Marketing Sherpa has an interview with me today about how to pitch a story to this blog. The tips apply to other bloggers too, so flaks: please listen up.
You can read it there for a few more days, or read it here, below:
SUMMARY: Advertising Age’s Power 150 Index ranked the What’s Next blog as the 12th most popular marketing blog worldwide. It’s also listed as one of the top 2,500 of the 70 million blogs tracked by Technorati.com. Want to get your company mentioned? Read our interview with the creator and writer of What’s Next and discover the numerous pointers on how she likes to be pitched.
What’s Next Blog
Ochman has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Bridgeport. She taught Internet marketing at FIT, NYU and Columbia University.
Ochman knows PR from both sides. Before turning her talents to the Internet in 1995, she ran a successful New York City PR firm. Her clients included Miracle-Gro, The American Dairy Association and Stew Leonard’s. A blogger with a large international following and frequent corporate speaker, she has helped companies, including IBM, Ford and American Greetings.
Circulation and typical reader
Ochman’s blog receives about 120,000 unique visitors each week. Her readers include Fortune 500 CMOs and CEOs, journalists, ad and PR agencies and new media industry pundits.
How to pitch
Have some interesting contribution to Internet marketing, social media strategy or public relations? Ochman’s blog centers on these very fields. However, she’s not looking for generic press releases but spotlights case studies and industry trends.
It’s useful to let her know that your query is related to the topics she writes about. Read some of her current blog posts. “I am looking for news about how big companies are using Web 2.0. That means I want to know about new online marketing campaigns, videos, attempts to create online communities, socially responsible marketing, trends and events.”
Make your subject line pop Ochman receives more than 600 emails a day, so there’s no time to read each one closely. Also avoid using “spammy” words and exclamation points. If you do, your email will most definitely end up in her junk folder and will be deleted. If she likes what she sees, she’ll contact you immediately.
If you are pitching a case study, provide just the summary. With other queries, send two or three enlightening sentences. If she needs more information, she will let you know. Include enough white space for easy reading and make sure that your pitch has a heading and is written well.
Nine ways NOT to pitch
#1. Don’t be presumptuous. Don’t tell her that you know she will be interested in your pitch. Don’t claim that you are sure that she has to write about your query.
#2. Don’t attach any documents. If you will, they will probably remain unopened. Paste your pitch into the body of the email.
#3. Don’t be obvious. Stand out from the sea of mundane messages and ideas.
#4. Don’t send anything other than exclusives. “Give me a heads up BEFORE you give the story to everyone and her dog or don’t bother me.”
#5. Don’t send any technology-related pitches; she doesn’t cover that area.
#6. Don’t try to pitch by disguising your query as a comment on her blog.
#7. Don’t expect her to review your product if she hasn’t tried it.
#8. Don’t send any stale information. “I take my responsibility to provide news to my readers very seriously. That doesn’t include old news.”
#8. Don’t call her “Dear blogger” or “Mr. Ochman.” Ms. Ochman or B.L. is fine.
#9. Don’t disregard these warnings if you want to avoid negative attention. She has been known to publish “PR pitches and press releases from hell.”
How to contribute to What’s Next
Ochman is enthusiastic about receiving your emails. “Despite the fact that PR people often make me grumpy, I love to get tips and news.”
How to meet Ochman
She will accept a lunch meeting or a telephone briefing with an executive if she’s interested in covering the topic. Also, she attends and speaks at many shows. “I like to get press passes to shows so I can blog from and about them. For security reasons, I don’t announce on my blog where I am going to be appearing or what shows I am visiting, but I do report live from them and use info I learn at them for future posts.”
Related: PR Is About Relationships