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This article was published on March 6, 2017

This tech company found the worst pitching technique ever

This tech company found the worst pitching technique ever
Matthew Hughes
Story by

Matthew Hughes

Former TNW Reporter

Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.

As a writer for a well-known tech site, terrible pitches from startups and clueless PR flaks are a part of my daily life. I take great delight in eviscerating the worst specimens on Twitter, because I’m just a terrible person.

But it’s rare that a company is so inept at pitching, it actually shocks me. Enter WindScribe – a Canadian VPN company that took the bar for tech PR and didn’t just lower it, so much as set it on fire and throw it in the ocean.

You see, WindScribe has an unusual growth hacking technique. It lets users increase the amount of data they can transfer each month by tweeting about its product. And to increase the value it gets from each tweet, WindScribe suggests certain tech writers and publications to tweet to.

Searching for @windscribecom on Twitter shows that in addition to several individual reporters, the accounts also targeted Thurrott, TechCrunch, ExtremeTech, TomsHardware, VentureBeat, and yes, The Next Web.

The end result is some strangely evangelistic Twitter eggs, and some seriously pissed off journalists.

It’s hard to imagine how anyone thought this could possibly work. Tech reporters, by their very nature, are cynical and questioning. I think most journalists, if they were suddenly bombarded by Twitter eggs pontificating about a service, would recognize it as a clumsly marketing tactic, rather than genuine enthusiasm for a product. It seems Windscribe’s tactic backfired, spectacularly.

But on the plus side, at least a tech publication is writing about it. Any publicity is good publicity, right?

Update: Windscribe got in touch.

No, one shouldn’t. GTFO.