This spring as a staff member for Prowl, I received the assignment to pitch to several community blogs for one of Rebecca Davis Dance Company’s productions. Before I was given this task, the only pitching I had done was over the phone or to newspapers back in high school, so I was certainly not in my element. As I sat down to write the blog pitches, thinking it would only take a few to jot down an email, I realized that I was completely oblivious of proper pitching etiquette. Thankfully, we went over some pitching techniques in a PRowl workshop and I learned some pointers. We decided the e-mails for our purposes should be conversational, short, and relationship building, where other types of pitches might be more formal. I found this article on Ragan.com that gave some helpful pointers for all of you blog pitchers out there:
1. Know who to contact: This stems back to making sure that you have an updated PR list and you have done your research! Don’t embarrass yourself or whoever you are representing by contacting the wrong person.
2. Create relationships before the pitch: the blogger will be much more likely to post for you if they trust your character and think you can be of mutual use to each other.
3. Have a unique story: people are more likely to respond to a story than a sentence! Make them remember what you have to say.
4. Personalize the pitch: Be knowledgeable about the blogger and their content.
5. Lay out the benefit for the reader: Mutual friendships are useful, make relationships and don’t use people for their blogs. You can help each other!
1. Be insulting: Don’t act like you know what the blogger’s audience would respond to better than they do.
2. Give them your whole life story: Keep it to the point because long e-mails are less likely to be read.
3. Send 100 Bloggers the same email: Blogging is a small community: bloggers talk to each other and if they discover you don’t care about them enough to personalize a short email, it is very unlikely that they will want to work with you.
4. Ask them to review something they haven’t tried: If you are seeking a review, make sure it’s something the blogger is knowledgeable about. They can’t review a book they haven’t read or a product they haven’t tried.
5. Send the same pitch multiple times: Follow-ups are important, but sending the same pitch over again will just get you ignored.
This all boils down to the key principle that building relationships via social media and blogs will benefit you in the long run. When you pitch, think about it from the blogger’s perspective and ask yourself: is this a request that I would be willing to answer? If your answer is no, perhaps you should think before you send.