I would definitely attend the Publicity Club of New England’s October 19, 2011 program, “Blogger Relations for PR Pros,” even if I weren’t on the panel. That’s because I’m on the receiving end of a lot of really bad pitches.
I’m really glad that the Publicity Club asked me to be on the panel, however, because I have quite a bit to say about the topic.
I don’t bill myself as a PR pro, but I’ve had to do my fair share of PR for clients. Just two weeks ago, for example, I had to contact editors and reporters of trade publications to invite them to my client’s tradeshow booth (hint: I had better luck with the phone than I did email). So trust me, I know how hard your job is.
If you are a PR pro, and you want to know how to get the attention of a blogger like me, my number one piece of advice is this:
STOP SEEING ME AS A FRICKEN NEWS AGENCY.
Ok, whew. I’m glad I got that off my chest.
Here’s the skinny, PR pros. Spend just a minute or two on my blog and you’ll see that it’s part of my Website. Click around on my site and you’ll see — in about 10 seconds — that I’m a B2B Web marketing consultant. Heck, it even says that in my header of my site.
What does this mean? It means that I make a living as a consultant / copywriter doing billable work for clients.
It means I’m not Reuters, the AP, or Mashable where I post “breaking news” and content all day every day. All you have to do is look at how often I post (like two to three times a month) to know this about me.
Because I’m a consultant, and because I’m great at what I do, I’m crazy busy. And, like most everyone these days, I’m overwhelmed with email. When your untargeted, poorly written email hits my overflowing inbox, I delete it immediately — without reading it — as I can usually tell by the subject line whether or not you’ve even looked at my blog.
If you are a PR pro, perhaps you can tell me why I was sent a pitch concerning Xtract Research, which is a company that deals in research for financial institutions (I think).
Does the company know what the PR pro is doing on its behalf? And, how does this PR person report his / her results of such poorly targeted pitching?
If you’re a PR Pro who wants great results for your clients, I’ve got a few tips for how you can reach a busy blogger like me:
1. Do your homework.
It shouldn’t take you very long to see what I write about: B2B Web marketing, SEO and social media. I don’t post much industry news as lots of other bloggers already do that. So I’m not really interested in news, products or content that doesn’t relate to what I write about.
2. Get to know me.
As you can see by my comment stream, those who read my blog are pretty engaged. I do make a concerted effort to get to know the “regulars” who leave comments. I follow them on Twitter or G+, have added their blogs to my blog roll and as time permits, read their stuff. You can become part of my community by leaving a thoughtful comment or two. I’ll notice this way more than your email pitch.
3. Help me do my job better.
I blog because I love it, not because I’m trying to be an industry publication or to get my content in the search engines for particular keywords. I’m pretty busy — and as you can surmise from my irregular posting schedule, I post when I have the time.
You can help me by emailing me topics or tidbits that I and — this is key — MY READERS might find interesting. Two or three sentences will do. But before you do this, be sure and read points #1 and #2 again.
If you’ve gotten this far reading my rant, thank you for listening. If you’re a PR pro in the Boston area and want to learn how to reach stressed and/or cranky bloggers, be sure to attend the Publicity Club of New England’s program. And if you do read my blog and you’re attending the meeting, be sure to introduce yourself to me. I’d love to meet you.
You can also follow me on Facebook — I’ve started posting “Blogger Relations” tips.