Monday, May 16, 2011

The Viral Lack of a Target - or, who should I contact to find out about Electrolux products?

I was reading an old mrontemp post recently, and I ended up surfing to a 2005 Steve Rubel post called Target's Got a Fan Blog. Back in 2005, Rubel wrote the following:

Lesley [Weiner] says “Essentially this would be any company’s dream, right!?” Well, you would think so, but often this isn't the case. The reason is, corporations are afraid of an uncontrolled message.

Things hadn't gotten to much better by the time I wrote my post in 2008. The main focus of my post was a message sent from Target to Amy Jussel (printed as a comment in her post about Target's notorious spread-eagled ads).

“Good Morning Amy,

Thank you for contacting Target; unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with non-traditional media outlets. This practice is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest.

Once again thank you for your interest, and have a nice day.”

Anyway, I checked for an update to status. While I couldn't find a definitve new statement about Target's 2011 attitude toward bloggers, I did discover a couple of things.

First, the fan blog in question, Slave to Target, hasn't been updated since 2009.

Second, Amy Jussel is still blogging.

Third, I checked Target's investor Media Contacts page to see how to contact them. It began with the following words:

Members of the media are invited to call the Target Media Hotline at (612) 696-3400 or email The Hotline is generally staffed between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Monday through Friday. Media may leave a message during other times. The Hotline voicemail system is checked periodically.

Now more often than not, when I see the phrase "Members of the media," it usually doesn't apply to me. Perhaps it might apply to Michael Arrington, but that's only because he's been mentioned in the so-called "real media."

Now contrast this with Electrolux:

If you are a journalist or blogger covering a certain part of the world, we have local Press Officers who can assist you.

Find the Press Officer for your region by using the contact information presented here. Please select country below.

Now I happen to live in the United States, and as of today, my Electrolux contact is Caryn Klebba. I now have Caryn's e-mail address, as well as Caryn's phone number.

So the next time that I'm stuck for blogging ideas, and I have a choice between writing about Electrolux and writing about Target, which will I choose?
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