Since 2007, I received my share of press releases. At meetups and blogging events, I often voiced my lack of satisfaction for the materials that I received. I hoped that things will get better with time. Sadly, I still wait for that to happen. I decided to help PR professionals by sharing here what bloggers expect from you.
I wrote in 2009 a post about the need for bloggers to have easy access to product images. This post is still valid today. But our needs go much further than that. If you thought that it is hard enough to compile a list of influencers, I am sorry to tell you that it gets more complex than that. I compile a checklist that will guide you in the right direction.
What you should do or have on hand before you pitch any blogger
First of all, let me tell you that it takes a lot these days to grab the attention of most bloggers. Our inbox is clogged with unwanted pitches. I will tell you a little secret. I doesn’t open about 98% of the pitches I received. You need to be someone that I know or to find a way to grab my attention. To continue on the right track, you need to provide me the information I need quickly.
Assess if The Blogger is a Good Fit
- Target well. Don’t assume that because I’m a woman, a foodie or a mom, I would be interested by this or that.
- Get to know me before you send me your pitch. Start by looking at the categories of my blog. If your pitch seems to fit, take the time to actually read several of my latest posts before you contact me. Dont’t stop there. Read my About page, look at my tweets, visit my Facebook page. Yes, this requires more work from you but this is what it takes to assess if a blogger could be a good fit for your pitch.
- You will improve your chance that a blogger opens your email if you commented/connected before on Twitter or Facebook.
What You Must include In Your Pitch
- Address the blogger by his/her name.
- Tailor your message to the blogger’s writing style or favorite type of coverage.
- Mention the best feature or why should we care on the email subject.
- Your pitch should be short and sweet. Go to the point. If you don’t grab our attention by the first sentences, chances are that we will move on.
- Don’t tell us what our readers will love to know. We hate that!
- Large images are the norm on blogs these days. You must provide us with big pictures. We have absolutely no use of 200 pixels wide images. In fact, we can’t even see the product properly and determine if we like it or not.
- Be ready to respond quickly to special requests (more pictures), samples, questions and interview requests. Think about the process and what you will need before you send your pitches. Remember that what is in today may lose it appeals tomorrow for a tons of reasons. When it does, you can try to reheat the love but there is no guarantee that you will get a second chance.
Refresh the Boilerplate
- Rethink the boilerplate — the about section. Unless you are reaching out financial publications, most bloggers don’t care about the typical information that you find in press releases. Instead, provide us with something interesting for our publications. Use the boilerplate as a chance to sell me an alternative story line. Think about past products that were a success, fun facts, what are the company values or present the vision of the founders.
Here are my 11 tips to pitch bloggers the right way. What are yours?