Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Selling Out

I almost never accept promotional offers for my blog. It's not what my blog is about and its just not something I have the time or patience to deal with. That said, I don't do much to discourage them from coming either.

As a blogger in the virtual world, but a PR person in the real world, it's been fascinating to get the pitches. Most pitches deserve the criticism that bloggers heap on them. But as a PR pro, I know that most of these outreach efforts are assigned to the younger PR professionals who have little to no real world or professional experience, much less empathy for us bloggers. It's nothing personal -- it's just the natural professional progression. The younger professionals do the tactical work, the more seasoned professionals do strategic planning. Most of us cut our teeth doing media relations, but would rather poke our eyes out with hot pokers than pitch anyone on anything once we become more experienced.

But this particular pitch I got a few weeks ago caught my attention. It was brief and it was titled, "I love your blog!" Flattery, my friends, will get you everywhere. It went on to say, "I really enjoy reading your blog. I came across it through the Deep South Moms site and enjoyed it ever since." An honest to goodness reader! Immediately she's established some credibility by proving that she knows something about me and my affiliation with Deep South Moms -- clearly not a mass email. And she goes on to say, "I'm not a mom, but..." Honesty! How refreshing!

Turns out photographer Tessa Swarthout was promoting her own photography business, L3 Photography, and she was offering me a complimentary photography session and picture package ('kay, FTC? We good?). She offered me a link to her work and WOW! SO impressive! I figured, what did I have to lose? At worst, it would be a few hours on a weekend, but any time spent with my girls is time well-spent. If all went well, we'd have some spectacular photos to cherish and maybe I could strike one more thing off the ever-growing holiday to-do list if I got a nice family photo for our holiday cards out of the deal.

Tessa came out to our house and immediately got to work. She was great with the kids, chatting with them about their favorite TV shows, their favorite music and their favorite movies. She let them take play breaks when they were clearly getting antsy. I was particularly impressed when she had the girls climb up into a wonderful tree in our front yard and then climbed up with them to take pictures of them from above. Hubby and I got into the act at one point and we took a few family photos that will undoubtedly make wonderful holiday cards.

So even though I don't take promotional offers and I've been desperately trying to keep my family's identity anonymous to no avail, I'm so happy I took this particular opportunity. To remain true to my normal bloggy policies (that only exist in my head and make sense to me), I'm still not going to post any pictures of my family on this site. But I will share this link. Not saying it's my family, but I will say that IF my family were to do an awesome professional photography session with Tessa at L3 Photography, this is what the results MIGHT look like.

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