How to Pitch PR to a Blogger Over Email

by admin

In my alternate life, I receive emails from PR and marketing firms who want me to write about their products/host their ads on a fairly regular basis. According to their email signatures, these people are professionally employed in the field but, by and large, they’re lousy at what they do.

If you’re a company or just someone with a product to sell, I’d highly recommend bypassing a PR firm entirely and just emailing bloggers yourself. It shows you’ve got at least some interest and knowledge in the market you plan to penetrate, and there’s an implicit message that you really believe in your product.

Regardless of who sends the email, though, there are a few simple steps you can take to dramatically improve the success of your efforts:

  1. Personalize. Form letters stick out like clowns at a funeral. You might think glancing at the site, snaring the handle of a blogger, and putting blog URL into the text somewhere is yeoman’s work—it’s not. If there’s no evidence you’ve read my blog, I’m probably just going to delete your email.

     

  2. Research. Top blogs on a given category won’t always be related. Do a little research and get a feel for the tone and attitude of the blogger you’re contacting. Read the “about” and “faq” sections if they exist. Google what others say about the blog. Make the tone of your message resonate with its target; If your client’s a bad fit, move on to the next blog.

     

  3. Specifics. I can’t tell you how many people have contacted me with messages like “hey saw you’re site its awesome. you should check out this: [URL].” If you can’t put together 90 words about what you want me to see and why it’s worth my time, chances are, it isn’t. This goes double for messages about ads.

     

  4. Incentives. Bloggers are busy. The chances of one wanting to write about something because a client paid you to promote it are virtually nil. A free sample, the promise of a high profile back-link, a cross-promotional opportunity—all of these things will help tilt the scales in your favor.

     

  5. Attitude. Spamming someone about a product isn’t a favor. Phrasing your message as if you’re opening some secret industry insider window is the shortest path between my inbox and my spam filter. Keep in mind, you may not be the only person contacting the blogger about the product. 

     

  6. Proofread. I realize that text on the Internet is cheap. But a grammatically stable message passes a variety of idiot tests; it implies a level of education that means a PR firm made a decent investment in your skills, as well as saying that you at least took a second look at your message before hitting “send”. 

     

On the whole, think of these emails as mini-cover letters. The idea is pretty much the same: you’re contacting someone you don’t know with something you (ostensibly) think they need. Yeah, it’s more effort, but the alternative approach is like packing a shotgun full of manure—you’ll probably miss your target, and any hits you do get are going to stink.