Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Pitching" Bloggers

I have written more than once on this blog about the inherent problems I see with pitching stories to the media. While I agree that we need to inform the media when we have newsworthy information, I have a hard time buying into the notion of pitching stories that are nothing more than free ink for our ourganizations or clients. If it's newsworthy do I really have to pitch it?

In light of this, blogs give PR practitioners yet another medium to pitch company and product information. Neville Hobson, a blogger and co-host of For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report podcast, recently wrote an entry on his blog about what it takes to "pitch" bloggers. Hobson and his co-host on For Immediate Release often talk about how many pitches they get, so Hobson is well-qualified to speak on what works and what doesn't.

I found this post to be extremely educational for me and my efforts in working with bloggers. Here are some of my key take-aways from Hobson's post:

  • "Most [pitches] illustrate only that the sender has not actually read my blog . . . and so has no sense at all about the type of thing that interests me and which I write about."

  • Leave relevant and well thought comments on the blog you are thinking of pitching

  • Reply to comments from the author; basically, engage in a conversation

  • Only after you've done the above can you send a "pitch" over

While I am not involved in pitching bloggers on GM and our cars and trucks, I do, however, frequently invite bloggers to attend various GM media events. I now realize that I need to establish some sort of relationship with potential blogger invitees before I actually invite them to the event. This will take a little longer than usual, but will, in the long run, yield greater results.

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