I’m generally pretty good at being diplomatically and politely rude to people when the need arises. It’s one of my many talents, along with eloquently telling you why you are a complete idiot. One thing I have never written about is PR failures.
I’m not talking about a poorly designed or worded ad. I’m talking about PR people who email bloggers in a niche as small and specific as military spouse bloggers, and fail epically at their job.
In light of recently hitting my breaking point with these emails I’ve decided to write about the most common fails I see and why it should matter to PR people. (This list is geared towards my personal experiences, but the rules apply to any military spouse blogger, no matter what branch of the military their spouse serves in.) This will be a three part series featuring six fails each.
- Soldier is NOT an all encompassing term. I am not married to a Soldier. I’m married to a Marine. Our service members go through boot camp and training to earn their respective titles, so show some respect and call them by their correct names.
- The branches of the military are capitalized as are the titles earned in them. I am married to a Marine, not a marine. There is a distinct difference in meaning. A Marine is a person who is a service member serving in the USMC; marine is related to oceanography. My husband is not a whale; get it right. (This also applies to Army/Soldier, Navy/Sailor, Air Force/Airman, Coast Guard/Coastie and National Guard.) Again, show some respect.
- If you are going to write to a military spouse blogger, be sure you know what branch their spouse is in. Emailing A Boy, A Girl, and the MARINE CORPS and saying, “army wives such as yourself” is an epic failure on so many levels. I am not an Army wife. I do not look down on Army wives, but I do look down on PR people who think that the distinction doesn’t matter. Re: Item 1 and Item 2 on the list. And this type of failure is a sure fire way to make sure I don’t even bother to reply.
- Don’t email me offering me a review of children’s items. My bio clearly states that I have no children. Way to fail. Just because I’m a military spouse, doesn’t automatically mean I have a troop of children at home and making that assumption is really ridiculous.
- Just because something you are doing is loosely related to the military, doesn’t mean everyone is going to jump on the chance to promote your thing for free. I get twenty emails a day that tell me about how this person once shook hands with an Airman so I should want to promote their product, service or event. Nope. I will promote what I feel fits with my blog, not what YOU feel fits with my blog, so when I reply, “thanks but no thanks,” a response is not needed from you about why I should change my mind.
- There is a difference between Active Duty Service Members, National Guard, and Reserve Service Members, and ACTIVE National Guard and Reserve Service Members. If you are going to email a Reservist’s wife about your blahblah, you should probably be sure that Reservists are included in the list of people eligible. Asking me to promote something that I don’t even qualify for because of your decision to exclude an entire group of military service members, one of which I am married to, is just flat insulting.