This morning I had a couple of garden bloggers forward me an email originating from a Yahoo account about a promotion by Better Homes and Gardens. The email coming from a disposable email account lead some garden bloggers to question the validity of the email and others to delete the email without reading it completely.
Last night as I was visiting garden blogs I noticed one garden blogger blogging about the promotion. So when I was forwarded the email in question today I was familiar with the context of the email but was skeptical because it came from a Yahoo account.
Fortunately, Susan Appleget-Hurst, one of the garden editors of Better Homes and Gardens follows a Twitter account of mine and I was able to reach out and ask about the email. "Yes, it is as I suspected. Meredith hired a PR firm to help us extend our reach on this promotion. So Nathan Groom is contacting bloggers to help get the word out." Mrs. Hurst informed me moments ago via email.
A quick search on Google Blog Search leads me to question just how effective the PR efforts are. Personally, I think that if a company wants to contact garden bloggers they would be better served working with someone who is known in the community. Off the top of my head I can think of five garden bloggers who could have been hired to lead the outreach effort to garden bloggers and it wouldn't have lead to people being suspicious of the email.