Edited May 26, 2014 – I can’t believe so many years have passed since I wrote the below post, but I had to pop in for an update as I think PR agencies pitching to bloggers have gotten out of control! I appreciate a well-written, relevant piece of news or opportunity, I truly do, but my blog email inbox is overflowing with pitches on topics such as gasoline, financial surveys, and online dating for the 65+ crowd – none of this is relevant to my blog in any way shape or form. I guess these agencies are buying lists and just spamming out their message, but man, it makes me a little sad for the state of the publicist. I can’t tell you how ofTEN I get Dear Mr. Meghan or Dear “Wrong Name Here”. I work in PR, and I wouldn’t dare send a pitch without doing a little research first. Other major annoyances? Being thanked in advance for covering their client’s news and being reminded about theit email 12 hours after I receive it. Bloggers often have other jobs! And go to sleep! If we don’t respond the same day, don’t panic. We may actually not be ignoring you.
Is the protocol now just to get to as many breathing bodies as possible and then bombard with as much news as possible? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!
Good morning! Some of you may have already read and commented on this post over at Pop! Marketing; I apologize for the duplicate content. I haven’t been able to eat – or lift my head for long – in the past two days, so food blogging is out! I have gotten a few wonky, totally irrelevant PR pitches that really annoyed me over the past few days as well, so thought the below post was appropriate to share. I would love to hear the worst or best pitch you have ever gotten. Discuss!
Bloggers – question for you:
When a brand or agency reaches out to you, which do you prefer?
A. A personalized pitch that includes some sort of information relevant to your blog content, perhaps even an offer for a sample or event invitation.
B. A massive press release addressed to Dear Blogger (or worse, a name other than your own which has happened to me multiple times) with no indication of how or why the information included may or may not affect you.
I thought so.
I have been waist-deep in all sorts of PR campaigns lately, some with traditional media but most with digital influencers, my fellow bloggers, and a few things came up this week that kinda made me purple in the face. And made me realize that a lot of traditional PR and business people don’t quite get it.
Incident 1: I was working on an event and potentially involving bloggers and someone said in an email: “Businesses invite bloggers to events for really cheap because if they do so, they know they will get a positive review.”
My response? 1. Bloggers are often invited to events at a discount (but usually for free), but they most certainly will blog honestly and will have to disclose that the event is free. I am sure there are bloggers doing otherwise, but the large community I have come to know and love? If it’s not great, they are going to say so or not write about it.
Incident 2: I was working on some news releases, and it was suggested that I go after bloggers and basically blanket the blogging community with the information.
My response? No. I like to do my homework when it comes to each and every blogger. And thank goodness for that! A quick scan of a blog can tell you that maybe that popular blogger would have been the perfect fit for your news two months ago, but something like an illness, death, job loss, or move may have happened that completely changes his or her focus. It happens more often than you think, and I am always grateful I took the extra time to research instead of being embarrassed or even worse, hurtful and insensitive.
The one thing many PR people forget is that, unlike major media outlets, bloggers are first and foremost people. Do your homework.
I won’t budge on the way I pitch to and interact with bloggers. I would far rather engage with a handful than alienate a large mass by being impersonal. Being on both sides of the blogger/PR relationship has shown me the integrity and hard work bloggers put into their blogs. And, at the end of the day, when I need a restaurant recommendation or other piece of advice, these are the trusted influences I am going to for help.