After reading Rohit Bhargava's recent post "7 Tips on Pitching Bloggers" I decided to follow through and check out some of the websites he referenced -- and I found myself sifting through a ridiculous amount of advice written by bloggers about how and how not to pitch them. Sifting through posts dating back to 2004 I found a lot of great information and also found a lot of overlap.
Now I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but now this type of information is more relevant than it ever has been before with RSS being on the edge of mainstream adoption (now with tight browser integration as well as integration into Windows Vista itself) and blogs gaining credibility on the whole among main stream media. In short, if one can master the art of "pitching" bloggers now, PR will be much much easier when blogs truly hit the main stream.
- Make it personal.
Differentiate your email from blanket emails that many PR firms who just don't learn do - address the blogger by name, and know and read the blog. Be familiar.
- Make it applicable.
Don't send a tech related pitch to a blog on restaurants. Make sure your product or service is relevant to the blog. Tie your pitch in to a recent post that the blogger made to show that it's relevant, and link to other relevant resources on the topic that aren't about you.
- Make it short and sweet.
Don't write an essay. Get to the point. Avoid words that pressure the blogger to write about you (eg, "must" or "should"). And be professional, don't try to be edgy.
- Include attachments.
Especially not Word documents.
- BS or use corporate jargon.
Be authentic and don't use buzz words.
- Be mistaken.
Your product is very likely neither revolutionary or unprecedented - words like those raise red flags to a blogger just like they would to a VC.
AND KEEP IN MIND...
- Bloggers don't have editors.
If they're interested, you've got a story.
- Bloggers can hurt.
It's easier for a blogger to give you bad press than good press. Don't make it easy for them to punch holes through your product by coming off as fake or irrelevant.
- Bloggers are readers.
The best way to get your product mentioned on the ever-famed TechCrunch or by those blogging superstars is to try to get your product first on the blogs that are on the blog rolls of these blogging superstars - the blogs that they read.
The ability of bloggers to leverage their terminal credibility to create buzz surrounding new products and services is amazing - and it's only going to get bigger and better as RSS hits the mainstream. Knowing how to get publicity through blogs is going to be even more valuable in the near future.
-- Young Jedi Knight
(Josh the Intern)