Bloggers don’t answer to editors, they don’t have deadlines, and they have different goals than reporters. Some post a couple of times a day, other post a couple times a week, and some post a couple of times a month. We recently spoke with Erika Johnson, blogger and editor of the lifestyle blog Radiant Republic, about her pitching preferences and here is what she had to say:
A. Funny you should ask. Pitches are relatively new to me, as my blog has recently captured a wider audience. I received my first pitch only last month! Since, I’ve had 2-4 per week. I guess it really depends on the week!
Q. What makes a good pitch stand out among the rest?
A. It’s important for those making the pitch to understand what goes into branding. My blog is a brand, in a sense, and representative of me. A good pitch comes from someone who has taken the time to read what I have to say and has developed an understanding of my aesthetic, my brand, and my audience. I blog about fashion and interiors… so pitching a story about lawnmowers probably doesn’t fit into my concept!
Q. Is there a “best of” pitch that stands out to you? What made it effective?
A. Yes; one pitch answered all of the right questions: What makes this idea special? Why will it matter to my readers? And where do you see the story going? It was to the point, concise, and well-researched. The perfect pitch!
Q. What about a “worst of” pitch? What made it so bad?
A. The worst pitch I’ve had was one of those emails that was clearly forwarded to a million writers and bloggers. The subject line actually contained “Fwd!” I knew that a million other blogs would be writing about the same topic the following day. When reading pitches, I want to make sure the story is a fit for my audience. If my readers can find the same story on every blog or local pub the following day, what makes it unique?
Q. Are there commonalities found throughout bad pitches?
A. Absolutely. A generic pitch is a bad one. It really does pay to do your research!
Q. Is there anything you hate most about pitches?
A. No – I actually love being contacted. Again, my blog is a bit newer than many of the greats, so ask me in a two years and my answer might change!
Q. How do you prefer pitches? Do you accept them via Twitter or any other social media sites?
A. I prefer pitches via:
- Phone. (This way, I can ask questions as they come up. It feels more personal.)
- Twitter (@radiantrepublic)
And in that order! I would absolutely accept a good pitch via Twitter. A good story is a good story!
Q. Are you currently looking for any specific stories or leads?
A. Yes, but you should never give away a good story. I’m always thrilled to be contacted by rising stars in the design world – fashion and interiors alike! It’s so exciting to expose my audience to someone chasing their dreams. And there’s nothing as romantic as the entrepreneurial spirit!
Johnson said she is just starting to get PR pitches, so maybe we should follow up with her in a year and see if she still feels the same way?!
Keep an eye out on Cision Blog later this week for Yvette’s follow-up post Pitching Newspapers and Magazines.