Respecting the concept of ‘what goes around comes around’, most PR bloggers don’t name and shame the more inane PR pitches they get. However sometimes it’s useful to critique them. After all it’s always good to get a second opinion.
Jeremy Wright isn’t a PR guy, he’s first and foremost a business person and a blogger, and he has some interesting advice on pitching bloggers:
1. Make it personal
2. Make it applicable
3. Make it short and sweet
Good, sound advice. [It should be noted he also praises a recent pitch he got from “Kevin” at Talon PR.]
But what’s interesting is that those three rules are just as applicable to the world of media relations. Any decent media pitch should be attempting to emulate them. However, blog relations isn’t necessarily that simple…
For example, Steve Rubel provides some useful comments on a recent pitch he recieved from a PR person acting on behalf of a software company.
“When pitching a blogger, however, the stakes are much higher. Someone can easily cut, copy and paste your email into a blog post and put it up on the Web lickity split – like I just did. Although not everyone will be as nice as I was in cloaking the identity of a pitch’s author. The lesson here is that the rules of engaging citzen journalists are in some ways similar to working with the pros, yet vastly different.”
Now while I’m not a huge fan of the whole “citizen journalist” theme. Steve makes a great point, there are a lot of similarities between good blog relations and good media relations – however there are also some distinct differences.
Some bloggers, regardless of your pitch will see you as an agent of Satan. A dirty grubby press agent out to poison, spin and destroy their blog. Reading their blog over a period of time should highlight these “citizens” and their journalism is probably best avoided.
In addition, should you be having a bad day, some bloggers will take great satisfaction in holding you up as an example of why PR is bad, possibly including the entire text of your e-mail along with contact details.
These are the risks of blog relations. While in the past poorly targeted pitches to “real” journalists were tossed in the bin, bloggers can be a little less unforgiving.
The secret of success is preparation. Think before you click. Some bloggers have a strong voice in the market. Communicating with them, establishing a dialogue is often a great idea. Just make sure you know who they are and what they stand for.
There’s loads of great, detailed advice on this topic around the “Interweb”. Here are a few immediate sources: