Burned by PR pitch, journalist second-guesses relationship with agency

And she offers three tips for building a trusting relationship with the media and staying off the dreadful blocked email lists.

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Giddy over the thought of connecting my site with a major brand, I hosted a Twitter giveaway for a product pitched to me by a PR firm. It seemed relevant and of great value to my readers.

Sounds awesome, right?

Wrong. Unbeknownst to me—someone unfamiliar with that product line—it was a big ol’ piece of junk. I was sharing my contest with active readers, and then I get a notice from a follower: “Thanks but no thanks. That pump has a 2-star Amazon review.” The tweet was among at least 10 negative messages I received from readers.

Yikes. Immediately, I’m backpedaling and trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to do. What are my readers going to think of this? Are we in big trouble?

Fortunately, this giveaway fell flat. Complete silence from the mommy bloggers who typically love to share our content. This time, we got lucky.

We wouldn’t have been this lucky in any number of situations, though. Often when we conduct a contest, we give it homepage positioning and some social media promotion. This time, we thought we’d try just social media. Thank goodness.

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