“Make ya holler for a dollar, that’s the way I pimp…”

by Katie Pizzuto on July 20, 2010

in marketing,public relations

Go ahead and file these under strange, idiotic and/or insulting PR emails that I get as a food/wine blogger. While I certainly want readers to stay on top of trends, learn about new products and be turned on to things they’ve never tried, sometimes the press releases are laughable, making me wonder if any bloggers out there actually take them seriously. My tendency is usually to just hit the delete button, but I’ve been getting so many recently that I thought it might be fun to share them with you. I guess in a way that means they’re getting what they want—bastards.

Subject: Story Idea: National Tequila Day – Search for the perfect sip
This guy was wondering if I needed any story ideas for National Tequila Day (July 24th so mark your debauchery calendars now) so he included the following for my consideration: Luxury tequila maker Maestro DOBEL has created the world’s first Diamond Tequila. Maestro DOBEL is a distinctive blend of three aged tequilas: Reposado, Anejo and Extra-Anejo. He didn’t actually explain what the hell made it the world’s first “diamond tequila” or what the fuck a diamond tequila is, but as it explains on their website, it’s filtered to give it a “diamond clarity.” He then gave me a cocktail recipe that included the DOBEL. That was followed by a blurb about 1800 Silver Tequila (a completely different brand), another blurb about the 1800 Select Silver, and two more cocktail recipes. The gist of the email, if I understood it correctly, was here are some brands I represent…can you promote them for me?

I’ve gotten so many of these lately that I finally broke down and replied to his email in typical Gonzo style: I’d love to ask you a question, and I ask it with all sincerity and absolutely NO disrespect meant….do the bloggers on your mailing list actually take these ideas and run with them (recipes especially) without having a sample to review or a way to test the recipes? I would never write about a product’s use in recipes unless I had first-hand experience, but I guess I’m wondering if lots of other bloggers have no problem doing so….just curious. I have yet to get a response.

Subject: New Online Recipe Contest From Paula Deen and Kraft
This one nearly got deleted based solely on its subject line, but knowing that everything is fodder for post material, I took a look. You say “Paula Deen” and my face contorts into a painful, nauseated wince. You follow that up with “Kraft” and that look will no doubt be accompanied by stomach churning and convulsions. Here’s the pitch: Paula Deen and Kraft are starting a new recipe contest on July 19, giving away $40,000 in prize money—that’s $500 cash per day! All you have to do is submit your favorite recipes made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, according to the recipe category and theme for that particular week.

The link took me to a website with a letter “from Paula” that included the appropriate y’all sprinkled in with yowza and buckeroos, and of course dropping all the “g”s to form words like rubbin’ and cookin’. The first week’s competition? Make a side dish in 30 minutes or less, using no more than 5 ingredients. Someone remind me again why we continually ask women to come up with recipes using artery-clogging ingredients? I’d go out on a limb and tisk-tisk Paula Deen for being a spokesperson for a company that makes “food-like” crap that isn’t food, but that’s like asking Ted Nugent to stop hunting.

Subject: Come Dine With Me
And here I thought this one was a gen-u-ine invite, but apparently BBC is casting the US version of a UK food show called “Come Dine With Me” and they want my help in finding the best dinner party hosts. Ugh. So here’s the thing…the show features 4 everyday people (anyone out there not a person every day?) hosting dinner parties in their homes in the NY/NJ area. They take turns hosting each other and assign “points” for various elements of the dinner party. Whoever has the most points wins a cash prize…plus the bragging rights for becoming NY’s best dinner party host. So by all means, if you like inviting 3 assholes to dinner for the sole purpose of having them critique your cooking skills, insult your décor, gawk at your failed attempts at humor, and grade you like a sweaty, test-taking high schooler, go ahead and apply. As for me, I don’t allow anyone in my home who doesn’t already know that: 1. My music is always too loud; 2. I fired the cleaning lady I never had; 3. I don’t give a crap who double-dips as long as they are above the age of 12; 4. I often discuss politics and religion, both profanely; and 5. If you want to be entertained you must grab a guitar, a tambourine or a pot and pan and become part of the jam—no free rides.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin July 20, 2010

I can tell you that I don’t let this sort of thing anywhere near my blog. Pace has sent me super helpful recipes on a number of occasions and I finally had to drop them a line to tell them to leave me the hell alone. There have been many others, but no one as persistent.

