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An Open Note to PR People Who Don’t Read My Blog

Dear PR People Who Don’t Actually Spend Any Time on My Blog Before You Write Me:

I am very tired of receiving requests to write about your exciting! new! baby! product!  I am also very tired of receiving requests asking me to write about your wonderful product that will make my pregnancy as easy and wonderful as one of those douche commercials where they’re running along the beach.

You caught that part where I can’t get pregnant … right?

I’m not sure how I got on your list in the first place.  Because if you had done your job at all — if you had actually focused on the “relations” part of “public relations” you would have noticed that I have an infertility blog as we were building our relationship, and you would have tailored your pitch to reflect my status and how I identify.

Oh … wait, we don’t have a relationship?  Then why the hell are you writing me?

No, I don’t want to host an online baby shower for your pregnancy product.  No, I don’t want to send you pictures of myself pregnant and using your product — do you know why?  BECAUSE I CAN’T.  Because I can’t get pregnant.  Hence why this blog has an infertility focus though I also write about other things such as my fear of crickets or the latest Harry Potter movie or my interactions with PR employees.

And while I recognize that your job is difficult — that there are a lot of blogs out there and without key information such as daily page view numbers or which blogs share the same exact audience, it is difficult to know where you should send your pitch for the biggest bang — it doesn’t excuse this.  Because we’re starting from a place where you are asking a favour of me — you’re asking me to write about your product.  I get nothing out of this interaction and you get everything.  Therefore, it would be nice if you took the time to get to know me a bit.  And if your product doesn’t fit at all with my blog, please don’t send the email.

Yes, I love babies.  I love holding my friend’s babies and then sniffing my shirt the rest of the day.  But coveting a child is not the same thing as wanting to hawk your product.

Because receiving an email asking if I want to try a new bottle/pregnancy belly band/binkie/diaper/formula/breast pump is like taking a plastic fork, snapping the tines so they’re extra sharp, and then dragging the broken utensil over my heart.  I could have said a knife to the heart, but I think we all know how incredibly surprising it is when a plastic utensil snaps when you’re digging into your food.  And that’s what it’s like to get your emails in my inbox.

Because I expect to see emails from friends in my inbox, and work emails, and even random requests from people that are completely on target with who I am and what I write and the blogroll I keep.  In fact, I usually love hearing from new people.  But I never expect to see a PR pitch for a baby product — you know, due to that whole infertility thing.




1 HereWeGoAJen { 12.20.10 at 4:26 pm }

Nah, if they aren’t reading your blog, they probably won’t read this either. 😉 Maybe you should start accepting all the requests and writing really snarky reviews. Maybe that would slow them down.

2 Christa { 12.20.10 at 5:16 pm }

Mel, not to make you jealous or anything, but you should check out the picture I posted on my blog of my awesome Harry Potter Christmas present 🙂 It would definitely be something to ask Santa for!!!

3 Desirea { 12.20.10 at 5:21 pm }

Your sharp tongue always has a way of soothing my soul. I’m sorry that your celebration of being an author comes with such pain. You are helping bring a face to infertility. And I thank you.

4 Kim { 12.20.10 at 6:48 pm }

So, I’d like to write an open thank you note to said PR peeps. I’m having a ridiculously chitty and hormonal day, and I found my way to your blog after an entirely too-long hiatus, just in time to notice the book was released.

I read the excerpt. Guess what my very first book will be on my new Christmas Kindle? What a better way to start the legacy of the electronic read in the days of Waiting for Baby?

So, you can hate on the PR people, but I’ll send them kisses for my little find of the day. 🙂

5 Michelle { 12.20.10 at 7:46 pm }

Ah! Well said!!! I’m wondering if I can cut and past this letter to Nestle who recently sent me a backpack filled with baby things…making the obvious assumption that I had a child. Sorry, Nestle, the latest m/c robbed me of that! Grr to corporate BS. Grr to them finding you and trying to hop on your ‘I’m making a difference and making meaningful connections around the world’ blog. You are NOT welcome here!

AS IF!!!

Piss off!

Hmm. How was that? 😉

6 Rebecca { 12.20.10 at 8:56 pm }

Ugh..very frustrating indeed! Thanks for sticking up for all of us in IF land and not catering to those impersonal corporate types! As Kim said, amazing timing with your book SO looking forward to making your book my first purchase on my new Christmas Kindle!!!

7 Mali { 12.20.10 at 10:07 pm }

If you had a “reply to” address, we could all copy and paste a response, and bombard them with our unhappiness that they do this. (Using our own anonymous email addresses of course). That would teach them.
Just a thought.

8 Lacie { 12.20.10 at 10:22 pm }

” I am also very tired of receiving requests asking me to write about your wonderful product that will make my pregnancy as easy and wonderful as one of those douche commercials where they’re running along the beach.”
If this were facebook, I’d like the hell out of this.

9 Toni { 12.20.10 at 10:33 pm }

I’m kind of torn on the online baby shower. Part of me breaks into hives at the thought and the other thinks perhaps it would be a great complement to one of my imagination pregnancies. Maybe you can hold it during my next 2ww and I can take my delusions to the next level. Of course, I run the risk of actually buying the product and then I’m stuck with a breast pump….so yeah, good choice.

p.s. In all seriousness, I’m sorry you have to deal with that crap. It’s got to be like a punch to the gut, but you, as always, handled it with grace and articulated it beautifully.

10 TasIVFer { 12.20.10 at 11:23 pm }

You’d think just checking out the blogs they are sending these things too even just a *little* would make certain their marketing is targeted in a more effective way?! Perhaps taking 2 minutes to look at your ‘About Me’ page to see you don’t hawk products or links or stuff?!

