In order to be effective, blogger relations (BR) and online advocacy (OA) needs to be fully opt-in. Any PR firm who wants to engage the blogosphere should prospect for new bloggers individually and not en masse. I am surely a fan of the GM Fastlane blog. That said, I received an unsolicited email (some fancy that SPAM) from Melanie at Hass MS&L PR. Here’s some “dos” and “don’ts” of online advocacy and blogger relations.
Bravo for embracing online advocacy and BR, bravo for being transparent — transparency is key — and bravo for having an actual PR executive, Melanie, send the email from her firm, Hass MS&L PR, and not from GM
GM and Hass MS&L PR, you get points off for not sending me an email letting me know that you are aware of my blog — and my love of automobiles and corporate blogs — and then asking me if I would be willing to receive future emails.
That would have been ideal.
That said, I am pretty excited to be on the list, either way; although I guarantee you you’re going to get a lot of accusations of spamming. The rules are, in order of importance: transparency and opt-in. You failed to ask first.
The email to follow:
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 1:29 PM
Subject: General Motors Extended Warranty Announcement
This afternoon General Motors announced that it is extending its powertrain warranty on all vehicles. GM came to this decision in large part due to customer feedback it received on its Fastlane blog.
We thought this use of new media might interest you and/or your readers.
To learn more visit:
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Thanks for your time,
Assistant Account Executive
115 W. Liberty, Ste. 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
P: (734) 214-xxxx, ext. xxx
“The information in this email is confidential and may be legally privileged.. It is intended solely for the addressee and access to this email by anyone else is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful. When addressed to our clients, any opinions or advice contained in this email are subject to the terms and conditions expressed in the governing client engagement letter or contract.”