Eight Tips for Blogger Relationship Building by Email
Traditional media coverage is great. But what if you want to be more influential in the online realm where your audiences are increasingly getting their news and information? In addition to creating and sharing original online content, pitching bloggers may be right up your alley if you’re looking for coverage. However, you have to remember that the pitching field is different. Why? Because their hours are different, their topics are broader and their style of “reporting” isn’t ‘pure’ reporting: it’s a mix of news, reviews and opinion. Traditional media states the facts, while bloggers expand upon the facts.
Here are eight tips to get you started.
1) Create a personal connection in your intro. How do you know the blogger or why are you interested in them? Demonstrate to them that you’ve been paying attention to their work by referencing a blog they’ve written, and offer your thoughts or a follow-up.
2) Who are you? Briefly explain who you are and what your company is. A brief goal statement can also help the blogger understand the angle you are approaching from.
3) The nitty gritty. In order for the blogger not to toss your pitch at this point, you need to offer some sort of value to their blog. How does your news or product apply to their readers? How is it different? How is it interesting? Don’t ramble and keep the pitch short. Offering a freebie never hurts as well.
4) Don’t forget contact info. Provide the best contact info possible so the blogger can reach you anytime, anywhere. Their schedules vary from that of traditional media outlets. It’s also worthwhile letting them know that if your pitch isn’t right for them, they can contact you anytime if they think of you for a future opportunity that fits better. That way, they archive you into their contacts book for good.
5) Sometimes, it’s cool just to be friends. Don’t be offended if the blogger does not respond or kindly turns down your pitch. This is called blogger relations, so don’t stop talking to them just yet. Keep reading their blog, keep commenting on their posts, and keep a positive relationship. Then, it’s more likely they will open your emails again in the future.
6) Pick up the phone. Just because bloggers dwell in the online realm, doesn’t always mean that they only want to talk by typing. More than once I’ve contacted a blogger looking for insight and was surprised to see their number calling on my desk phone. So be real, be personable, and engage—no need to hide behind the walls of technology.
7) The Golden Rule: Read, read, read. Before you do any of the above, make sure you thoroughly understand what the blogger you want to pitch writes about and who their audience is. The biggest no-no in blogger relations is pitching something off-topic or not understanding the tone or type of information their audience is interested in. Your emails or phone calls will be viewed as spam, and that is the easiest way to get blacklisted by the blogger.
8) The Second Golden Rule: Comment, comment, comment. Commenting on blogs that are interesting to you is a good way to introduce yourself to the blogger and more importantly, provide thought leadership with the follow-up comments on the blog. Asking questions, providing a different insight or adding more information is a great way to position yourself as someone who is dedicated and understanding in the industry.
Meanwhile, here’s blogger relations expert Gini Dietrich with her own golden rule at this months Vocus Users Conference.
(Photo Credit – Blog Icon (Creative Commons), Brendan Mitchell)
Communications Best Practices
Get the latest updates on PR, communications and marketing best practices.
Cision Product News
Keep up with everything Cision. Check here for the most current product news.
Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.
A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.