6 Ways to Guarantee Your PR Pitch to B2B Bloggers Will Be Deleted

As a popular blog in the B2B space, SocialMediaB2B.com get lots of pitches from PR firms about a variety of social media topics. Most of them get deleted without even getting read. It is a PR pro’s job to get coverage for their clients and many still don’t understand how to do that in the blog space. Based on some of the emails we receive, here are the fastest ways to guarantee that your pitch email will get deleted and you will not get the coverage you are looking to attain.

1. Send just a press release

This is an insulting email. There is no greeting or even pretend personalization. It is also the quickest way to get a blogger to click delete. This says to bloggers that someone thinks blogger outreach is important, but I don’t. I’ll just email out the press release and check off the “blogger outreach” box on my status report.

2. Send off-topic pitches

Many bloggers have a passion for their topic, and no matter how broad that topic is, they rarely stray too far from home. Before pitching a blogger, make sure you have looked at the blog and read the last 5-10 posts to get an idea of what they cover and what kinds of posts they publish. Even with a name like SocialMediaB2B, you would be surprised how many pitches we get for consumer social media campaigns. If it’s not B2B, we are not going to cover it.

3. Send a blast email from an email service provider

I know email marketers hate the term blast, but in this context, it is the correct one. While it might make things easier for you to load up bloggers into your email program and send an email out to your whole list, it does not send the right message to blogger. We want to feel special. By doing this you are also giving bloggers an unsubscribe button. They will usually click that to prevent hearing from you again.

4. Don’t introduce yourself

B2B sales and marketing are about relationships. Social media is about relationships. Blogger and influencer outreach are about relationships. There seems to a trend here. Why not build a relationship with a blogger before your next announcement? You can make a blogger’s day by sending a short email introducing yourself as the pr person for a company that might be relevant to their space. Ask if you can help them with anything. Most bloggers have more ideas than time, and running the blog is a matter of priorities. If your company is indeed relevant, there probably is something on their mind that can move to the top of the pile now that they have a connection for information.

5. Forget that bloggers may not blog during business hours

Most bloggers have day jobs. Contact them via email, or another way if they suggest a preferred method of contact. Unless your pitch is the right idea at the right time, don’t ever expect a phone call back. It’s not how many bloggers work. If a blogger is knowledgeable in an industry, have you checked out to see if they work for a competitor. In niche industries that can be very likely.

6. Pitch an interview with the CEO

Maybe this is just me, but every time I read a pitch that offers me an interview with a CEO of a company I just laugh. Maybe that’s supposed to make me feel important, but if I want to cover a product launch, I would be more interested in talking to a product manager or an engineer. As a blogger, I would expect that CEO’s comments would be too prepared and not provide enough value to my readers. Bloggers are looking to provide the most compelling information to their readers, and you may not get that from the CEO. They are probably going to give you something very much like the quote in the press release.

What are other ways to guarantee that bloggers won’t read pitch emails?

Comments

  1. says

    Smart list Jeffrey. Shonali Burke had one on her blog yesterday, offering something, then taking it back. It was do to another ‘sure to delete’ issue: no research or homework. Just like sending an off-topic pitch, this person sent a pitch and then backed out b/c the audience was too small. Why they pitched it in the first place, didn’t bother to look at the blog’s numbers, no idea.

    Other things: wanting to control the story, the review, the interview. Insisting on exposure, promotion or tweets. The biggest mistake IMO is the same for bloggers as it is reporters: sending a non-story. So what if you cover widgets and I’m pitching widgets; if there isn’t any actual news or value there, don’t waste someone’s time. For what it’s worth.

  2. says

    Jeffery – thanks for the tips. All of it seems like common sense. Sometimes, in the rush to communicate and connect digitally, we forget about basic human decency. I also think this is good advice for any direct engagement across PR, B2B and B2C.

  3. says

    Hi Jeffrey,
    Just wanted to let you know that the link is broken for SocialMediaB2B.com. Great article…thanks!

    Cheers,
    Rob

  4. says

    Great post Jeffrey. I’m not in your league for approaches to my blog but in my day job I am doing the selling in, so there are some great things for me to consider for both sides of the debate. The real downside of going about it like this is that you’ll get black marked period.

  5. says

    I especially like points one and six. In a day where spammers and people with ulterior motives are rampant, it’s important to personalize your communication – as well, it’s just good manners.

    As for your sixth point, I’ve always included the chief manager of a project for interviews; however, I’ve sometimes included the CEO, when they may not have been the best fit. With your tips, I’ll be extra careful to place the most appropriate person with the release. Thanks for your insights!

  6. says

    The last point is interesting. I used to do PR for a ski resort, and no journalists in that space were ever happy talking to anyone but the CEO. I would try to explain to them (subtly) that he didn’t actually know as much about decision X as person Y, but that message usually fell on deaf ears.

    The reason this is interesting, I think, is that I think this is the way most members of the general public feel, too. Although someone close to the industry might realize that a project manager knows more about his product’s launch than the CEO, to the uninitiated, quotes from that person tend to feel less important and impactful than hearing from the *head of the company!*.

  7. says

    Great post! I agree that pitching to a blog is different than pitching to the mass media. Personalization is a must. A good strategy is to form relationships with writers of a few great blogs in your niche and then suggest a guest post. Most of the time, the bloggers will be happy to publish a guest post if it’s something their readers will be interested in.

  8. says

    I am thrilled that I came across this article and your blog… it is very timely as I am beginning to reach out to bloggers and media folks… thanks for the tips. No one would want to shoot themselves in the foot before even getting going.

    Bernadette

  9. says

    Thanks for the informative advice. As a new PR manager in the technology field, I was wondering if you have any tips that are relevant to the IT world. We are mostly B2B.

    Thanks!

  10. says

    Nice post. You have to try to build relationships. I especially agree with the 4th point.

    If you were to walk into a restaurant or something you wouldn’t try to pitch anything to anyone without at least introducing yourself.

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