I admire initiative. And, I have a special love for entrepreneurs, what with Peppercom and all. So, when I received this unsolicited e-mail pitch from "Christine," I was initially impressed:
Attention Entrepreneurs & Executives,
Do you have a unique business or product that you want everyone to know about TODAY?
Get a $1 million dollar publicity campaign with expert publicists working for you for as little as a couple of dollars per day.
How much is an appearance on the "Good Morning America" TV show worth to you?
Join the many happy product innovators that received this offer in the past and can claim great exposure and unheard of income.
Note: A new media campaigns launch on September 1st.
There is a selection process, so CALL ME TODAY and watch your sales SOAR Sky High.
I look forward to talking with you today,
For more details, call Christine at xxx-xxx-xxxx or send her an email at email@example.com
Testimonials available upon request.
Then, I noticed the wording: "Get a $1 million publicity campaign with expert publicists working for you for as little as a few dollars a day." Hmmm. Well, okay, since this pitch is aimed at "entrepreneurs," I can certainly understand the price-cutting angle. We still receive lots of calls from small start-ups who would love to work with us, but have only a fraction of what we’d need to implement a program. So, yes Christine, those one and two-person start-ups should be your targets.
But, to suggest that "executives" of substantial companies would receive the equivalent of a $1 million publicity campaign by retaining your services is disingenuous at best.
I don’t know exactly what you do, but I’m guessing you have a Rolodex of media to whom you’d pitch the entrepreneurs’ products and services. Fine. That makes sense. But, to suggest that your smiling-and-dialing is in any way comparable to a sophisticated, million dollar public relations program is simply wrong.
Smiling-and-dialing is purely tactical and not the appropriate strategy for most, if not all, Fortune 1000 companies. Corporate executives like the ones we’re working with are struggling to understand the nuances and subtleties of the new media landscape. Smiling-and-dialing publicity pitches are just one small part of a much larger and more sophisticated outreach.
So, I wish you and your fellow expert publicists well, Christine. But, I suggest you edit
your blast e-mails. First, limit the distribution solely to entrepreneurs with limited budgets. Second, don’t suggest that your one-dimensional efforts are in any way comparable to a rigorous, multi-faceted PR program. That’s like saying The New Adventures of Old Christine is just as good as Seinfeld.