While most of the pitches we receive here at PRNewser come through email, there are an occasional few that arrive to us via alternative channels.
When sending swag, or any other type of buzz seeking materials, the line between cute and scary is often a thin one.
A good example of a successful campaign is that of Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo of Capulet Communications. When promoting their book, Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook, the duo “postal mailed love letters to the authors of 10 major marketing blogs — complete with perfumed paper and handwritten praise. The letters directed each blogger to a personalized landing page featuring a personalized video describing the book and a link to a review copy.”
Overboard? Maybe, but in this case it worked out. 178 blogs wrote about their book, including 6 of the 10 “A-listers” they focused on.
Now, for the scary campaign – a Midwestern branding firm sent what amounted to, “Anonymous sexually-suggestive” love letters to a Chicago-based Advertising Age reporter. One of the letters included a “pair of pink panties in an otherwise empty envelope, which was scribbled on by what appears to be a crazed teen admirer (‘U R My Idol!’)”.
Needless to say, the AdAge reporter was not impressed.
Next time you’re planning a creative pitch that involves something besides an email, think in advance: how well do I know this person? What would they find funny versus offensive? If you find yourself having any second thoughts, err on the side of caution and tone it down.