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In a post titled The Myth of “Cultivating Bloggers,” Ben McConnell at Church of the Customer says: “Save your client some money: stop pitching bloggers you don’t know. …”Cultivating bloggers like traditional media” is an old-school view of people as message receptacles.”
His advice, “Appeal to the people who already love your client and foster those relationships.”
Yes, and no.
The role of PR is to influence opinion. And tell stories. For a lot of companies, concentrating only on those who love them would net a pretty small clipping report.


The bottom line is that nothing you say matters if your product sucks. But assuming it doesn’t, intelligent PR can still make new friends.
McConnell’s taking the “bloggers aren’t journalists” side of the endless argument over who, exactly, we are. I say we’re a new breed of journalists and you pitch us the same way you pitch any other journalist:
- read what we write
- get our goddamn names right (stop calling me Mr. Ochman, for example)
- contact us when you have something relevant
- keep your pitch to a couple of grafs at most. If we are interested, we’ll ask you for more information.
- don’t say “because your Alexa ranking is amazing” I think you’ll want to cover this (I’m not making that up. It was in an email pitch last week.)
- read what we write
PR people are forced to pitch the whole world by their agency employers and their clients, who mistakenly believe that everything about their clients is interesting. So they deal with the Catch 22 issue of needing to show results and having clients and bosses who know zilch about the Internet and media relations. But hey, that’s just one of many reasons I don’t spend my days making press calls.
Links to my previous posts on how to pitch bloggers through this post.
Bonus link:
Mack Collier on Your Company Blog Sucks. Now What?. Great advice.
Additional points of view: Transparency Schmansparency: It’s Not the Business of PR