My Bad Pitch Rant and Easy Practices for a Better One

Hi Holly, for any baby product stories that you are currently working on, please consider the NEW line of eco-friendly reusable baby wipes, burp cloths and bibs that have just launched by Bambooee. 

Holly,

I love these do-it-yourself wall murals from Elephants on the Wall!! Decorating a kids room will never be the same when you use Elephants on the Wall! Take a look at the release below and let me know if you are interested in samples, images or additional info.

Greetings,

Imagine newborns falling asleep or waking up cradled in incredible tenderness and softness you can see and feel. Well, now they can!  We would like to showcase the company by sending you a review sample of its new hoodie blanket for babies – the perfect swaddler for infants and the ideal ‘baby’s first blanket’.

Hi Holly,

How are things your way?! Have you seen the new innovative Warmze bottle warmers? These amazing bottle warmers produce natural heat without the use of batteries, electrical outlets, microwaves and stoves! It is the perfect solution for bottle warming while flying or on the road. Take a look at this press release and If you’d like any additional info, high res images or samples, please let me know!

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These are examples of a few pitches that I’ve received recently.  I’m amazed by the amount of pitches that land in my inbox on a daily basis that don’t have any remote connection to me or my content. I used to just delete ones like these, but my new approach is to let the publicist know that these pitches are directed at the wrong site owner.  Either that or I ask to be removed from their distribution list.

There are many problems in the pitches mentioned above – for one thing, I don’t blog about babies, toddlers or decor. That and these people have no idea or seem to care who I am, only that I can help them and they’ll do anything to get it, including offering me opportunities to enter contests or to promote something on Facebook.  And that they are sending mass emails out to millions of bloggers who appear to be “mommy bloggers”.  I suspect the word “mom” in my URL says it all and invites these pitches, but I am more than just a mom and don’t like being treated like that is my main definition.

But they are not only off target, they’re sloppy and condescending. I would think that when emailing bloggers, publicists would spend more time to get to know who they are writing.  I know there are 1,000′s of us (I was at BlogHer as one of the 5K there), but many of us have a niche.  It doesn’t take long to get know our content and to custom tailor a pitch with that in mind.  With a few minutes of research on a pitch recipient, which means plugging into Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, an email message can be made more meaningful and and merit a far greater chance of a positive response. It’s pretty easy to get to know me – just go to my “About Us” section or check out my press section and see what kinds of publications I write for.

Pitches that start with “Dear blogger” are instant deletions.  What better way to let me know a publicist has no idea who I am or what I write about…or even worse, my name.

Publicists will see greater results when they use respect in a pitch – think of it like your first date, it’s an important first impression.

So, I just have a few suggestions for PR professionals looking to leverage a blogger’s influence:

-  Know the person you are contacting, if not personally, then do your homework.  Look at their site, read several posts, check out their “about me” section, follow them on Twitter or wherever they share. Not only will they recognize your name, they’ll appreciate it.

- Use a personal greeting via email or on any social media tool.  ”Dear Holly, I just read your post on ABC” works for me and make sure you share the angle of the story you want the writer to write.  It’s also fine to reach out via Twitter or Facebook to make contact.  However you make conversation and use engagement as a tactic, you are doing something right.  Talk to me, not at me.

- Be personal. There’s no need to send the same pitch to everyone out there.  I know you’re busy but social media is about engagement and communication.  It’s about relationships.  Build your network and nourish it.

-  Please don’t send a press release and ask for it to be reposted.  Unless you know for a fact that the writer does repost press releases.

- Be clear and concise.

Lastly, don’t forget that if a pitch is really bad, it will get talked about and it might spread.

 

Comments

  1. I think this is excellent advice Holly. I hate when I get pitches that give me nothing but a press release. If nothing else they at least need to tell me what they want me to do with the info and why I should do it.

  2. I’m with you, Jessica. What is a blog if we just post a press release and post publish, anyway?

  3. I couldn’t agree more. I haven’t had a baby in my care for four years and I am quite tired of all of the baby-related pitches I’ve been getting on a regular basis. If they could just take 10 seconds to actually *look* at my site, they could save themselves the trouble.