How Not to Pitch a Blog
As magazine publishers themselves adopt more Web 2.0 features and functionality, their PR teams may want to embrace the marketing value bloggers can provide. The rules behind pitching ideas to bloggers, however, is slightly different than pitching print journalists, says Lee Odden, in an August 29 online marketing blog post on Toprankblog.com. Here are a few tactics to avoid:
1. Don't send a copy and paste e-mail with salutations like, "Dear Nameoftheblog." If you can't bother to find out the name of the blogger, your message isn't really that important.
2. Don't embargo an announcement for more than a few days. Expecting a blogger to keep news under wraps for several weeks is ridiculous. There is now an editorial calendar or story board in place with 99 percent of blogs. Give them something they can act on now.
3. Don't demand to be covered as if you're God's gift to the blogosphere. An "assumptive close" might work with phone pitching to print story editors, but not with bloggers.
4. Don't insult the blogger, even as a joke, especially if you don't know them. Would you condescendingly ask a stranger for a favor and honestly expect them to do it? Offend a blogger this way and they'll likely post your sorry pitch online for all to see.
5. Don't send a regular pitch with a press release to a blogger. Bloggers don't typically scan press releases and write stories. They point to press releases hosted elsewhere, or better yet, point to stories other people have written based on a press release.
6. Don't use traditional media relations tactics with bloggers, but rather, make an effort to connect with them individually. Make relevant comments and offer something of value. Ask them what they want and provide personalized pitches and story ideas that clearly indicate you've made an effort to understand what they write about.
For the full list of "don'ts", visit: www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/how-not-to-pitch-a-blog/.