No Wonder They Think We’re For Sale

It was less than two weeks ago that I took Miss Manners to task for promoting the notion that bloggers owed a duty to be nice to PR spammers.  The Manners woman, a/k/a Tamar Weinberg, self-proclaimed Social Media Rock Star (sorry if I’m repeating myself, but it always makes me chuckle)  says she won the battle, after running away shrieking.  Some people do that to drown out the laughter.

Later, Ken from Popehat let me know that Tamar characterized what happens here as “the business of business promotion.”  Ken nicely “explained” that she didn’t grasp Simple Justice.  It’s understandable that a vapid (and painfully narcissistic) Social Media twinkie would project her limited comprehension on law blogs and assume that we’re all in this for self-promotion, to make a buck, to strut around in hotpants.

But this left a question unanswered.  Where was the intersection between the world of substantive blawging and social media marketing?  What could possibly give the twinkies the impression that everyone else is in it for the scam?

My question was answered by Kevin O’Keefe’s post-ABA TechShow post, How to get coverage in law blogs.

At some conferences, talented PR professionals will introduce me to their clients. I want to be polite so in most cases I accept the offer. But I feel a little sorry for the CEO of a company I meet on such an introduction who asks ‘How can I get on your blog.’ They have little understanding of social media or blogs, they just want coverage.

Please, Kevin, please.  Tell them they can’t.  Tell them to go away.  Tell them to leave us alone, that they will never get “coverage” in law blogs because law blogs aren’t here to “cover” them. Please.

If I have the time, I’ll explain that I really don’t know anything about them or their company so I have no idea if what they do is of interest to my readers. I’ll further explain that for me to learn about them and their company they’ll need to mention me or talk about items of interest to me in their own blog, if they have one, or other social media.
Aaarrrrggghh.  No.  No, don’t invite them to pitch us.  Don’t tell them to try to seduce us.  Tell them to leave us alone.

[IT Marketer Tom] Pick is spot on that establishing a relationship with a blogger prior to pitching is key today.


  • Follow your targeted bloggers on Twitter. Retweet some of their posts.
  • Provide relevant and helpful comments on some of their blog posts.
  • Promote their content through Twitter and other social media tools.
  • Join the same LinkedIn groups they belong to.

No question this requires gaining an understanding of social media and more work, but the relationships established will result in coverage.

Relationships, networking, engaging, authenticity, genuiness.  These are the words used in a language of lies.  Never confuse buzzwords with reality.  Social media marketers are so enamored of their lies that they can’t distinguish reality from the pitch.  They are intellectually and morally empty, and yet Kevin invites them into our world?  What are you thinking?

While Tamar may be a twinkie, she’s at least honest enough to admit that the only reason she ever stopped by here was because I used her name.  She’s got no interest in law blogs or criminal law,  It was all about her, which is fine since that’s what matters in her world.  And because I’m a troll, meaning that I haven’t been kind to her, she won’t be back.  That’s as it should be.  When someone has no interest in the substance of a law blog, then stay away.  If she had some interest in a subject that had some depth, she would have had a better grasp of what she was talking about.  She never will.

Don’t post comments or retweet posts to gain favor with someone merely to manufacture a “relationship” so that you can later capitalize on it to get “coverage” for one of your clients.  That’s not a relationship. That’s a scam.  No one needs friends like that.

Here’s a word that is rarely heard amongst the social media consultants: organic.  If there’s real interest, then nobody has to give you a paint by the numbers image to teach you how to create false friendships with others.  Comment because you are actually interested in a subject.  Twit because you actually want to twit.  Or don’t.  Say something nice, or not nice. Say what you really mean.

For crying out loud, be real. 

As for Kevin’s advice, maybe it applies to someone else, but not me.  Not here.  If Kevin, or any of his LexBloggers, want to establish relationships with the PR world, that’s his business, though I have some serious doubts that some of his LexBloggers, at least some who I know, have any interest in establishing deep, caring relationships with the PR world.  But he doesn’t speak for me, and there’s no interest here in becoming best friends forever.  You can forget about coverage.

If you happen to have a sincere interest in criminal law, on the other hand, your welcome here anytime.  And feel free to disagree with me.

9 thoughts on “No Wonder They Think We’re For Sale

  1. Antonin I. Pribetic

    Tamar Weinberg a.k.a. Miss Manners may well be a “vapid (and painfully narcissistic) Social Media twinkie”, but Kevin O’Keefe is not fooling anyone with his reverse engineering stealth marketing campaign. Here’s a tip: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

    There are two kinds blawgers: those who blawg to get clients and those who don’t. The former are all about the form of the message; the latter are all about the content. I have no quarrel with legal marketing, but let’s not pretend that LexBlog or any of its ilk are anything but virtual bench advertising.

  2. SHG

    Kevin makes no bones about what he does for a living; He sells blawgs.  Some of those who buy are for real (Jamie Spencer immediately comes to mind). Others are playing the social media faux blawg marketing game.  Kevin is also a strong proponent of his LexBloggrs writing substance, not necessarily because he’s a lover of substance as because it makes the blawgs more successful, whatever the blawgers’ purpose, and keeps them on board.

    But to the PR world, Kevin is both a sympathetic ear (see his efforts to bolster that mutt, Sonny Cohen), as well as a spokesman for law blogs.  If Kevin says it’s okay, then it’s okay, as far as the PR world is concerned.  And the problem is that Kevin says it’s okay, though it is most assuredly not okay with me, as well as many others.

  3. Windypundit

    You know, the real Miss Manners wouldn’t come anywhere near this. She sneers at business people who try to manipulate you with phony appeals to your good manners. When your friends ask you a favor, you owe them a polite answer. When a business does it, there’s no social obligation at all.

    On the other hand, there’s generally no good reason for giving offense, although a reply like “I have read your email carefully and it would appear that you have omitted the part where you request my advertising rate card,” is a pretty good response.

    (Also, the real Miss Manners doesn’t actually sneer at people. She merely allows that she would forgive you if you inadvertently did so.)

  4. SHG

    There is no “other hand.”  If there is no obligation, than it’s entirely your choice to be nice or not.  Our special Miss Manners says that bloggers are too stupid to realize that we are required to be nice to PR pitchers. We are not.

  5. Staci Riordan

    First, your point that relationship building should be “organic” is dead on. I try and write about things that inform and educate my audience, and point out things I find interesting (like a cool pair of shoes here and there!). And, for full disclosure, my blog is hosted on lexblog, and they have been super.

    Second, I have to tell you, I love simple justice and look forward to reading it everyday. I think that you have a way with words and express what many think but are afraid to say.

    Third, I am guessing that you probably have as much interest in fashion as I do in criminal law. (I admit, I usually skim those posts).

    But I am going to stick around, I hope you don’t mind. I agree with you more than not, I usually learn something new and almost always leave smiling. Thanks for posting (although I am still amazed at how you have time to do so many!).

  6. SHG

    Some people are unaware that I am deeply interested in fashion.  In fact, I recently named myself number 27 on a list of best dressed lawyers on 6th Avenue in Manhattan (midtown, east side of the street, viewable from my chair).  This is why I’m frequently referred to as the Lawyer Fashionista. 

    I’m not surprised that you were unaware of this.  I try not to flaunt it.

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