A Blogger's Perspective on Pitching Bloggers
By Tara Settembre, Account Manager,
The mobile tech blog, Mobhappy designed a choice of three simple logos for bloggers to display on their blogs, which spell out, at a glance, how they’d like PR people to approach them, sort of like the national security threat levels distributed by the government.
Red is for bloggers who want to be left alone by the entire industry. Don’t approach these people under any circumstances. You’ll only have yourself to blame if they flame you or arrange to publicly sauté you or your client’s products. Do NOT approach!
Green for go, is for bloggers to display when they are open to being approached . But just because they advertise their willingness to accept pitches and solicitations doesn’t mean that you can be lazy and unfocused when pitching. Someone writing about technology, for instance, isn’t going to be interested in cat food or knitting. So, for the sake of your own credibility, come prepared. Notice the Fusion blog is, of course,” PR OK.”
This one is the middle ground, which will likely be most commonplace. This allows PR people to click on the logo and research the blogger’s policy towards PR pitches before approaching them.
Phil’s Blogservations has the yellow logo posted and his PR policy reveals some interesting tips to consider when pitching bloggers, which isn’t very different from journalists, IE know the publication and their beat, target your pitch, etc. Here are his tips:
The email you send is clearly sent to me and not to a list.
You yourself (or members of the company you represent) actively and thoughtfully blog.
You want to open a dialogue about new, interesting, novel, unusual, and most of all ethical PR or communications techniques and practices.
You are a blogger or member of the media and you’ve written/posted something interesting that might have missed my watchful gaze
You are promoting a blog, media, or communications related events
While Mobhappy’s caveats are:
1. Please make sure that the information is about mobile technology, or at a stretch, technology generally. Read the blog – is there a good chance we might publish it?
2. If you keep sending us rubbish, we won’t read your pitches any more.
3. Keep it brief please, in the first instance. We can always ask for more info.
4. Don’t use the comments section on our blogs to blatantly promote your or your client’s products. It REALLY pisses us off. You have been warned.
Bob GellerMay 22, 2007 at 6:23 am
I enjoyed reading this post, which fits nicely within the larger conversation of blogging standards, tone of discourse and ethics.
It would be interesting to know how many bloggers are running with this system.
Even without it, I think PR folk can get by with some good common sense and well though out pitches.
I doubt even the bloggers who shun pitches would argue against getting a note that shows understanding of the blog and issues they cover, adds to the conversation and is not a blatant hard sell.