When I was a journalist, I got pitched stories. As a blogger, I still get pitched stories. But there is a difference between good and bad pitching. Many would have us believe pitching bloggers is different than pitching a journalist. I would argue there's no difference.
Recently, I was pitched a story by a Colorado-based public relations professional. Impressed with the pitch, I tweeted about it. And, @AdrienneBailey -- one of our own Hoosier public relations professionals -- wanted me to share the anatomy of the perfect pitch to bloggers. Here it is:
Lesson One: Read the Blogger's blog and connect with them.
I read your post about Five Must-Read Links to Make Your Community Successful, and I wanted to share some news about an online community that is bridging the gap between traditional and new media that I though your readers might enjoy learning about.
Here Liz Pope, along with her Sevans colleague, Kairi Soosaar do three very important things:
- Address me by name.
- Demonstrate they have read my blog by referencing it in the opening sentence.
- Show they know exactly what I'm interested in "online community that [are] bridging the gap between traditional and new media."
Liz and Kairi also use the word "share," which is more friendly and helps build that relationship. They are also concerned about my readers by referencing them in the opening sentence.
Lesson Two: Offer the blogger something that's truly interesting.
In this pitch, Liz, et al gives me something that it truly interesting. Here's what she offers:
Sarah Evans, a social media consultant and the founder of the #journchat community of PR professionals, bloggers and traditional media reporters, is teaming up with NBC News to host a two-hour live web show via Watchitoo
Liz and company understand from my blog that I'm a fellow public relations professional, and that probably many of my readers are too. So, she is giving me (and us since I'm sharing this) and opportunity to join Sarah Evans and other #journchat community members, which, incidentally, will probably build the community.
Lesson Three: Be helpful.
While I'll be posting the majority of this event on my new blog, Get Social PR, Liz and company offer me the opportunity to interview Sarah Evans.
Here's what she says, "Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions or are interested in an interview with Sarah."
Okay, that's it. It's not hard. We just need to take time and read the blogs of those we want to pitch. Show genuine interest, demonstrate we are concerned about their audience while giving them something that truly interests them. Finally, we need to be helpful and offer them something.
Follow Liz and Kairi on Twitter