Friday, October 7, 2011
In the world of social media, the rules change. What was relevant yesterday, is long since forgotten today. People who are just sitting at home writing, are revered, followed, and loved by many. A person can be on top of the blogging world, and barely be known outside of it.
But the blogging world? We are big. We are huge, in fact. Blogging popularity has nothing to do with how pretty you are, or what your job outside is. It has everything to do with relating to the public at hand, and posting something that someone, somewhere enjoys.
You might be seen by 12 people. Or, you could have a Dark Army of over 165,000 twitter followers that read your blog religiously. The beauty of blogging, is that we get what we want said out- and normal, every day people just like us listen.
This is why Public Relations companies have been pitching their products to us for years. Want someone to order a dress from a company? Yes, you could spend millions on advertising in main stream media. Or, you could give one or two away to bloggers, and ask that they, in turn, do the same.
We trust what bloggers have to say, because they are normal, every day people. So when one of them is attacked by a suicidal PR firm, we fight back- and number into the thousands. By the time this shit storm of PRFail is done being talked about, it will be millions.
Yesterday, the PR firm BrandLink Communications sent out a basic form email pitch. Something tons of PR firms do, and something a lot of bloggers hate. Not all, but a lot. This particular pitch wound up in the hands of Jenny at Thebloggess.com.
Without going into the full nightmare, I'll just say this. Jose is Vice President at BrandLink Communications, and after seeing Jenny's reply, he hit Reply All, and sent an email to his company calling her a Fucking Bitch.
Reply all goes to everyone, Jose. Even the person you didn't want to reply to. Yes, it went straight to Jenny.
Jenny wrote back a long reply, and explained who she is as a blogger. If you have never read her page? Do so. Immediately. Jose wrote back that she should be glad they even felt her relevant enough to pitch an idea to.
In terms of public relations? That was not relating to his public. That was alienating her. She in turn posted to twitter what happened.
Do you know how far a woman with 165,000 followers can go? Let me assure it- really far. Add to the fire actor Wil Wheaton, and author Neil Gaiman helping spread the word, each with nearly 2 million followers, and word gets around.
In the upcoming days, BrandLink Communications will learn how well they deal with a shit storm. And honestly? I wouldn't be shocked if they lost clients over this. They called a woman blogger a Fucking Bitch for not wanting to pitch a post about a Kardashian sister in panty hose.
Neither do I. And I doubt I would have been as nice as Jenny in ANY of my replies to the matter at hand.
And apologies are best served when they A) don't infer that the entire matter was started by the wronged party, and B) actually contain an apology.
Let this be a lesson to PR firms everywhere. Bloggers are relevant, and our reach may not look long, but it is. When we need them to, our words can spread to millions, and they last forever.
PR stands for Public Relations. Not Public Alienation.
UPDATE: I almost feel like I should feel special- @Brandlinkcomm replied to one of my tweets.