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December 14, 2011


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David, how about pitches with grammatical and spelling errors in them? Ouch. :(

Brandon R Allen

Just got another one of these myself. What's so ludicrous about it is that it's pretty easy to find my name on my blog. It would probably take about 5 seconds to figure out.

Yet it starts with "Dear Blogger". It's a terrible way to build relationships.

John Sacke

Sooo right! Anything that I get that addresses me as Dear Recipient, Homeowner, Blogger, PR Pro goes straight to trash. Sad part is that I get about as many of them as I do for drugs suggesting that they will help me have a 14 inch erection. Yeah right!

David Meerman Scott

Elaine - Yes! But as a poor speller myself, I can forgive that.

Brandon - Exactly. It would take one second to learn my name.

Jon DiPietro (@JonDiPietro)

The telemarketing equivalent of this is, "May I speak with the person in charge of xxxxx..." My canned response now is, "If you don't know who that is, then no you can't." Click.

Kevin @globalfibernet

Being involved in marketing for over 15yrs, this isn't new. Like you David, I too 'accept' a certain amount of 'spamming' as I sometimes use it for my own purposes. But I still delete close to 90% of my email unopened. Bad subjects, bad addresses, bad lead copy all 'lead' me to simply pass over their pitch/subject. Relevancy can usually be determined in the first 5-10 words of any communication. Just my experience.

Kevin @globalfibernet


Being a recent reader and commenter, I just wanted to point out something I'm sure you've already been told. Your url, webinknow.com - i have been reading as- we b in know... Obviously not your intention, but ironically works just as well.

David Meerman Scott

John - My bank sent something "Dear Small Business Owner"

Jon - You're much more polite than me with telemarketers.

Kevin - I wish I was so clever as to have done that on purpose. I did not. It was a happy accident. I made it "Web Ink Now" but it can also be read "Web In Know" and as you noticed "We B in Know".


I'm also a big believer in adding a bit of (appropriate) humor when pitching to someone. Keep it short. Keep it simple. Allow them to repsond quickly.



Successful media relations practitioners realize the importance of (1) knowing your audience and (2) reading their material.


I have a special filter for those...I wish it would catch the ones with the terrible grammar compliments of Google translate.

With a hugely diverse blog, I will never stop shaking my head at the pitches which have ZERO to do with any topic I have ever blogged.



I almost always try to find out the person's name before I email them. You sound like a robot if you don't.

David Meerman Scott

Djwaldow - I agree on humor. We're human after all, not blog bots.

Red - Yikes. I should start keeping a list of off topic pitches. An art gallery opening in Santa Fe? I new customer for a chemical company in India?

Tbartlett21 & Carl - Indeed. It comes back to fundamentals.


It's the most basic of things that people get wrong - if you are really passionate about working with the blogger you are contacting it's courteous to at least find out their name, also reading their 'About' page and a few posts beforehand is great way to find out more about the person and what they write about.


A flag comes up everytime I read a general opening in an email! I agree with your comment on allowing the blogger how he will use the message and/or content!

It really annoys me when after the "Dear Blogger" you get very detailed instructions on how the content should be published on your blog!


my fave one's are companies pitching "demand generation that starts off with Dear NAME.

Love it :) :)


I have a question David...

How did they know you were a blogger in the first place? Maybe you're not ;)

But these "Dear Website Owner,", "Dear Webmaster,", "Dear _______ " types of pitches immediately go to the trash bin in my inbox.

My question is, why are they making this so hard for themselves? They have to know this approach won't get too many responses...they just have to, LOL. :)


Agree, it's just lazy. 'Communicate' surely infers to 'talk with someone' or 'be in contact with someone' and unless you're talking to a group at large, you should always start the felicitations with a name. If you've ever opened up the home page on a blog - it's not hard to find out the name of the blogger. Ditto, pitching to magazines and newspapers. (Having said that, I am not whiter than pale - I too have in the past believed I'm too busy to ring a magazine to find out the name of an editor, and lo and behold, my pitch has not been attended to!)

David Meerman Scott

Joseph - But they don't know it is wrong. The PR agencies probably assign a junior staffer who was never trained properly.

Rosh Sillars

I've been thinking about writing on this topic also. It seems to be getting worse. As I like to say on my podcast, if you wish to connect me please remember my name is not Hi, Hello or dear blogger.

Even worse are the emails letting me know how much they really enjoy my blog and suggest my followers mights enjoy x topic that has nothing to do with my blog.

It's amazing after all these years of blogging, podcasts and social media in general -- agencies are still trying to use social media for direct mass marketing (and apply the same tactics.)


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