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@DannyBrown - Your comment really made me laugh out loud, especially the smoking double meanings!

I never receive these pitches. National Watermelon Week? The most I receive is periodic emails asking me to do a "link exchange" or sometimes I get emails telling me why I should have ads on my blog. I just ignore these.

Excellent list Valeria!

@Vince - how about gum that dances? Seriously! I don't doubt that there are really good products out there that would be good for people to know about. My readership is probably mostly marketing and communications people... has the agency really considered a blogger outreach strategy, or are they just pushing their PR to folks on the AdAge Power150 list? These things were passable a year ago, although still annoying. Not now!

@Joey - glad the post hit home. Focusing more on the audience for the pitch instead of just the message broadcast should be part of the process.

@Annie - and different email clients handle characters differently. That's what testing is for.

@Carolyn Ann - nothing like a chance to make a first impression. Long after we forget what someone said, we still remember how they made us feel. And you correctly knew that this post was about telling stories and believing those stories without critical thinking or at least looking at the issue from the side of the recipient of that story.

Hmm... The only emails I get indicate that the FBI, or the British Scotland Yard [sic] or some allegedly prestigious law firm needs to get hold of me so I can claim a rather large inheritance from an obscure, deceased, family member. Please pay $269 for further details, etc. :-)

Your post brought to mind the British chap, landed in New York not more than 12 hours before, on his first visit to America - never mind NY or Wall St (is that an epithet, these days? :-) ). He was supposed to be selling me on some moment of genius, but instead spent most of his time disparaging America. While he sat in my office just down from Wall St. (My office was just at the start line for Broadway parades :-) ) The chap accompanying him was someone I'd known for awhile, and we were both amazingly annoyed. He was embarrassed, too! Can't say I blame him.

I no longer remember the man, but I do remember his stupid and insulting tirade. He'd drunk the Kool Aid of colonialism long before. The wonder is not that he had the temerity to launch into his harangue, but that he'd agreed to deign America with his presence. Believe me: America was fine without it. :-)

The other incident it brought to mind was a certain data storage company - they came within minutes (literally) of my suing them for slander - when I realized they *believed* the lies they'd written in their complaint about me. Considering I'd actually had a floor strengthened to hold their equipment, for a test, their claims came across a little bit like Sarah Palin complaining the world is unfair. They hadn't drunk their Kool-Aid. They'd injected it.

Carolyn Ann

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