Mar 2, 2009

The BH&G Promo Email

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.


  1. Good point. As I said on Twitter earlier, I ended up deleting the email because it just seemed a bit odd. Being approached by another garden blogger would have made me more comfortable with the promotion. And, though I know disposable email addresses are a convenience, I think some sense needs to be used as to when to use them. The PR firm must have its own domain name, one would assume. It just looks more professional and "real" coming from an actual domain rather than a yahoo account attached to some guy's name.

  2. When the email was forwarded to me the Yahoo email is what tossed me for a loop. I mean, I have 5 dot com email addys from registering domains and they are provided for free.

    I see the business sense in hiring a freelancer to do the PR work but there are plenty of them in the garden blogging world that could have done this job. And they probably wouldn't have used a disposable email account.

  3. There are definitely plenty of garden bloggers they could have turned to.

    I thought the same thing about the address. Every site I have registered came with free email addresses.

    Do you think the issue is the same old story of bloggers being overlooked as not being "serious" enough, or is it just mainstream publishers doing things the way they've always done them, not realizing that there's a better way?

  4. Colleen,

    I think it may be more of a case that publishers may not know that they can tap people in the community. There is a PR firm that follows me on Twitter and they specialize in garden industry PR. Someone like them would have been a good choice for a program like this.

  5. I received an email as well. Could it have been handled better? Sure. But just how much money is Meredith throwing at this PR portion of it? My guess would be not so much. I was suspicious for a moment, but thought my readers would be interested to know about the give away regardless. I've been a long time reader of BHG, so I have no problems passing the info along and will post about it later today. I guess my thinking is regardless of whether it was a legit email-would it help or harm my readers in knowing about the give away?

  6. Hi Ruth,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Just so I'm clear I wasn't suspicious of the validity of the promotion or the offer to garden bloggers in the email. What I was suspicious of was that the links could have sent the reader to a malicious site. I don't follow links from sources I don't know and trust. Following said links and or publishing links you don't authenticate could lead to a lot of harm for your readers.

  7. Absolutely-thanks! That's why I checked the link by going to myself to be sure first. But you're right, bloggers should be careful what links they list for their readers.

  8. I received this email too and wondered about the validity. Using a yahoo account is completely wrong in these situations and I felt skeptical as well.


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