Over on our food blog, Saucy Dipper, we receive quite a few pitches from media and PR pros. Some pitches are written well. Some are written amazingly well. And others aren’t written at all — they’re simply a regurgitation of an official press release or invitation.
If you’re going to invest the time (and it takes a lot of time) to conduct a blogger outreach campaign, the least you could do is follow some PR pitching basics. In future posts I’ll share additional best practices and some tricks on how to improve your response rate from bloggers, but for now let’s look at what not to do in your pitch.
Do NOT be impersonal.
Recently I received an email inviting me to re-print a press release about a local restaurant that I’d never visited or heard of.
After opening the email I right away noticed that I was part of a “bcc” email list and that my name or blog name wasn’t anywhere in the note. The sender started the email off with, “Hello, I really like your blog.”
I have two things to say about that.
- No, sir, I doubt you like my blog. I’m pretty sure you’ve never been on my site.
- Most bloggers, food bloggers included, want to feel special and as if they are getting an exclusive, even if they know deep down that a few others might be getting pitched as well. Why would I want to re-print a press release that dozens of other bloggers might publish as well?
Do NOT contact a blogger without reviewing their site first.
It takes some effort to locate food bloggers that fit your niche. I’m talking hours upon hours and days upon days to do it right. It’s much easier to find a food blogger list, copy all the emails, write one email, and hit send. However, even if it is easier, the copy and paste email method is ineffective and a waste of time.
You will be better served if you contact 15 bloggers who write about your particular niche. For example…
- If your restaurant is in Fort Collins, Colorado, contact bloggers within a 30-mile radius of Fort Collins.
- If your specialty food product is gluten-free and GMO-free, contact gluten-free and GMO-free food bloggers.
- If your online food store is about to feature pumpkin products, contact bloggers who enjoy doing product reviews (not all bloggers do reviews).
This is your reputation we’re talking about. Do not spam and annoy those who could become your blogging advocates.
Do NOT go on and on…and on.
How do you feel when you open an email and see it’s four or five hefty paragraphs long? Disinterested I would assume.
If your pitch is complicated, simplify. Find a way to condense the details. If you have to, put the additional info on a PDF fact sheet or on a web page and direct the blogger there.
What are some of the worst email pitches you’ve received?