Most all media plans include reporter outreach, be it newspapers, magazines, TV stations or trade publications. But increasingly, many also include outreach to bloggers and other online personas.
Sending pitches to reporters has been standard for a long time, so why include bloggers? It’s simple: Bloggers and tweeters and the like write because they want to, not because they have to. This means they are passionate about the subject they’re writing on, and they want to cover topics related to it as comprehensively as possible.
As opposed to some reporters, many of these bloggers also have a very loyal readership. Such audiences are more likely to trust their favorite blogger and try a product or service that they reviewed or discussed. Pitching to a blogger has fewer barriers to cross than pitching to mainstream press, too. They are easier to track down. Many appreciate the thought you’ve given to reaching out to them. Heck, you’re helping them fill the hungry beast that is a blog.
But approaching to a blogger is much different than pitching to a print journalist. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you start wildly calling around.
Do your research. Bloggers are not created equal. This means that no matter how cool your pitch is, your favorite mommy blogger probably doesn’t want to get your announcement about a new tech gadget. Start your research by building a list of the right content creators – not only bloggers, but video-bloggers, tweeters, and anyone out there that is creating applicable content related to your needs. Find out which ones are the most influential, and which are the most well-read. Find out who they follow, and who they read. In the end, simple things will go a long way. Oh, and make sure you get the blogger’s name and publication right.
Build relationships. After researching the right group of blogs, get to know the bloggers and their content. Some are bombarded with pitch after pitch, so getting yourself familiarized with their content can make your news more personal. Most people don’t like receiving auto-generated, generic emails, and bloggers are no different. This also includes press releases; most bloggers will prefer something tailored to their blog that their readers will enjoy.
Make it easy. Many bloggers are only blogging for one reason: a creative outlet. If your pitch isn’t easy and straight-forward, your email will most likely find its way into the trash bin. Making it easy includes sending links for reference, sending any video embedding or widget codes if applicable, and most of all, making it short and sweet. You are asking the blogger to do something for you, so the more simple the ask is, the better. These folks also have jobs, so blogging is likely just a hobby that they have relatively little time for.
Be polite. Don’t demand to be featured. At some point in your life, you’ve probably heard the phrase “You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” This is true of pitching a blogger. You’re asking for a favor, and being polite will go a long way.
Give credit for the coverage. After a blogger picks up your pitch, thank them. Providing feedback and following up will show you appreciate the coverage. Instead of promoting just yourself, promote the blogger. They will appreciate you driving traffic to their site.
If you’ve been pitching bloggers on behalf of your clients, what are some tricks you use? Leave ‘em in the comments below.