Get Your Story Out: Pitching Bloggers
We’ve all done it…written a great press release, pitched our targeted media, and then waited and waited for a story to appear in the paper. A week later, we have to inform our clients that the story didn’t get picked up and it’s just the nature of the game. Well, the rules of the public relations pitching game are changing. Traditional media outlets are no longer the main source of news that consumers turn to. A new viable player has entered the media arena. In 2010, the Associated Press began citing blogs as credible news sources. More consumers are beginning to get their news from social networking sites and viewing blogs as credible news outlets. This is great news for public relations practitioners.
Non-traditional media platforms are giving PR mavens a new method to get their clients’ stories out. Every PR professional should have a list of bloggers alongside their list of television reporters and newspaper contributors. We have to remember that bloggers are journalists too! More importantly, bloggers are an important asset in our PR toolkit that we should be utilizing. Pitching bloggers is not the same as pitching traditional news writers. Remember these three tips when pitching your story to a blogger:
1. Personalize Your Pitch– Bloggers have a deep personal connection to their website and the content they place on it unlike newspaper reporters. Blogs are usually informal and show the blog’s personality. Yes, it is time consuming, but your pitch should be catered to the blog’s beat and the bloggers writing personality.
2. Research. Research. Research. – Read the blog! Don’t just scroll through the most recent posts, go through and see what their most popular posts are and what subjects they usually write about. Bloggers usually have a wide range of topics they will post about as long as it fits with the overall theme of their site.
3. Establish a Relationship– It is important to establish a relationship with the blogger you pitch. You never know when you will need them again. Also, bloggers have a tight-knit community and they may be able to pass your story on to another blogger.
Working with bloggers is a win-win for both parties. You get your story out and they get increased traffic to their site. Once you get your story on a blogger’s site, make sure to promote it and then follow them and read their other posts. Pitching bloggers will help get your story out. Every story is not going to be front page news on New York Times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get eyes on it. Let’s get pitching!