Sloppy PR from Disney, of all companies

As you might know, I also run a popular parenting blog called, ingeniously enough, the The Attachment Parenting Blog, and among the quadzillion topics I touch on sporadically, I have written in the past about Disneyworld and about how much I enjoy the entire world of Disney theme parks, even as I cringe at their price.
Presumably that was enough for the public relations team at Disney’s Disney Family.com to find me and send me a message asking me to help promote the new site. I’m a bit surprised to be queried by someone at Disney Internet Group (who knew they had “dig.com”?) but I’m more surprised at how sloppy their communique proves to be…


Here’s what I received:


Dear Apparanting,
I’m contacting you to let you know about a new travel site Disney Family.com needs your help promoting! Travel at Disney Family.com has been launched with tons of new features to help families plan great vacations:
1) Best Family Vacations
The best vacations list features highly-rated vacation ideas with things to do, places to stay, and places to eat, complete with reviews, maps, activities, and “good for kids” ratings based on the child’s age, from babies to teens.
http://family.go.com/travel/vacations/best-vacations/
2) Browse Family Vacations
In addition to the “Best Family Vacations”, visitors can view 100s of other family vacation destinations, submit their favorite moments from past vacations, and read reviews.
3) Travel Deals
Visitors can browse the latest deals and save them to their own profiles on the site for future reference.
http://family.go.com/travel/deals/
4) Travel Tips
The travel tips section includes tips for traveling with kids, including travel safety and packing, as well as games for road trips.
http://family.go.com/travel/pkg-travel-tips/
I think your readers and guests will find the site useful, but also enjoy sharing their travel adventures with other parents.
Please let me know if you will feature Travel at Disney Family.com and feel free to contact me with any questions. If you’d like to discuss other promotional and linking opportunities, I’d love to hear from you, too!


It’s not the worst communication I’ve received from a PR company since I started blogging, but really, Disney, couldn’t you have spent 15 seconds digging around and figuring out my name? I mean, you submitted this query to me via a form that has my name in the opening paragraph!
More importantly, Disney violates one of the best practices for PR companies trying to raise visibility in the blogosphere: it doesn’t demonstrate that anyone in the agency actually read my blog. Not a big deal to me, but for most bloggers, it’s a deal-breaker, actually. Not good at all.
Finally, I’m surprised that there’s no perk, no thank you, no incentive to cover the site other than simply that it exists. Well, there’s the promise of “If you’d like to discuss other promotional and linking opportunities, I’d love to hear from you, too!” and, needless to say, a link from one of the official Disney sites would be terrific, but somehow I think that might be more about us linking to them, not vice versa. Remember, this is “we have more lawyers than you and aggressively protect our intellectual property” Disney, so them linking to a third-party site seems quite unlikely.
It is nonetheless interesting to get these sort of queries and see how these companies and experts position their offerings for us new media people. I think that Disney could have done better, but at least they’re trying, I suppose. Next time, though, they can buy my enthusiastic coverage with a few *ahem* all-park passes for our next visit to the park, coupled with a behind-the-scenes tour or two. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

5 comments on “Sloppy PR from Disney, of all companies

  1. Hey Dave,
    Just took my grand daughter last Saturday for about the 15th time this year.
    Fortunately, I live within driving distance of Disney World.
    Like Disney needs any help with promotions.
    Jeez…..
    George

  2. Dave,
    I am curious about your comments about Disney’s sloppy PR. I am interning there and trying to learn as much about it as I can…from every point of view. Do you hold any degrees and if so, what field? I hope to hear from you via e-mail as soon as you get a chance out of your busy day. Thank you so much! Cheers!
    -Kate

  3. I am a student at Georgia State University, promoting the definition of public relations:
    Public relations is the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans, executes, and evaluates a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.

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