If you read this blogger for even a week, you know immediately that this blogger is progressive in her thinking, clearly a feminist, and the mother of young daughters.
The PR pitch's opening-line grabber - "What might you have in common with Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy?"
I may be a guy, but I can tell you I'd love to have a lot in common with these two people -brains, ambition, a strong work ethic, charisma and a commitment to helping people. Those people would certainly appeal to a progressive, feminist mom. It turns out, however, that this wasn't exactly what the pitch was going for:
That's right, jiggly arms. Someone is pitching arm girdles to feminist moms, just in time for the holidays. I'm not linking to the company because I don't want to drive their traffic, but you can see the company name above.
This pitch is utterly crap-tacular on multiple levels. I think I should probably leave it to Joanne "PunditMom" Bamberger, who also received the pitch (she wasn't the one who forwarded it to me), to explain the sort of message this sends to young girls. And kudos to Susan Getgood (who got the forwarded email along with me) for breaking down the ethical shortcuts taken here, like invoking celebrity names and pictures even though they haven't endorsed the product. When Susan calls you a scumbag, believe me, you've earned it. I took a look at the picture of Caroline Kennedy (she looks pretty damn good in this picture if you ask me) and noticed that they lifted the picture from a story about her butterfly tatoo, not her non-existent arm flab, from the Huffington Post.
My beef with the pitch is it assumes social media is simply "online media relations" where you blanket the world with your pitch. Maybe there are people who think this product is a good idea. But it's clear that had this PR pro done even a little bit of vetting, if this person took even a few minutes to understand the community involved, the flack would know this was a huge mistake.
But it gets worse. The blogger who passed this on to me also sent me her response to the PR pro who pitched her, and that PR person's response back.
The flack basically said that nobody was questioning the accomplishments of Caroline Kennedy or Oprah Winfrey, but the product was still important - and hey, Oprah's friend said last week that Oprah was worried about her weight. Further, in another show of disrespect to the blogger, the flack also mentioned a couple of other placements the company scored - the Rachael Ray show and the NY Post.
This flack is not suggesting Caroline Kennedy or Oprah Winfrey are insecure or insignificant - just that they should wear arm girdles. And maybe you should too - if you read the NY Post, you might know that.