Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Flackery or real conversation?

As both a guy with a blog and a PR dude in real life, I've had the incredibly joyful experience of pitching and being pitched to. Of course, I don't understand why some companies would want to pitch to a small fry like me whose got absolutely no theme to his blog, but, "hey!" if its an interesting product or thing, I'll listen.

The thing is more companies are beginning to see the importance of the blogosphere for their political marketing campaigns, thanks (in no small way) to March 8. But the attitude and reaction many marketers are taking towards engaging bloggers is summarised by the GMOOT syndrome - in the words of AdAge columnist Scott Donaton.

To paraphrase Scott, GMOOT is short for the "Get Me One Of Those" syndrome that company heads adopt when they don't really understand the new-fangled trends but want in on it for marketing gain anyway. Read Todd Defren's post on how dangerous but widespread this syndrome is.

But my point is this: more and more companies are now looking to reach out to bloggers. Each is doing this in a vastly different way and there are definitely more than one way to succeed. But then, you start coming across posts like this, this and this.

Did we miss the point?

So I was having a conversation with someone who works admittedly closely with the local blogging scene and he's adamant that blogs are the "new media." And that marketing efforts should be directed at bloggers as this is the new channel for clients to get the message of their products and services out. After all, teenagers a reading less and less newspapers these days (yes, US stats I know).

Yes, I'd agree that we should be talking to bloggers, but I'd also disagree that we see bloggers for anything less than what they are - people. Blogs aren't just a "communications channel". They aren't just media for you to push messages thru. They are people who have something interesting to say, the right tools to say it (the blog) and the audience who's interested in hearing what they want to say.

When I get pitched, I'm really interested in starting a conversation. I'd like to know what's great about your product or solution and why it would matter to me or people like me (who, coincidentally, might read my blog). I don't want to be pushed information and be expected to "publish." That's just flackery.

Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean you shouldn't email me about your interesting product. It just means that you should:
1. Talk to me as a human being. Don't expect a bot on the other end that auto-publishes news releases as they are sent across. I've got feelings too. I've also got a healthy dose of opinion and common sense.
2. Understand what I write about and my motivations for writing. Don't assume. If after reading a couple of my posts you're still unsure, hey, just ask :)
3. Be prepared to dive into the conversation. Because what I'm going to want, if I'm interested in what you're saying, is to actually talk and discuss the subject matter with you.

If you're reading this and you've pitched to me before, I assure you, I don't mean you in particular. This post is a summary of interesting experiences past, present and possibly last week. Please do pitch to me again and let's have a proper conversation this time round.


joshuaongys said...

i understand what you mean and well, i wish that i'm in a similiar position like u..

davidlian said...

Josh, was that a hint that maybe you'd like to work in a PR Agency? Coz I know some good contacts...

zewt said...

it's so easy to be a blogger now... everyone is jumping into the bandwagon. like what suanie told me yest, it's about ppl voicing out what they believe in... not just blogs.

davidlian said...

Zewt, thanks for the comment - it's spot on. The blog is just a publishing tool for your opinion, not the end point of communication. The real gold is the person behind the blog.