It's been too long since the last installment of how not to pitch a blogger, but not for lack of trying on behalf of publicists, who seem to exist like Thoreau's image of "lives of quiet desperation," except for the quiet part. But. By way of a general tip, unless you are pitching a show for foot fetishists, there is no need to mention the shoes the host wears. Curiously, with the exception of Mario and his orange Crocs, it is almost always lady chefs. Show me a pitch that includes something about "when Gordon Ramsay laces up his brogans and strides into Hell's Kitchen..." and I will thank you, albeit reluctantly. But, if you must mention the shoes your lady chef favors, avoid alluding to "stilettos," and then avoid phrases asserting that your host "can cook up a storm in three-inch cherry heels." Three inches? That's like a No Reservations spinoff where Mark Knopfler drives around the USA in a Camry, sampling the fare at Perkins's coast to coast. If you are going to mention the shoes the host of your cooking show wears, don't. If you do, stay away from heels. But if you must pitch your cooking show host in heels, 4" is the minimum. Seriously.
In other, better, news, did you hear that Crime Mob are hosting a cooking show? No? That is because you do not live in the Cod's imagination. Irregardless, play us off, ladies, won't you?
We recently found your
blog, and were very impressed by it. My partner and I are in the
process of building a food blogging destination site, where we will
feature content from high quality bloggers. The layout of the site will
be like a newspaper, which we think will add legitimacy to our content.
We will have multiple themes all related to the food industry, ranging
from food sourcing, restuarants, recipes, etc. Much like a real
newspaper's website, but focused on the culinary world.
We believe your blog could be a valuable addition
to our website, and we would like your permission to use your blog
content. Your blogs would be part of a highly reputable site, where
only high quality content is delivered to an audience who is interested
in a wide variety of culinary news.. We will be marketing our site
aggressively, so your blogs would reach a much larger audience than
they reach currently. Any content from you would reflect your name
(real or blog, up to you), a picture, a bio, etc. We hope to have our
bloggers become recognized names and personalities, and not just be
goal is to upload your blogs through an RSS feed each day. We won't
require you to write more than you do now, although since we like what
we see, the more the better!
you will consider this opportunity to reach a large audience with your
excellent blogs. We are currently in the process of building the site,
but are trying to get bloggers on board now. Please let us know your
thoughts, and if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing
from you. (Redacted) & Redacted. I do, actually have questions, but thought I might better pose them to Codland: 1) Are they serious? 2) Did I miss the part where I get kissed? 3) How is it that the form of a newspaper will give them "legitimacy"? 4) Should I be relieved that I would not be "required to write more than I do now"? I welcome answers in the comments.
Someone's mom is starting an online PR firm! That's the only explanation for the final word of this: For the first time, we would like to share with you
the job benefits of being a <redacted> agent. No matter what your results, as
long as we think you're worthy, we will pay you a monthly paycheck in the range
of $5,000 to $10,000, basically setting you on our payroll to do what you do
Come to think of it, it looks like someone's mom has teamed up with one of those cashiered Nigerian generals who is always so eager to send a huge check to an honest, Godfearing person.
Not quite Guiteau Monday territory, I am feeling too good for that, but the good folks at the CIA dropped this in the inbox:
Hyde Park, NY, November 5, 2007 – The winner of this fall's
hit reality show on the Food Network will be a graduate of The Culinary
Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. With the elimination of
Chris Cosentino from The Next Iron Chef, the final two remaining chefs – John Besh of New Orleans and Michael Symon of Cleveland – are both CIA alumni.
Interestingly, when a history prof friend of mine we'll call Jack McKittrick got on Jeopardy!, the history department at his alma mater did not send out an email. That was a few years ago, so perhaps churning out successful game show contestants is the new measure of a school's prestige.
I have no idea what the professional journal/conference for PR folks is, but I've thought it might be fun to do an article/panel on how not to pitch a blogger. The Cod is a small enough fish that I'm not exactly inundated with press releases, but I get a bunch, and many of them betray a fundamental misapprehension of how the whole blog enterprise works. But more on that later. In the meantime, the Ethicurean points out what might be a cannier approach on the part of Hellman's Mayo (Best Foods to you Cali types):
Now, I'd never heard of the Yahoo food site, or the Yahoo/Hellman's 'Real Food' site, but I imagine it gets a fair amount of traffic. Most bloggers are sluts for exposure, and it's not hard to imagine being tempted by this kind of approach. More concerning, though also not surprising, is the totally brazen effort to claim the mantle of "Real Food." I like Hellman's and it has a place in my kitchen. It is a fundamentally different product from home-made mayo. But to assert that it is "real food"is dangerous. Not so much because of the DL Alpha Tocopherol and whatnot, as that it takes an idea "real food" that has some value as a way to encourage people to think about what they eat, and replaces it with "Real Food," which seems to mean something like a return to the dark ages of Taste of Home. Hellman's Real Food, if it gets any traction, threatens to occlude real food with Real Food, which seems to mean things like Yukon Gold potatoes tossed with a shit-ton of Hellman's.