The Art of Pitching to Bloggers
As a lifestyle blogger, I receive every day my share of PR pitches. But not many of them reach the right target or provide the information I need to write a story about it. I evaluate that on my blog At Home with Kim Vallee, not even 0.1% of my stories originate from press releases. I would love to hear scoops from many companies that do not pitch to me. And at the same time, I get pitches for products that will never make the cut of my editorial.
Another common mistake is the press release written to please the company who emitted the press release. These press releases are filled with useless facts. They provide no useful information for the bloggers and their readers. They failed to answer three critical questions:
- What is the captivating story?
- Why should I would care to write about it?
- Can the story capture the attention of my audience?
Many bloggers, including top bloggers, share my level of disappointment regarding PR pitches. At first, I thought that it is the nature of blogging that changed the expectations of the recipients. But after further thinking, it became obvious that the blogger’s needs are similar in many points to the needs of journalists and columnists who cover the same topics. Therefore, I am more puzzled than before about this mystery.
Why the PR industry is so inefficient in reaching out and pitching to bloggers fascinates me since the solutions are filled with common sense. Let’s me share my wish list with you. And feel free to add yours in the comments.
- Include a few large pictures, the price, where to buy information in your email. Ideally, you would mention that additional pictures are ready to be downloaded from a special Web site. It dilutes your story on the blogosphere, through a sense of déjà vu, when every blogger use the same pictures.
- Be prepared to offer to a few bloggers exclusive pictures, content or an interview with the designer.
- Forget the one-to-many approach and write tailored pitches that will fit selected groups of bloggers. Then, send the press release version that fits their niche.
- Go with a top-notch email marketing services. And always give the option to remove their name from your mailing lists. The longer period acceptable for the removal to take effect is 24 hours. Ideally, it should be immediately.
- Aim for quality versus quantity. Forget buying cheap email lists to target bloggers. Let go the mass press releases that seems to have become the norm over the last years.
- Do not send a press release every week. And if you do, ask for permission first.
- Bloggers do not have the time to respond to your unsolicited press releases. So do not expect us to respond, unless we need something from you.
- Accept that bloggers write under their own schedule. Therefore, if you pitch them for a Christmas story in August, do not expect them to write about it before Halloween.
+ photography by seven deadly sins on flickr