One of the highlights for me, as a blogger, during last week's Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Houston, came when Jennifer Laycock instructed the attendees on the proper way to 'pitch' a blogger.  As a blogger that has received hundreds if not thousands of horrible pitches over the last 3 years, it was music to my ears!

For some reason, PR firms, agencies, companies, and even other bloggers, take something as simple as a pitch, and often find every reason to make me not to want to write about the item they are pitching.   Many refer to me as 'Blogger', or not at all.  Often a press release is sent with no explanation for why I should care. 

I am going to plagiarize heavily from Jennifer's presentation simply because she did such a good job, but here's my criteria for pitching bloggers:

1 - Refer to me by my name.  It is 'Mack'.  Not Mark, not Matt, and not 'Blogger'.  Any pitch that doesn't refer to me by my correct name is deleted immediately without being read.

2 - Do NOT simply send me a press release.  I also delete these instantly.

3 - Read my blog.  If you read my blog, then you already know whether or not your pitch is relevant to me.  And don't try to fake it because we will figure it out as David Armano did when he received a pitch from someone claiming to be a regular reader of his Logic + Emotion blog:

ArmanoTweet.jpg
4 - Before you send the pitch, ask yourself 'Why should he/she care?'.  If your answer is 'because this campaign rules!', then don't send the pitch.  If your answer is 'Because this campaign is a great example of empowering customer evangelists, and since Mack blogs about customer evangelism often, he'll likely be interested', then you've done your homework, and should send the pitch.

5 - Make every effort to establish relationships with bloggers BEFORE you pitch them.  The simple fact is that I don't have enough time to respond to most pitches, even if I want to.  Right now I actually have 3 good pitches that I want to write about, but don't have the time (and it's rare to have one).  But the one I will make a point to follow up on came from Tara Anderson, who is the Community Catalyst for Lijit. 

Several days ago, Tara, who I met in NYC a few weeks ago at Blogger Social, sent me an excellent email pitch for Lijit.  She opened her email by referencing our brief meeting at Blogger Social.  Then she briefly mentioned that she'd like to talk to me more about Lijit and better explain what it's all about.  Then she closed by telling me to enjoy my trip to Houston (For Small Business Marketing Unleashed), and to tell Jennifer Laycock that she said hello (Tara says hello, BTW Jennifer!).  Now by mentioning my trip to Houston, that tells me that she reads my blog, because I posted multiple times earlier this month that I was going to Houston for SBMU. 

So I'll be checking out Lijit, because Tara gave me an excellent pitch. 

The bottom line is, be considerable when you pitch bloggers.  Understand that we little time for pitches to begin with, so if you do pitch us, make sure it's a good and relevant pitch.  If it's not, we definitely won't blog about you, and if it's bad enough, we might just blog about your crappy pitch on our blog, Chris Anderson even called out hundreds of bad pitchers on his blog, and blocked them ALL!

Be considerable, respect us and our time, show us that you actually read our blog, and we'll do our best to blog about you.

May 1, 2008





Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.






Comments(7)

Great Post on the blog pitching! As a Search Engine Blog, we wanted to let you know P.U.B. [Publishers Union of Bloggers] has pending inquires to Widget Providers concerning how they generate their income and what percentage of this income goes to the Blog Publisher making the critical decision to allow a Widget on their site for their readers. In addition we are requesting transparency on the critical issue of how the private statistic from Publishers Blogs are being used, hopefully with the Publisher’s permission!

Will publish these results to keep the community of Blog Publishers informed on this critical component of Widgets on our Blogs. Thanks again for your Search Engine Guide!

Sincerely,

Barney Moran
Founder, P.U.B.

I really in enjoyed your article, it is well thought out, organized, and helpful. I am new to all blogging world and anxious to learn. I am curious about one thing, in your last paragraph admonish us to be "considerable" what do you mean by that? I wish you well.
Respectfully,
Daniel Harsh
AspenLeafChristianBooks

Daniel that might have made more sense if I had said 'Be considerate'. Just be respectful and considerate of my time, and remember that you probably need me to pitch your item/campaign/product more than I need fodder for another post. Bloggers are generally very good people and will help you if they can. But if we feel that you aren't respecting our time, we will ignore you, or if you really get on our bad side, we might blog about how bad your pitch is.

Read our blogs, make a point to develop relationships with us NOW, before you want us to pitch your product. 99% of the pitches I respond to now, are from friends I've made in the blogosphere. And here's another tip; for the friends I have in the blogosphere, I *want* to put the focus on them, so many times they don't even have to pitch me, just let me know about their product/campaign/idea, and I will blog about it if I can.

As with anything else concerning blogging, focus on what value you can give bloggers. If you focus on how a blogger could help YOU by blogging about you, odds are your pitch won't work. But if you can think about how your pitch would help the blogger create content that their readers will respond to, then you're good to go. Position your pitch from the blogger's point of view, not yours!

Mack, thanks for the kind words and for including me as an example of what to do in terms of pitching bloggers. I've definitely learned a lot and made many mistakes along the way. However, with helpful posts like these, other PR/marketing people have no excuse for crappy pitches.

Pitching is in the air, eh? Tara's such a great person, and so is Lijit. I'm glad you'll give them the once-over. I met the team at Gnomedex last year and loved them. And hey, the app's not all that bad, either.

Great post, Mark, er, MIke, er... : )

Running just a few days behind on my reading, but I'm glad I stopped by. Nothing is more annoying that a subject line that you cannot rightfully throw away without double checking it's not "important." Only to find it's a trash email from someone using boilerplate to grab your attention.

Good points all! And, lol, just wondering why (since I, too, noticed two typos in the last paragraph) you didn't just log in and fix them??

Mostly curious :)

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Search Engine Guide > Mack Collier > So How DO You Pitch a Blogger?