Tipping Point

One of the first things I did when I set up this blog was ensure I had a blog-specific email address for the rare occasion that someone wanted to reach out to me. I figured it would be better to have it and not get contacted by anyone rather than miss an opportunity to connect with my readers. Naturally this means another email account to manage, including spam and all of the fun things Nigerian Princes can offer me. But, this also means I have to endure the shenanigans that occur every November as my email address gets lumped in with the generic ‘diabetes’ mailing lists.

With respect to these generic diabetes mailing lists, it’s clear that the PR folks responsible have a tough task ahead of them. How effective can a mass email be when the only possible personalization is the introduction, “Hello [Recipient First Name]”? In case you were unsure, the answer is ‘not very effective at all’.

The number of pitches I’ve received isn’t important, and neither is the number I’ve responded to with sincerity (but for what it’s worth, I can count that number on one hand), but I think it should be stated – again – that we are people first. We might fit into demographics that make sense for whatever it is you’re marketing, but how well do you think all of this is going to go if you treat us like generic data points?

I know personalization and empathy take time, and time is money, but you know what? It works.

All of this pseudo-anger comes at a time where I’ve reached a tipping point with all of the generic emails I’ve received in November. American Diabetes Month means the flood gates get opened for opportunities to advocate, endorse, experience, consume, demo, read, share, and a thousand other verbs. But this also means I am getting a lot of emails that make some basic assumptions about who I am and what I’m living with.

No, it’s not the Muggles‘ fault, and that’s okay, but words are important – and if you aren’t going to choose yours carefully, I’ve composed a cut/paste response for you.


There are different types of diabetes. Your pitch, and your product, fail to recognize this basic fact. Please consider this when blindly communicating with members of the diabetes community. While we value innovation and outreach, we appreciate honesty and understanding just as much. If not more.

Have a nice day.

4 thoughts on “Tipping Point

  1. Hehe. I’m one of those PR people. But I also have type 1 diabetes. Language is SO important. I had to explain to a fellow colleague that stating that we “are diabetics” implies that the disease owns us. It doesn’t, and shouldn’t.
    Lucky for me, my blog is newer so I haven’t been pitched yet. (I guess my time will come.) Thanks for holding down the fort and keeping us bottom feeders in check. 😉


  2. Pingback: A PR Girl’s Guide to Pitching Bloggers with Diabetes « See Jen Dance

  3. Good answer! There’s always a tendency to be snarky and condescending to those who try to take advantage of our (supposed) ignorance or who are ignorant about diabetes themselves, but your answer is above that. You say what needs to be said, emphatically but pleasantly.



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