Pitching Bloggers


Question: How do you know that your blog is making its way in the blogosphere?
Answer: When your "pitched to" rate increases.

Recently I received two very different requests.

Example One - reprinted with permission from the author.

Dear Diva,
I am hoping to find out if I can send you a copy of the below Marketing Playbook. I noticed your blog has a lot resources but not necessarily a book review column. Another idea I have is that some of the "Plays" in the book would be strong as published content on your blog, if you find them of Interest.
We would be happy to send you a copy for a closer look and further discussion - please let us know. Thanks for your time.

Christine Attalla
President, PR Results, Inc.

<Followed by more information about the book.>

Example Two - Since only a snip is used and no names are mentioned, didn't contact the author.

Ms.Toby Bloomberg, Blogger
I thought that Diva Marketing might be interesting in what may turn out to be one of Poker's most intriguing, and most well-watched, matches for the history book -- Man vs. Poker Machine.

Which station will want it first? You can't say people don't like watching Poker on TV:)

<Followed by a request for a  telephone call and a press release.>

It's evident that the author of "example one" spent time on Diva Marketing Blog and got that the focus of the blog was about marketing. What is especially impressive is the creative suggestions. Perhaps a book review column would be a good addition to Diva Marketing.

As for "example two" - at least the author got that, as Mick and Cameron would say, I'm a "Sheila." However, man and a poker machine and Diva Marketing...man and a poker machine and Diva Marketing...hmmm...I think not. Now a woman and a poker machine - that might be an interesting marketing spin to blog about on a site called Diva Marketing!

Pitching to bloggers is not unlike pitching to the media. The cardinal rule always has been understand what the pub/show is all about and make your request relevant. Kirsten Osolind, re:invention, developed a terrific set of guidelines for pitching bloggers and in typical Kirsten fashion spins it with her stylish humor. 

Some simple tips for pitching us if you are serious about a mention in our blog:

1. Please consider a personal approach. We dislike canned SPAM.
2. Please do not send us attachments (links to hidden content stored on your site work better).
3. Feel free to make your request sassy and snappy. Depending on our mood, we may even accept sappy.
4. Tell us how we can contact you if we have questions.
5. If you are considering a gift, it's really not necessary. But we kinda like shoes (wink-wink, nod-nod) :)

Read more on pitching to bloggers
Elisa Camahort's Personal Weblog
Jeremy Wright
Micro Persuasion
Kevin Dugan
A Penny For...
Lessons From A Clueless Blog Pitch
by BL Ochman
Andy Lark's Blog (thanks Elisa!)


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Hey Toby: Thanks. Might want to add Andy Lark's recent piece on pitching bloggers to your fine list above:

He shares with Kirsten that snappy style :)

Posted by: Elisa Camahort on Jun 2, 2005 11:18:23 AM

This is an interesting - and quickly expanding - topic.

I think the most important rule for PR folks is that they need to remember to treat us bloggers like regular journalists. (Whether or not the world-at-large respects us as such is another story.)

I remember being positively nauseated by a famous PR Think-Tank's seminar last year. It included a session called "Leveraging Blogs," and spoke about bloggers as if we were mere tools existing solely for the benefit of PR twinkies everywhere.

Being both a blogger and a twinkie, I took serious issue with this. (It also gave me pause and made me think pretty hard about how I pitch, as well.)

But anyone who knows anything about the "blogosphere" knows that a disrespectful or spammy pitch can be deadly. Many bloggers will hang a flack out to dry for a bad pitch.

On Amy Gahran's fab "Contentious" blog, there are a few great posts related to this topic: "Are Bloggers Journalists? Who Really Cares?" http://blog.contentious.com/archives/2005/05/03/are-bloggers-journalists-who-really-cares
"What Bloggers and Journalists Can Learn from Each Other"

Thanks for another great, thought-provoking post.

Posted by: Aimee on Jun 3, 2005 10:17:37 AM

I disagree that bloggers need to be approached as regular journalists. The way I see it, blogs (and bloggers)in many ways straddle the boundary between business and everyday interpersonal relationships. Journalists represent one extreme, and the nice lady you chat with while waiting in line at the grocery store represents the other extreme. It doesn't matter who you are, if you can solicit my attention in a charming and/or relevant way, I will at least listen to what you have to say. That goes as much for friends as it does for business partners. I feel that "Pitch" is a dangerous word for a marketer to have in their vocabulary because it unfairly frames sales as universally generic, robotic and unconcerned. Thus framed, the marketer or sales person starts looking at his/her own efforts this way.

Posted by: Ty on Jun 6, 2005 7:35:50 AM

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