Posted by Media Relations on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 - 2 Comments »
One of the interesting things about writing a modestly popular blog (Online Marketing Blog) that gets pitched daily and also working as a partner in a public relations firm is a view of both sides of the fence on blogger relations.
I just got off the phone with a rep from yet another big PR firm following up on an email pitch he sent yesterday about a company recently acquired by Google. I had not written about the news but here’s the insight I gave him that I think is probably true with other bloggers that also have successful day jobs.
Yes, I write a blog. Yes I am interested in story ideas. I’m also the CEO of a fast growing company. That means I have limited time to blog our own editorial schedule let alone pitched story ideas.
To make progress in such a situation, the PR professional must follow all the other rules of effective pitching such as being relevant, personal and timely, but it’s also important to make it as easy as possible for the blogger to quickly use the pitch in a blog post.
Rather than sending a summary directed only to the blogger along with a full copy of the press release, write a summary that can be copied and pasted into the blog with a link to the press release hosted on another web site – company web site or wire service.
Bloggers are typically not going to write an article about pitched news, except in special situations involving breaking stories and big brand news. However, bloggers do like to link out to resources. So make it easy for the blogger to write about your news by providing a concise, informative summary with link(s) to additional information. The blogger can then paraphrase or add their own commentary along with a link to the source.
As I explained this to the PR rep pitching news about the new Google subsidiary, he seemed to “get this” and was appreciative of the advice. Whether he’ll follow through or not, I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve been giving PR firms and marketers this same advice for over a year and by the looks of most pitches I receive, I’ll need to continue promoting blogger relations tips for another year or more before any real changes are made.
A popular blog always has something to write about so if PR pros continue to pitch blogs the same way they pitch mainstream media, they will increasingly find themselves being ignored or worse, to have poorly written and executed pitches published and mocked for all to see. Make it easy for the blogger, while still being relevant and personal, and the job of gaining blog coverage will become much easier.
Ha, during the writing of this post, I received another pitch from someone at Microsoft (I had met in person previously) asking me to add a link to their adCenter blog from our BIGLIST of search marketing blogs. I was happy to do this but the funny thing was the pitch was the first email I’ve received from anyone at Microsoft in the 3 plus years I’ve been blogging and it was a link solicitation.