5 Do’s and Don’ts for Pitching Bloggers


Joanne Bamberger

As the line between bloggers and "traditional" journalists continues to blur, PR pros may be finding it difficult to determine if there is a different set of media relations best practices for both types of media professionals. 

As Joanne Bamberger, founder of PunditMom, a social and political activist blog for women, says, the PR pro/blogger dynamic comes down to establishing and maintaining relationships, and that truth is as old as media relations itself. What matters most is not whether the media pro is a journalist or a blogger, but whether the media pro has influence in your target industry.

Nevertheless, Bamberger, who will participate in the "Media Pros Talk Back & PR Pros Listen" panel at PR News’ Media Relations Conference on Nov. 30 in Washington, D.C., offers the following five do’s and don’ts crafted specifically for pitching to bloggers. Feel free to apply them to your interactions with traditional journalists as well.
 

Five Do's for Pitching Bloggers

  1. Be professional: In your face-to-face interactions, you probably wouldn't be unprofessional with your office or business colleagues. Same goes for those you are trying to reach online. Being professional and treating bloggers right will go a long way toward breaking through the clutter.

  2. Establish an ongoing relationship: As with just about everything in life, it's all about relationships. There may be bloggers who will write about or do just about anything, but today, bloggers are overwhelmed with outreach. Do you want a particular blogger to help with a campaign? Then take the time to establish and maintain a relationship, just as you would with any other client or customer.

  3. Drill down: If you're pitching a particular food product, for instance, chances are good there's a blogger who writes specifically about that product. It's up to you to find them.

  4. Take the time to personalize: If you've done even just a few minutes of research, you'll know if a pitch is a good fit. And if it is, make sure the blogger knows it. If there is a post on a particular blog that fits for your pitch, make sure you say you read it, what you liked about it and why it made you reach out to that person.

  5. It's only an opportunity if it's mutually beneficial: There is no opportunity for a travel blogger if you are pitching a s cleaning products.

Five Don'ts

  1. Cold pitch: If a blogger doesn't know you, they most likely will ignore the message with your pitch. It will be deleted. 

  2. Call them "Mommy" bloggers: Yes, there is a whole genre of bloggers who've been dubbed "mommy bloggers." But most of them don't want you to address them as that. Yes, they are mothers. Yes they are bloggers. But they aren't your "mommy." So address them respectfully. They are powerful. 

  3. Ask and not give: Just as in any other relationship, if all you do is ask for something, you're not going to get anything in return. A productive blogger relationship is a two-way street. What are their needs and how can you help them? 

  4. Begin an e-mail with "Dear Blogger," "hey there," etc.: If you don't take the time to know who you are sending an e-mail to, or you spell their name incorrectly, that message will most likely get deleted before being opened. If you are sending an e-mail to a group of bloggers, make sure they are people you already know, make sure the addresses of all the bloggers are in "bcc" and apologize for sending a group e-mail and explain the unusual circumstances for having to do it. 

  5. Expect to hear from everyone you pitch. And don't get annoyed when you don't. Inboxes are inundated with hundreds and sometimes thousands of pitches a day. You have to find a way to make yours stand out. 

  • Bonus: Don't be irrelevant:  Bad pitches get forwarded in the online community, and bloggers share information about bad pitches they receive. Don't get a reputation for being "that" PR person.

 

 Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson

To learn more from bloggers and journalists like Joanne Bamberger register to attend PR News’ Nov. 30 Media Relations Conference in Washington, D.C.

 

 




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  • Tamara Leigh

    Solid info and especially appreciative of the support and validation for the women whose primary career choice is full or part-time motherhood & also pursue opportunities for creative voice in blogging.

  • EJB

    …and leave off the block capitals in the email header.

    Hate that.