“Come DIne with Me” is a terrible show! I saw it on my last visit to the UK and I can’t imagine allowing that sort of thing to take place in my house.

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2 RJ Flamingo July 20, 2010

When I was single, my roomate was the neat one. I remember once, when she was away, apologizing to a male visitor for the mess, explaining that the “cleaning lady” was out of town.

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3 Katie Pizzuto July 20, 2010

I’ve often heard people say, “Sorry, I gave the cleaning lady a couple of years off”….ehh, maybe I’ll put one on my Xmas list.

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4 Katie Pizzuto July 20, 2010

I have yet to hear from Pace and hope to keep it that way! I find it interesting that the tequila PR guy never responded to my email, but had that email been a request for some high-res images I wonder how quickly I would’ve gotten a response?!

I’m with you on the show….nothing of that sort would ever go down in my home either….but you can bet I’ll be keeping my eye on what they do with it here in the US!

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5 Linsey July 20, 2010

hey no dissing Come Dine With Me – I love that show!

Come on get the idea – you take a bunch of mad, egotistic so called foodies, who when reading each others menus suddenly dont know what the words that are basic cooking knowledge means and make them have three course meals with each other for a week. You then get them to score each other on the night of each host and you listen to how they bitch at each other.

What is starting in this country now is charity home versions – where friends go to each others homes and put in a certain amount of money into the pot and the overall winner gets the money for their charity … great idea and you know the people involved.

Curious though because this is NOT a BBC show it is a rival station and has been from the start – I am wondering if they have bought the format for USA.

Seriously the show is a big hit in this country, mainly though for the sarcastic witty comments of the narrator of the show. He is the best thing on it.

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6 Katie Pizzuto July 21, 2010

I’m not saying I wouldn’t dig WATCHING the show, but you couldn’t pay me enough to be a contestant. I’d wind up wire tapping the house and coming after anyone who dared insult me or my home with a cast iron skillet.

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7 Linsey July 20, 2010

PS Kraft not my favourite company since they took Cadbury’s from the UK, and our dumbarse last government let them

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8 Don July 21, 2010

Can’t agree more Katie. Jim and I are now getting spammed from Wild Turkey’s marketing company because we participated in a blogger event. I hope they don’t sell our info and we start getting spam from everywhere!

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9 Katie Pizzuto July 21, 2010

I just got one yesterday offering me a review sample of a fruit fly trap….shaped like a tiny apple. I’m not sure whether that’s meant to fake out the fruit flies or your guests 🙂

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10 Linsey July 21, 2010

I will have that … I hate those lil buggers … give it to Anthony lol

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11 kevin July 21, 2010

Katie,

I am up to like 3 or 4 of these emails a day, and I don’t know why. I don’t get what they are thinking.

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12 Katie Pizzuto July 21, 2010

Like everything else America seems to get its hands on, they take a good (or bad) idea and run it completely into the ground. The sad part, Kev, is that I’m sure several bloggers grab the ideas, or the recipes, or the whatever and RUN with it. It’s THOSE idiots these guys are hoping to hook.

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13 Katie Pizzuto August 3, 2010

Thought you all would appreciate hearing the “Tequila Pusher’s” response to my question about bloggers blindly taking recipes and promos and running with them without having tried the product:

Hi Katie –

No disrespect taken. Some bloggers do take the recipes and simply post them. Some times samples are requested and if we can accommodate we send the samples. It’s just difficult with so many outlets and so few samples. We just simply hope to get exposure.

So there you have it….the “throw it all against a wall and see what sticks” mentality for what it’s worth.

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14 Katie Pizzuto August 3, 2010

Last sentence was MY commentary, by the way, not his.

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