Blogger relations and blogger outreach. Should you pitch? Should you not pitch? Do you send a press release, a review copy, an invite to an intimate lunch and learn? What do bloggers want? How can I make them happy? What is the secret formula to blogger outreach nirvana?!?!
And bloggers. You hate pitches. You love pitches. You want to discover things for yourself. You want to get fed a constant stream of new content. You want a relationship. You want a one night stand. You want a conversation. You only associate with flacks who contribute to the community. You just want the goods. Why don't you get what you want?!?!?
Here's the thing:
There is no right answer for the question "how do I pitch a blogger?"
So, bloggers, write your own "pitch policy" and put a big fat link on every page of your blog to it.
PR/marketing types: read and adhere to those individual policies. (If that sounds like more work than a blanket approach to blogger relations - it is! But the reward of spending the time to respect the preferences of your blogger contacts is substantial.) Oh, PR/marketing types should also remember that most bloggers have day jobs and will not adhere to the same unreasonable timeline that you make your own people adhere to.
[Your Name/Your Blog Name]'s Pitch Policy
I [DO/DO NOT] want to be pitched.
I am interested in pitches on: [clear bulleted list]
I am NOT interested in pitches on: [clear bulleted list]
My preferred form of contact for pitches is [email/mail/phone/skywriting].
Use this [email/addressl/phone/colour of smoke].
The ONE thing that really pisses me off about pitches is [your trigger that makes you run screaming through the streets shouting "die, flacks, die" and then post the offending item to your blog and get all your friends to Digg it].
Todd Defren posted some badges to indicate if you want pitches or not. Helpful. (via Chris Brogan).
So, that's my take on blogger relations. There's no right or wrong answer. There is, however, courtesy and not being a jerk - on BOTH sides of the blog.
I sat on a "blogger relations" panel at Cossette Convergence back in May with esteemed bloggers Rebecca Bollwitt (Miss604) and Darren Barefoot. Great talk and great questions about some of these issues (Raul live blogged it so you can check out the notes)! We each had an opportunity to share our thoughts on blogger relations, so I put together a little slideshow. Again, these are MY preferences on being pitched. Everyone will have different preferences. The best thing you can do as a blogger is write them down; the best you can do as a PR/Marketer is respect them.
Photo Credit: Pete Gray 1