On the other hand if you get Merck Serono with any sort of offers on Crinone please send them my way. How do real drug addicts support their habit? I can barely justify spending the money I have to spend on my legal drugs!!

11 Amy { 12.20.10 at 11:32 pm }

I really hope PR actually reads this…

12 Randi { 12.21.10 at 12:35 am }

Ugh – I’ve not ever been in this situation, but I know that certain cookies for websites that I looked at back when I thought I would be getting pregnant and that this whole thing would be a breeze have caused ads to appear for baby sites. It’s kinda a stab in the heart seeing them pop up and knowing they are because I’ve been to those sites before – when I was more hopeful.

Not that it’s likely any comfort, but I think those PR things are drones who scan blogs for certain words – words which are likely on baby and infertility sites alike. They don’t give a shit about us – they only care about money. At the very least I hope writing this post helped you vent your frustration. I know reading it helped me.

I read all the time, but a happy ICLW to you 🙂 (#15)

13 Annissa { 12.21.10 at 2:55 am }

Wow…… seriously …. tell me how you REALLY feel! I agree with the first notetess … accept it all and write snarky reviews … then give them away. Seriously though, you would think that people would use their brains. I get PR craptastica too and I don’t even do PR stuff on my blog …. at…. all….

HAPPY ICLW from #37

14 dana { 12.21.10 at 5:56 am }

Please tell me you send some form of this letter every time you get one of these pitches. These companies deserve it.

15 Bea { 12.21.10 at 6:07 am }

Heheh. Well said. Wonder if anyone relevant’s reading, or if you should stick this as a link in your sidebar under the heading “information for those in PR and marketing”? Like they’d click through.


16 Gail { 12.21.10 at 8:30 am }

It could be worse. I have a friend who lost a baby (late term miscarriage) and she gets baby formula samples in the mail.

17 Katie { 12.21.10 at 8:59 am }

Brilliant! You are my hero, Mel. Those e-mails are my biggest pet peeve.

18 Samantha { 12.21.10 at 10:01 am }

Well done. As a PR professional, infertility sufferer and fan of your blog, I can relate in more ways than one to this post. Unfortunately many in my profession lack the “relations” component which you refer to. You’re right on.

19 Whitney { 12.21.10 at 10:31 am }

Seems like there are always reminders around, but that is just unacceptable. I do like Dana’s idea though, of sending this as a reply to them when you get one of those letters.

20 Aishacs { 12.21.10 at 10:54 am }

I just don’t even know what to say….. That is so cruel… Unintentional yes. But cruel still.

21 Catrisha { 12.21.10 at 12:11 pm }

Oh wow! That is so harsh of PR people. Like you said you’d think that they would actually read your blog and get to know you better before presenting a sales pitch to you. Crazy. I do have to agree with HereWeGoAJen’s comment though… I think accepting and writing snarky reviews would be alot of fun. But hey, I’m evil too. LOL!

Happy ICLW #118

22 Sarah { 12.21.10 at 12:18 pm }

You always have an amazing way of putting into words how we are feeling!!!
You would think that PR people would want to know who they are pitching too!!

Happy ICLW! #50

23 jjiraffe { 12.21.10 at 1:27 pm }

Heh. I used to be in PR, and I bet what’s going on is some junior person at an agency is cranking some list together using really broad keywords and is sending her/his pitch email to hundreds if not thousands of people at once, under pressure from from some client to get “mommy bloggers”. Rule #1 PR people: do your research and do quality TARGETED pitching. You’ll get much better results, and you won’t hurt and alienate very important bloggers like Mel. I’m so sorry they are bombarding you with this crap. It gives the profession a black eye.

I read your book in one day! I really enjoyed it and hope you are going to write a sequel. I want to find out what Rachel and co do next…

24 Suburban Sweetheart { 12.21.10 at 2:40 pm }

You should absolutely send this post to every single dipshit PR person who sends a pitch your way in the future.

25 Rochelle { 12.21.10 at 3:33 pm }

I totally agree with the person above me. I’d be a huge bitch, save this response, and make it my go-to reply for all future PR people who fail to comprehend what infertility means.

26 Guera! { 12.21.10 at 3:35 pm }

I signed up to take Infant CPR classes in anticipation of our upcoming (hopefully!) adoption and of course now I get stuff in the mail for pregnant women. Nice. Thanks for selling your mailing list jerks!

27 Biz { 12.21.10 at 4:32 pm }

My least fav ‘suggestions’?


Just because I ordered the Land of IF, does not mean I am now interested in every baby book and product available.

It only took me 6 months to figure out how to remove IF books from my recommendations.

Happy ICLW!

28 Emby { 12.21.10 at 6:51 pm }

How frustrating. I somehow managed to get on the Pampers mailing list, so that’s lovely. But, I am sure it is nothing compared to what you get.

29 Chickenpig { 12.21.10 at 6:58 pm }

UGH! You should definitely post this on your sidebar.

I loved, loved, loved your book! I read it in one day, which meant ignoring all my chores and the pleas of my two year old for a good chunk of the afternoon and my poor hubby all night. I hope there is a sequel coming 🙂

30 mrs spock { 12.21.10 at 7:09 pm }

I would like to add that I would love to stop hearing from companies touting miracle herbs for infertility, miracle infertility massage, and other so-called “miracles”. Because my blog is all about disseminating incorrect and bullhonkey medical information.

31 Frenchie { 12.23.10 at 11:32 am }

Oh that must be soooo frustrating.

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