PR 365…How Not to Pitch a Blogger

PR 365…How Not to Pitch a Blogger

By: PR 365

I receive a lot of emails in one day. It’s probably in the hundreds and I spend most of my day sifting through things that are spam, messages I’ve been waiting to hear back from, and pitches. Lots and lots of pitches. Considering I straddle both sides of the fence, I oftentimes am amazed by the mistakes made by publicists who find it hard to connect in the blogosphere. So while this blog usually offers advice to those of you looking to build your brand or platform, this post will focus on those publicists who are doing it wrong. Here’s my list of do’s and don’ts when you’re approaching bloggers – use it wisely and you may not wind up in a recycle bin.

1. Don’t Call Me By the Following Names: Hi Mom Blogger; Hello Mommies; Hey moms!… You may not realize this but it is condescending to address a parenting blogger as a mommy. Would you ever pitch an editor at a newspaper or magazine by sending a note that says: Dear Editor. Didn’t think so. If you have the email address for a blogger, then you probably have their first and last name too. Before you hit send, find out the name of the blogger you are pitching!

2. Don’t Get the Name of My Blog Wrong I recently received a pitch that was clearly a form letter and buried within the text was a line about how their campaign would be great for “Role Model” readers. Now I don’t know about you, but the name of my website is pretty clear. It’s at the top of my page and many of my posts start with the words Role Mommy. I have a Blog Talk Radio network with the name Role Mommy plastered all over it. There is no excuse for a publicist to not get the name of someone’s blog correct. Would you pitch an editor at Glamour and then call the magazine Redbook? Didn’t think so.

3. Do Know the Blogs You Are Pitching There are thousands of blogs on the Internet but it is very easy to do some simple research. Sure, you can certainly track a bloggers’ traffic stats but more importantly, if you represent a brand and want to seek out people who could potentially support it in a positive way, then research writers who are already passionate about it. Don’t just cast your net to the bloggers with the largest web traffic. It’s not always just about blog stats. Many bloggers contribute to more than one site so even if their traffic might not be huge on their personal blog, they may write for larger outlets where they can garner lots of eyeballs. Plus, if they have a large number of Twitter followers and Facebook friends, you’re suddenly reaching out to a wide group. Never underestimate the power of a true brand enthusiast. Look outside the net and you might just find a diamond online.

4. Do Establish an Ongoing Relationship with a Blogger If you enjoy reading a specific blog or have seen a post that caught your eye, then reach out to the writer. When you pitch them, share something about yourself and how you were able to relate to their post. One of my favorite publicists in the industry, Rob Wheat, who handles PR for Nintendo, should teach a master class on how to effectively connect with bloggers and journalists. He knows how to craft the perfect pitch, doesn’t waste the time of a writer on deadline and also looks out for opportunities for bloggers as well. He’s a pay it forward publicist and I feel lucky to have met him and become his friend.

5. Do Connect with Bloggers in Person Nothing solidifies a relationship with a writer than meeting them in person and finding out what interests them. Back when I was a full-time publicist, I’d constantly meet with writers and producers for lunch, coffee and at their office. As much as we’ve become a virtual world, it’s still important to meet people face to face. If you want to meet a specific group of bloggers, then host a luncheon for them. You’d be surprised how effective your campaign can be when you spend time getting to know who you’re pitching.

That’s it for now. Happy pitching!