Note: this post originally appeared on the WebMarketCentral blog in June 2008.
In How To Pitch To Bloggers, Laura Moncur tells PR and marketing people what she really thinks regarding what works, and what doesn’t, when trying to persuade her or any other blogger to write about your product, service, organization, announcement, cause or candidate. Among her advice: “no one kicks my butt” (understand that most bloggers don’t have deadlines they have to meet or space they have to fill); “press releases are useless” and “be prepared for the truth.” Laura provides excellent and timely advice to anyone trying to pitch to bloggers, to which I can only add: keep pitches personal, relevant and compelling (and read Cece Lee’s blog).
What’s a good pitch?
- Hi Tom,
I was recently researching marketing blogs and after reading a few of your blogs I would love if you could take a look at our company. Flimp Media Inc. is a rich media marketing platform developed for online direct marketing, sales and communications – not advertising. Using Flimp, anyone can quickly launch engaging audiovisual email marketing campaigns that automatically track and report detailed viewer engagement and response data and by individual email address in a clear reporting dashboard. I would love for you to take a look at our website.
Her pitch meets the criteria of personalized, relevant and compelling, and in addition has the very important virtue of being concise. Flimp competes with several established and emerging video email/marketing platforms, and Lauren clearly knows how to get coverage.
Dean’s pitch was a bit longer, but also really well done:
- Hey Tom,
We launched Mad Mimi 4 weeks ago and we have over 400 new accounts since then.
We had a killer mention by Ajaxian (possibly the web’s biggest software-tech blogs).
We’re a well funded New York based startup that provides an entirely new way of creating emails. It’s free for small accounts, and works a little like 37signal’s “Backpack.”
Needless to say, it’s an exciting application that your readers should know about.
Here’s a pitch:
Mad Mimi is the “Backpack” of email marketing. It’s simpler, the technology is state-of-the-art, and it works in a fresh and completely unique way in building and sending emails.
Mad Mimi’s “modules-based” interface allows users to add picture and text fields, drag them around and add captions, links and dividers. Embedded constraints gently guide the layout, keeping the “designer” from getting into trouble, but providing more plasticity than templates.
The result: a fluid, flexible user interface, and clean, fashionable “Mimi-generated” promotions that represent a fresh approach to email marketing – at a subscription price that trumps the competition.
All my best,
Notice how quickly his message gets to the point of what this is, why it’s interesting and (most importantly) why it’s different from other email marketing platforms. One other thing I should note in Dean’s favor: when I bounced him back with a question, he responded within 90 minutes. I can’t honestly tell you that I know his platform is better than everyone else’s, but I’d certainly advise any small company that’s in the market for a simple, affordable email marketing platform to at least check out Mad Mimi. At the least, they are responsive.
What’s a bad pitch?
Anything irrelevant obviously, but also any message that assumes why I would know your news is important, that is too long, or that uses a generic (e.g. AOL, Yahoo, HotMail, Gmail or MSN) email address as a return.
What’s the worst pitch of all?
Sending a message that reads “Dear (blogger name): Here’s our latest press release, which I thought you might be interested in.” ARGH! Do NOT do this; far better that you have no contact with a blogger at all than just send a press release. A blogger who’s never heard of you at least won’t write anything bad about your company or offering; but if a blogger gets a straight name-plus-press-release message from you, he/she will forever view you as a PR spammer, making your odds of ever getting favorable coverage virtually nil.