Globe) have been long gone, I've been doing most of the pitching, i.e. trying to "sell" stories to the media. That's what I do. That's what I'm good at, among other PR related skills.

So, the other day, I was very shocked when I opened up email the other day to find a pitch in there from a PR dude representing RealPlayer.


My name is PR DUDE, and I’m the Outreach Manager for PR DUDE'S COMPANY. I'm writing to you because I think that the new RealPlayer® might be of value to you and your DEM Photography blog readers.

We’re currently working with RealNetworks to help promote the release of their new RealPlayer (, which has changed quite a bit since their last version. The new version is now more of a video tool and utility that enables a user to instantly download streaming videos in the most popular formats (except DRM-protected videos) to their hard drive and to share the links with friends from the library they are creating. The player also enables users to watch videos without an Internet connection.

Once the player is installed, a user watching videos on YouTube, Break, Metacafe and other similar sites will see a “Download This Video” button automatically appear directly above the video, enabling them to save it to their hard drive with a single click.

With the new RealPlayer Plus, a user can transfer downloaded videos to their iPod and burn them to DVD to watch whenever and wherever they want.

I’d love to send you a complimentary copy of RealPlayer Plus (which is normally $39.99) for you to check out, and if you like it, write a review. If you’re interested, please email me back and I’ll send you the download URL, username and password for such.

We have also developed a backend electronic press kit for the RealPlayer containing a how-to slideshow and videos (including a Zombie demonstration of the RealPlayer), banners, press releases and much more for your convenience. You can find this at

Please confirm receipt of this email and let me know if you would like to receive a complimentary copy of the player. Thanks.


Here's my beef with this.

1. Anyone who pays attention to my photography blog - which is like, two people - know that all I really do is post photo's I've taken for gigs, weddings, etc. or shots of my kids, family, etc. It has to do with PHOTOGRAPHY. Yea, maybe I talk about technology from time to time, but it really focuses on my photography, post processing, the business of photography, etc. I don't cover videography.

2. The way PR DUDE found me was through a google search of PHOTOGRAPHY BlOGS. Why photography? Why not videography? It's this type of laziness that drives real journalists nuts. That's why us PR hacks get a bad wrap some times.

3. Why would I want to install an application from an untrusted source? I don't know you. Yes, I know that RealNetworks is a brand that I know of. I never have liked their software. The pop-ups drive me nuts. The interface blows and there is HARDLY any content that I listen to or watch that isn't in a format that can be played by winamp, my preferred media player.

4. Just to bait PR DUDE, I told that since I cover technology on this blog (the big guy), maybe I would consider it. He jumped all over me like white on rice, giving me a download link, instructions, etc. I told that I would consider it and would let him know. Don't shove the bullsh*t down my throat. Being overly aggressive is another tactic that PR people need to stop.

Overall, I know blogger-relations is the wild, wild west. How do you pitch bloggers? How should you interact with them? What's fair game? What isn't? The lines are blurred and there is MUCHO grey area.

In the end though, it was cool to be considered a "journalist" again. Call it my 15 minutes of fame.


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