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Pitch of the Week: How Cheated Me – UPDATED

by Fadra Nally on September 27, 2012

pitch-of-the-weekI should know better. I read bad pitches on a daily basis. Most I casually discard because they are so poorly written or completely irrelevant to me. But I do usually read them.

I do a quick scan for the following:

  • What product or brand is this pitch for?
  • Who is contacting me on behalf of this product or brand?
  • Is it more than just a press release?
  • Is there anything of value being offered to me? (and by value, I don’t consider content “that I thought you might like to share with your readers”)
  • How did they get my name?

Now, I don’t mind blind pitches. I put my contact information on my website so that people can contact me. I just have faith in humankind that they’ll recognize that my time is valuable and only send me relevant information. Note: My faith is quickly waning.

And while I have done a Pitch of the Week in a while, it’s not for lack of material. It’s just that there’s really nothing new to learn. Bad pitches are the norm and the good pitches are actually standing out high and above the others. I just hope they don’t get lost in the mire.

When I started doing this feature, I made it a point to keep the pitch providers anonymous. I wasn’t out to make anyone look bad. I was simply out to educate bloggers and marketers alike on how to best approach a pitch.

This week, I’m breaking all the rules because I was cheated.

On September 18th, I received a pitch from a company called It caught my eye because it was personalized, visually appealing, well-written, and had a specific ask and give.

BuildASign pitch

I looked at their promotion. The “Vote” sticker was only 99 cents and I thought I could put together something cute. It was fun and quirky and thought it might be a fun thing to share on my Facebook page. Also, I looked at their sister site and thought it had some pretty cool stuff.

So I wrote back right after I placed my 99 cent order and got no response. Perhaps if this was a successful campaign, Brendon was being flooded with responses. Good for him! So I wrote back. And then I wrote back again, giving a specific deadline for a response.

BuildASign emails

Still no response.

So now I’m stuck with a cute little 99 cent sticker. And I feel a bit foolish for believing that a company would actually be true to its words. Bait and switch? Poor planning? Intentional deception?

I call it poor judgment on my part. Do as I say, not as I do, please.

Vote for Roscoe

And if you want to make me feel better, vote for my dog Roscoe on Election Day. He’s actually pretty easy going and loves everyone.

UPDATE: I believe the way a company responds to its errors is just as important as the error itself. Shortly after I published this post, I received an email from

Hi Fedra,

I just got saw your post on Social Dialect. My name is Joe – I’m the guy behind the Vote stickers. I would like to sincerely apologize for our failure to respond – your messages were hitting Brendon’s spam filter.
We really appreciate your participation in our VOTE campaign, and hope that you’ll give us the opportunity to follow through on our promise, despite the unintentional delay. If you follow the link below you can claim a free 16×20 canvas with free shipping from Printcopia.
(link deleted)
My apologies, again. Please let me know if you have any questions or further issues and I’ll be sure to address them immediately.
Thank you,

Joe Massengill, Project Manager
 Aside from misspelling my name (Joe – it’s an honest mistake that happens all the time), I appreciated the response. And I also hope that it’s a lesson out there to companies that run blogger outreach campaigns. Our attention spans are limited and if you’re lucky enough to capture ours, don’t lose it! When asking for a specific response, make sure you check your spam filters.
  • catchatcaren

    this is interesting…I promoted BuildASign on Cat Chat before and NEVER had a problem. My contact was named Megan….she worked directly for BuildASigh. I am wondering if the individuals you were working with were hired by an outside company? I featured them more than once and never had a problem. If you want to email me I may have another email address that I can give to you. cgittleman at mi dot rr dot com

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