Posts Tagged ‘bad pitch blog’

Blogger Relations Misconceptions

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

As traditional media continue to downsize and the boundaries between social and traditional media continue to blur, communications professionals are increasingly turning to blogs for exposure. For those that are in PR or marketing  and pitch the media on a regular baDecisionsis, this may come as no surprise; however, I’ve read, seen and heard more than a few bad pieces of advice recently, regarding pitching bloggers. Here are a few of the demands that I’ve responded to or heard lately and my thoughts on them:

We need a list of the top blogs so we can send them a press release. 
There are so many things wrong with this request! First, if the blogger is not a member of the press, then why would you send a press release? Second, what defines “top” blogs to you may not be the same as the requestor. Third, this assumes that blogger outreach, as a tactic, supports your overall PR strategy.    

Back in 2007, Jeremiah Owyang wrote, “Consider not pitching a press release or announcement at all; why not point me to relevant blog posts from the client (non marketing ones) that I’d be willing to add to my blog. Always remember that I’m thinking of my readers first, so if the content is not going to help them, I’m not going to point to it – think backwards.” Even though he wrote it more than three years ago, it’s still sage advice. 

We want to send a blast email to the (blogger) list.
Really? A “blast” email of the same pitch to multiple bloggers? No. You really don’t. Bloggers are unlike the media in that they do not have a “beat,” their “outlet” doesn’t necessarily dictate they write on certain topics, and, often, they are not bound by geographic limitations. You need to research each and every target and customize the pitch accordingly. (BurrellesLuce Media ContactsPlus is one solution that can help you connect and engage with bloggers individually.) If possible, find a connection with the blogger (e.g. boating enthusiast, horse lover, same alma mater, etc.) and leverage it. Follow but don’t stalk.

Case in point: Heather Whaling (aka @prtini) received this reply from a blogger after receiving her pitch not long ago: “I really appreciate you taking the time to know a little bit about me before you emailed me. You have no idea what a difference that personalization makes. Or, maybe you do. But in case you don’t hear it enough, good job!” 

PRBC co-founder Marie Baker, recently coined the term “blogger bombardment” to describe this paradigm shift. And Last week, an AmericanExpress OPEN Forum post replied to the argument, “But that means I can’t send out a mass email to hundreds of BCC’d recipients.” With this analogy…Exactly. It’s like getting a hand-written envelope via snail-mail; the recipient is much more likely to act on it if it’s personal and relevant to her blog.

I don’t want us / you to spend a lot of time on this.
<Sigh> I can’t say it any better than the guys over at The Bad Pitch Blog did: “Does this read like a lot of work? Well as the definition of a media outlet morphs, so must our approach to engaging with them. And as more and more bloggers extend the olive branch, the price of a bad pitch is increasing — less coverage, whiny bloggers, angry clients and amused competitors.”

Bottom line?  If your news doesn’t warrant this caliber of effort, then you shouldn’t be pitching it at all!

PR Pitching: Six Must-Read Posts

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

If you’re in public relations, media relations or a related field, you know that one minor pitching misstep can easily become “the talk of the town” in the blogosphere or on Twitter – putting you or your client in a not-so-flattering light. I’m not going to re-hash recent offenses; nor will I name offenders’ names. (If you’re looking for that sort of thing, head on over to the Bad Pitch Blog.)

71918631_14.jpgInstead, what I want to offer here are some media relations points and posts that I’ve found to be helpful reminders of how to achieve successful media outreach.

  • Jeremy Pepper recently advised: Turn it off and listen. Yes, we’re always supposed to be on – but turn it off, and be a person instead of a pitch machine.” He was referring to attending BlogHer (a trade event) but I think this can be applied to many other situations.
  • In a guest post on Lauren Fernandez‘s blog, Stuart Foster begins with “You should never write anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable yelling as loud as you possibly can in a crowd of people.” He goes on to stress that, “Your outreach will be successful only when you can effectively blend your personality and the client’s brand personality into one and the same.” In other words, you must believe what you’re selling.
  • With regard to business media, Jon Greer writes “… we can’t waste precious time pitching non-stories to over-worked journalists. It means that when we do pitch a story, we need to be ready to provide facts and figures, human interest, quotable quotes, photos, graphics and other sources for the story.” You might consider a multi-media release which incorporates all the information in a nice, tidy package.
  • A few weeks ago @Journalistics‘ Jeremy Porter stated, “Consider doing role-playing on a regular basis…” The post was in reference to interns but I agree with him that it’s not a bad idea for the entire team. You don’t want to sound like a telemarketer.
  • According to a recent post by Linda VandeVrede, “It used to be that you could create a target media list and focus on trade editors, bloggers, journalists, and analysts.  But that was so 2008.” Actually, it may be more like 2007, but in any event, creating that targeted list is only the beginning.
  • On the Sword and the Script blog, it’s summed up that “Queuing up a press release and blasting it out to a list of reporters amounts to nothing more than sloppy and perhaps lazy PR work” which punctuates the previous point’s assertion.

Have more media relations tips or want to point readers to a compelling post or online article on this topic? Please share with us, here at BurrellesLuce, and all of our Fresh Ideas readers.

PR Nightmare

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Gail Nelson
Maybe it’s this week’s disturbing news – celebrities dying off in rapid-fire sequence and the economy’s uncertain lurching between signs of recovery and further decline – or maybe it’s seeing some new, unflattering photos of me posted on Facebook (always a downer). But, my thoughts have turned to the dark side. I find myself contemplating the places I don’t want to see my company or its clients’ names. Atop that list:

1. Job Vent: Employees use this website to rate their companies. While some firms score positive ratings, the vast majority do not. It could be worse, though. Do you remember that era invention, ** It thrived by posting internal memos and negative comments, and was far coarser than JobVent. (I can still remember subscribing to ** using my credit card and feeling really awkward listing the service on my company expense report.)

2. Bad Pitch Blog: While Richard Laermer and Kevin Dugan sprinkle plenty of good advice among those embarrassing reprints of ineffective PR pitches, I know I would clutch my heart if Bad Pitch Blog was listed as a source on my BurrellesLuce media monitoring and measurement reports.

What is your least favorite PR nightmare?