Ok, time for another “how to pitch a blogger post.” And really, PR folks, there are lots of you I respect, like and even count among my friends. But oh boy, the ones who are bad are awful.
Steven Noble at Hill & Knowlton’s Elbow Grease Blog tells flaks why pitching bloggers is different than pitching main stream press.
“Well, here’s one difference that should be apparent to all. Make a ham out of a media pitch, and you’ll damage your relationship with the journalist, but the only people who’ll know about it will be you and that journalist. Make a ham out a blogger pitch, and they’re likely to tell the whole world. Witness recent posts from Brian Oberkirch and BL Ochman.
That’s right. You’re own bad pitch will appear in the social media monitoring report that you will have to prepare for and deliver to your client. And then you have to explain it. Ouch.”
I know pitches from both sides of the desk, having run a successful PR firm for many years before I became an Internet strategist in 1995. And so I’d like to offer this advice, as incredibly obvious as it is, to PR people. And to point out that I get and use PR material here all the time — unless it’s deleted along with a really dim pitch.
1. Read at least the current posts on the blog you’re pitching.
2. Note the categories the bloggers lists in their sidebar as ones they cover.
3. Determine whether the blogger is male or female. Hint, I am Ms., not Mr. Ochman, but you can call me B.L.
4. Don’t say “dear blogger”
5. Don’t tell us that you know we’ll want to cover XYZ. You don’t.
6. Don’t talk shit.
7. Don’t send email attachments unsolicited.
8. Don’t send a 500-word pitch.
9. Don’t pitch. Inform.
10. Give me a heads up BEFORE you give the story to everyone and her dog or don’t bother me.