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Gary Vaynerchuk's Bad Pitch Letter

Just received this rather bizarre pitch email from Gary Vaynerchuk's publicist:

"Hey John,

My name’s XXX, I work at the brand consulting agency, XXX.  Over the next four months I’m working specifically with Gary Vaynerchuk.  Gary has found success in branding himself through the use of social media.  Due to this success he’s signed a ten book deal with Harper Collins; you can read more about it in this WSJ article.  The first book is slated to come out this October, it’s called Crush It: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion. 

Basically, I’m e-mailing you because Gary’s trying to get together a promotional bonanza around the release.  We’re getting requests for interviews and stuff like that but we decided it would be better to be proactive and contact all the business and marketing blogs and see what we can do for them.  He’d love to do book giveaway contests, interviews, Q&A sessions, an interpretive dance summarizing a chapter, really anything that you think your readers would like to see. 

On your side, anything you do with him is going to get an influx of readers to your blog due to his massive and loyal following.  If you’ve got anything specific as to what you want to do or if you just want to start bouncing some ideas around shoot me an e-mail.  Also, I’m sending this e-mail out to a lot of people and I know a lot of you know Gary, so if you’re in that club, feel free to shoot him an e-mail personally about this."

To me the email seemed like a form letter, especially when the email was addressed to me, but latter on in the third paragraph the publicist writes, "Also, I’m sending this e-mail out to a lot of people and I know a lot of you know Gary, so if you’re in that club, feel free to shoot him an e-mail personally about this."

Basically, the publicist just told me that he sent out the same email to a large number of people. He's telling me he just sent me a form pitch letter! And the reason it's okay to do that is because Gary's famous, and he might be able to send me some traffic.

I did not think this email was personalized and also breaks some of the basic guidelines in pitching either a journalist or blogger, read my blog. I usually write about corporate blogging, marketing, social media, and interactive marketing. As a media relations person, I would have asked myself this question; Why would John Cass want to write about Gary's book in light of his past writings?

The only reason given appears to be the potential of traffic. Well, traffic is not really a compelling enough reason for me, as I'm not really looking for traffic, at least not traffic for the sake of traffic, I'd much rather have people who want to engage in a dialogue with me, where that dialogue results in me learning something I can use as material for my blog, ideas for my work, or building relationships that convert into customers. In my case, buying my book Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging, asking me to present at a conference, or maybe hiring my company, ideaLaunch.

Traffic doesn't pay the bills, dialogue and engagement does...