Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear PR person: the basics of blogger outreach

I’m not going to name-names (yet), but I have recently been sent several online pitches “For Immediate Release” that almost defied belief. Clumsy, unprofessional and badly-written emails are being sent all the time to blog writers in an attempt to get them to write stuff and get the word out in the blogosphere.

I know I’ve previously covered some of this topic before, but here are some further examples of what really hacks me off about bad blogger outreach:

1. Stop trying to be my buddy
Whilst most bloggers like to be treated as humans, we’re not daft enough to fall for your ploy that you’re our best friend divulging a secret, when you’re just touting a new product or service. Using a very informal tone and being sycophantic is less likely to endear us to you. “Hey there, I thought you’d like to be the first know about ….” just doesn't cut it.

2. Stop writing huge amounts of content
If you have to take over a hundred words to describe your client’s new offering, then either you can’t write succinctly or your client is doomed to failure with an overtly-complex product. Better still, write a clear summary of the features and make sure the link to more information on your website is obvious and works. If reading your press release is hard work…. There’s less chance I will continue read it.

3. Provide a link to more information
How am I supposed to learn more or even provide a link to your client’s site if you don’t include it? Yes, there are online press releases sent out that still don’t include a link to the client’s website or other online resources that could be of interest (e.g. Flickr product gallery, independent reviews, etc.). Links in blogs help your client SEO efforts.... and this is something you should even be advising them about.

4. Don’t send attachments – ever!
Not everyone is on a broadband or company Internet connection; some of us are on our mobile devices. This also includes any imbedded images or even your agency logo which we have no interest in downloading.
Rant over
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