This is part two of a set of blog posts about how to properly pitch bloggers, by my friend Sara Bozich. In part one yesterday, Sara discussed some of the ways of properly writing, and delivering, a press release. In part two, she looks at how to go about making the actual pitch to a blogger to write about your product or business.
Now that we’ve gone over the proper way of writing and sending a press release as part of your pitch, here are some tips on how to actually make the pitch to individual bloggers.
1. Know to whom you’re pitching
Too often I am sent a pitch, reply, and am then asked, “What media outlet are you with?” Assign an intern to assemble a detailed media list that includes bloggers’ full names, site names and preferred contact information.* Keep this list up-to-date by including notes when you interact with each blogger.
*More on this in a bit.
2. Tell us about you
Provide a brief company bio and mission. Who are you? Why should we come to know you? What might we not know about you?
3. Share your goals
Why are you contacting us? Do you want to reach a new market with your product? Do you have a new project you think more people should know about?
4. Clearly state your expectations
Are you looking for a straight product review? Do you want to offer a giveaway to the blog’s readership? What is the preferred time frame?
A company I worked with recently provided its expectations right up front and worked with me quickly and efficiently to address our mutual interests. This made it much easier for me to agree to partner with them. In this case, the company was interested in compensating me for two blog posts and two social media posts.One post before I tried their product, and another a week later after I had received and used the samples. They requested a two-week time frame, and I proposed possible dates.
Having these things laid out in advance prevents me from procrastinating, helps provide direction and keeps you from wondering when your post will be live.
5. Most of all, make it easy for me
Provide relevant links, images and logos, and let the blogger know what additional resources are available to him or her, including potential interviews, exclusive video or product samples.
6. Discuss compensation, disclosure requirements
Unlike the mainstream media, it’s okay to pay bloggers to write about you. In fact, you may find some bloggers refer to themselves as “PR-friendly,” which means they are open to accepting your product and reviewing it on their blog (each blogger’s requirements may differ, however).
Product reviews should be just that, and you should encourage the blogger to be thorough and honest in his or her review — it will benefit you and your brand in the end. Do also explain that you — or the appropriate person – is available to handle any issues during the reviewing period.
The Federal Trade Commission issues rules and guidelines about the applicability of FTC law in online advertising, largely in part due to paid blog posts. It is worth reviewing in whole. If your blogger is used to accepting products for review, he or she is likely familiar with this; however, it’s good practice to suggest a disclosure to include in the posts.
This post was created in partnership with [Your Company], which provided me with product and compensation for this post, however, the content is based on my own experience and opinion.
Here’s a sample pitch email:
We’d like to offer you a special opportunity to experiment with [Your product] and its [attributes] and share your experience with your fans and followers.
If you haven’t heard the buzz, [short description on the arrival or update of your product]. [Details about your product.]
To help shape your blog post, we can offer you exclusive content to share with your readers, including:
- Provide you with samples and [recipes/testimonials/interviews]
- 1:1 interviews with [your company] spokesperson and/or expert
- Access to utilize video content on your blog
- Provide branded product for giveaways to your followers
As part of this partnership, we’d like to work with you to create the following:
- Two blog posts about your [product] experience – one before, one after your sampling
- Two social media posts on your preferred channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc)
- All articles linking back to the [Your Company] Facebook page and/or website [Or whatever social media channel is most important to you]
Please let me know if you would be interested in [items mentioned above].
I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Now you know not only the proper way to write and send a press release, but how to pitch and follow up with bloggers. Be smart and be creative, and you’ll have a much better chance of getting the sort of coverage you desire.
As a blogger, what types of pitches work for you, and what types turn you off?
Known first for her weekly nightlife column in PennLive/The Patriot-News, Sara Bozich is the voice of the greater Harrisburg area’s active, social and politically engaged. For more than a decade, she has dominated coverage of the Harrisburg area’s burgeoning cultural and entertainment offerings, writing countless articles, columns and travel guides on its restaurants, music, art exhibits, theater, celebrities, charities and festivals.
Harrisburg’s active professional community follows Sara through her column in the area’s largest daily newspaper, weekly radio appearances, daily posts on SaraBozich.com as well as her substantial social media presence to learn what’s new and of note. Her latest project is hosting the local web series, What’s on Tap.
- Why Should Companies Work With Bloggers? (parsimoniouspash.com)
- What does it take to start a blog these days? (businessesgrow.com)
- Google’s New SEO Rules For News Releases (soulati.com)
- What makes a blog tick? An insider’s guide to audience connection (businessesgrow.com)
- 7 Tips for Making Small Business Blogging Manageable (inklingmedia.net)