So you want to pitch to a blogger. Great! You’re hip to the times and ready to open some new channels. The important thing to remember here is that new media is all about relationships. Different bloggers have different preferences for how they want to receive pitches/press releases and some bloggers don’t want a pitch at all.
Here are the basic steps:
- Find a blogger and read their posts
- Build a relationship
- Pitch your story
So let’s walk through the list.
1. Find a blogger – There are tons of blogs out there that cover tons of topics. The first step to pitching your idea is to find a blogger who covers topics related to your industry. Your pitch idea should be of interest to the blogger you reach out to. The best way to do this is to actually read some archived posts. Make sure that your blogger of choice is willing to work with you as a representative of your organization.
2. Build a relationship –After you do some reading, try building a relationship with the blogger you are interested in by leaving comments on their blog, sending them interesting ideas that don’t relate to your organization, and read more than just their most recent post. Commenting and sharing interesting information with a blogger can really help solidify you as a contact. Link to bloggers through your own blog or invite bloggers to write a guest post.
Without building a relationship, chances are pretty high that your pitch will go straight to the recycle bin. View bloggers as a sort of picky, opinionated journalist. Bloggers can write about anything, and the last thing you want them to write about is how you were rude for approaching them out of the blue or worse, that you offended their morals by offering them payment. This may seem like a big commitment just to pitch a press release, but Kevin Dugan makes a good point: if networking with the blogger seems like too much work for the news you want to share, you probably should not pitch to them at all.
If all goes well, not only will you have successful pitched your news or event, you will have a new networking contact. Other readers of the blog may also build a relationship with you through your community activity. This can bring traffic to your own blog and social media pages.
3. Pitch your story – By this point you should know the best bloggers for the kind of story you want to pitch and have developed a relationship with them. Don’t forget to maintain the relationship after you have sent them your pitch, even if they did not include your information in a blog post. You don’t want to burn bridges, and there are always future opportunities to expand your relationships.
Our Arts & Humanities Blogger Brunch is coming up on March 18! Confirmed panelists include Jessica McFadden of A Parent in Silver Spring, Jacqueline Trescott of The Washington Post, Sommer Mathis of TBD.com, Andrea Falken of Greg’s List DC, Mike Grass of Washington City Paper and representatives from Patch.com and USA Today. Meet the new media and hear from them about what makes a great story! (Tip: If you register by Friday, March 11 at 5 pm, you can snag the Early Bird discount.)