It’s important for me to start this post by telling you that I am in no way affiliated with sex toy retailer MyPleasure, I am not an affiliate nor do they sponsor me — and I get sent sex products all the time from companies hoping for an editorial mention or a link. It is rare for me to mention or link unsolicited products or websites, because I won’t endorse crap (or unethical behavior). This is especially important to uphold in the world of sexuality and adult entertainment.
Today I visited my mailbox and got this box from MyPleasure. They have sent me things in the past and I have not always mentioned it — though they do carry a toy I can’t live without, the Fairy Mini Wand, and so I don’t mind the occasional surprise package from them. Especially when they arrive around my birthday (it was last week, it generally sucked, though I got new tattoos, and life goes on).
Their Social Media PR Strategist Garnet Joyce executed something that impressed me very much. Yes, I got goodies. But that isn’t why I’m giving them props. I see a lot of bad social media PR — not just as a person in the tech conference world, a sex writer/author/blogger, or because I’m called a social media “thought leader”. Bacchus and I have been making vicious fun of PR media doofuses (in and out of the sexuality realm) for years. I think it’s important to praise the good ones as much as possible. The power of positive feedback is underrated in online culture.
So, they sent me a Vida Vanta and some Kama Sutra Honey Dust. But in my opinion, it was a clever act of social-media driven PR. If PR people in other sectors (topic-specific product and lifestyle markets) did this with the “influencers” they hope will “evangelize” their products in a non-skeezy way, they’d build reputation value, more brand awareness and much more. I mean, I love the Old Spice virals. That’s one method. There are many methods. Getting “evangelists” and “influencers” is one. But courting “influencers” in specific markets is tricky. To keep our credibility, we must be very careful with how we spend our social capital. Press releases and unsolicited spam, or ‘gaming’ social media for followers or likes ain’t it — nor is it sustainable for a brand’s PR.
What did they do that was so effective for someone as cautious, transparent, and admittedly highly critical as myself in this instance? Via social media, the PR person has paid attention to my work and blog (where their company wants to be seen, promoted). They selected two items (not an overwhelming slam of stuff) that are items key to my new and current projects — and my ethics, such as the toy made from body safe materials and with green ethics. The Honey Dust was a “kudos” for my new kissing book and its recent successes such as Russian translation and Urban Outfitters calling it “the kissing Bible”. The PR person asked for zero in return, I was not spammed unsolicited but given things to use for my own fun, and it included a personal, genuine and supportive note.
Again, imagine if social media PR people in other industries used this kind of methodology. I write this as someone barraged by PR crap, not as someone who thinks of the social media space as in any way genuine. So this surprised me.
Anyway, thank you MyPleasure! On Twitter they are @My_Pleasure (I messed up my thank you tweet when my EVO did an autocorrect and I sent out the wrong one, duhhrrr). I am still sponsored by Babeland and am working on a fun mini social media project for them this very evening (something I think you’ll love), but I like to think we’re all in this together.