My name is Katie and I am contacting you to see if you would be interested in a guest or sponsored blog post regarding car accident or personal injury lawyers on your site (http://www.popehat.com/). If you are interested, I would love to have you or your writers provide the content or I can write the post as well! I can provide you with unique, high quality material and will pay through Paypal. Please let me know how this sounds to you. Thank you!
Can you identify the site that your guest posts would be linking to or otherwise promoting?
Thanks so much for getting back to me. I was either thinking of [actual law firm's web site] or [another actual law firm's web site] if you think that would fit better. Let me know what you think! Thanks again.
Thank you for the swift response.
So, do I understand that you are a marketing professional in the field of social media promotion, and those two firms are clients?
Yes, you are correct and yes, they are. Would you be interested in a post regarding either of them?
I'd be interested in a post about marketing professionals in the field of social media promotion who spam blogs with guest-post solicitations without first checking to see if the blog is remotely appropriate for the marketeers' law firm clients. Say, for example, a post about a marketeer who spams my blog, Popehat, a blog that relentlessly criticizes "legal marketing" like this, and has a popular and long-running series ridiculing inappropriate guest-post solicitations. For example:
The guest post might analyze whether law firms are well served by such marketing, whether they are exercising due diligence in hiring and supervising their marketeers, whether they'd like it if they knew their marketeers promptly give up their names when asked, and whether their marketing strategy reflects well on their reliability as lawyers.
Or ponies. Some kind of post about ponies would be swell.
Very faithfully yours,
I will keep that in mind. Although it may seem that I wouldn't, I understand where you're coming from. I think a post on ponies would suffice. Have a nice day.
The point, gentle readers, is not just that Katie spams my blog for the benefit of her clients. The point is not just that Katie is either auto-spamming some list of blogs without evaluating their suitability, or else has exceedingly bad judgment about what blogs are suitable targets for her spam. The point is not just that Katie, who should have sensed danger immediately, named two clients to a strange blogger.
The point is now a familiar one: as others have said, outsource your marketing, outsource your reputation and your ethics. If you hire some SEO-snake-oil-selling-marketeer without understanding the industry, and asking tough questions of your would-be marketeer, and supervising what they do on your behalf, then some Katie or Katies may be dropping your name in an exceedingly reckless correspondence in a strange (in every sense of the word) blogger. Today I am on the Surfliner to San Diego and in an expansive mood, so I didn't publish the names of the client law firms to humiliate them for being so reckless as to hire one of the Katies of the world. Tomorrow, perhaps I will have slept badly, or my morning gruel will be burnt, or one of my minions will displease me, and I'll name and shame, as we often have before here.
Don't hire a Katie. If you don't understand what a Katie is, and don't feel competent to evaluate your marketeer for Katietude, don't outsource your marketing at all.