In the last few months I've noticed an increase in an interesting communication style.  I'm on the receiving end of what has become a near-daily volley of "could you consider blogging this" kinds of requests.  That in and of itself isn't new....it's been happening for a year or two.  The requests are quite varied -- some are mass-mailed press releases, some are business partners or other vendors asking for mentions, some are customers looking for advice or help with issues, and some are IBM colleagues or others looking for visibility for their projects.

First, let me make this clear -- I like to hear from you.  I wouldn't post a "contact me" link on the blog, or feature my e-mail address in a zillion other places, if I was trying to cut down or off these external communications.  The e-mails, IMs, and other communications I get are what really help me stay in touch with the pulse of the market.

However, it's a little frustrating to deal with multiple attempts for attention.  I'm not sure there is a way to manage it, but sometimes I get the same communication three or four times -- work e-mail, personal e-mail, txt, twitter, cell phone call, etc.

The more difficult challenge these days is the "double down".  I've seen it for years in e-mail, when someone sends out a request for help.  When they don't get a response in ten minutes, they try someone else, not alerting the first person that they're now trying a second person, nor letting the second know that they've already tried the first.  Or, in an attempt to make their request more personalized, they take essentially the same communication and send it to more than one person simultaneously (or nearly so).   My colleague Jack calls this a "spray-and-pray"...in the blog world, perhaps it's like a "poke-and-hope".

The problem with these is that it almost always comes out that they've done a mass-customized e-mail.  If I see another IBMer blog about a topic that someone contacted me about, the feeling is not very positive.  I realize that I was just another port in the storm, a possible avenue for the message.  Or, sometimes, they've e-mailed the same message to a close friend of mine, and we compare notes and find that the same request came both ways.

In the end, the tactic isn't all that different than a PR agency pitching reporters (and as we all know, bloggers have in some ways become additions to the PR beat).  Still, when a story is being pitched, it is usually made clear that it is a general market pitch, or offered as an exclusive, or there is a part of the message that is hoped to be unique from the perspective of the person being pitched.  I'd like to think I add a personal and/or unique perspective to everything I post here.  Frankly, when I don't, y'all usually smell the stinker, and I get very few comments.  Thus, I'd like to find a way to continue to be approachable, useful, and interesting, without being redundant or another voice in the echo chamber.

As readers, how are you dealing with multiple similar inputs or content?

Post a Comment