How Do Bloggers Like to be Pitched?

October 15, 2009

This video opens my topic. Jeremy Woolf From Text 100, describes the survey that was taken on bloggers to challenge preconceived notions of bloggers in general and how companies should really work with this field of influence.

I was inspired from my Communications Tools and Technology class about newsrooms and the mutually dependent relationships public relations people and journalists foster together. We covered how journalists like to be pitched to effectively communicate and be communicated. So I wanted to address the question of how bloggers like to be pitched and the misconceptions pr people are under looking.

According to Text 100, Don’t Spam Us With News Releases Say Global Bloggers, the world’s only global PR consultancy, they have surveyed 449 bloggers from 21 different countries to illustrate the influence of the blogosphere. Text 100 took findings from preferences of bloggers in the technology, business, and lifestyle fields to demonstrate how PR professionals are trying to grasp onto the domain of blogging but are forgetting one important aspect: Press releases do not appeal to bloggers. They are not journalists. Here are some highlights/summary from Text 100:

The Best Way to Contact:

  • More than 90% of the 449 bloggers welcomes PR people.
  • Around half of all bloggers in APAC and Europe indicate their preferred form of contact on their blogs, 88% of bloggers in APAC preferred an introduction before receiving information from PR people and corporations.
  • Many wanted face-face communications. (That is so great!)

Extra Sources to Supply:

  • Photographs, charts and then video streaming are frequently wanted in order of listed.

Habits: It’s best to note this because in order to reach out to different audiences such as in Asia and Europe communicators must adapt.

  • Bloggers in America, 63% noted that they spend more than 6 hours of blogging a week.

Misconceptions PR People Make and Continually Make:

  • PR people send bloggers press releases unnoticed which is just plain rude don’t you think? Especially, expecting corporate material to be published.
  • PR professionals are not reading the blogs of the bloggers they are trying to reach which illustrate their lack of understanding of how things work in social media.

These notions are not so different from Journalists. According to David Viggiano of WFLD Fox, Chicago, he likes to be emailed and then followed up with a call. No journalist likes a press package without notice and expect to do a story. The question PR people need to consider: How does your pitch benefit my (the blogger or journalist) audience?

On the Contrary:

According to Jeremy Porter’s blog, Journalistics, his post titled, Social or Not are Press Releases Worth Your Time?, he mentions a research HubSpot did that compared the links benefits to search engine optimization. It states that traditional press release news wires generate more links by 14% in their study than social media releases.

Also in a post titled, Social Media Press Release Blown Away in Hail of Bullets by Greg Jarboe, he writes about his findings on searching press releases using Google and Yahoo. He found that the social media press releases are not being crawled upon by Google, after he submitted an optimized version of a press release (SMPR) to a client. However, it blew up on Yahoo’s search engine. Jarboe then created a narrative traditional format of a press release and found that it later got picked up by Google and Yahoo. He concludes with the notion that using optimized formats with bullets will kill a press release. Google ranks the Associated Press #1 in news for September and they do not use bullets.

So yes, social media press releases are beginning to pick up the pace with tactics for public relations and communicators but it hasn’t fully evolved to fitting the window frame of engine optimization which is the mother ship for gaining recognition.

Here is part two of Jeremy Woolfe’s summary on the blogging survey. To end, he makes a great point:

  • PR news releases are out and social media releases are in. Bloggers do not like corporate press releases. Social media releases allow for a deconstructed piece of information used for content along with elements that can be shared.


2 Responses to “How Do Bloggers Like to be Pitched?”

  1. Kate Sutherland said

    WOW! 90% of bloggers want to hear from public relations practitioners? That seems strange. I guess I just assumed that because public relations sometimes can give off a smarmy feel with tailored messages speaking to specific items and conveniently leaving out the negative, that bloggers wouldn’t be interested in speaking to them. But I stand corrected.
    I also noticed that you said that many of them want face to face communication, while this is great, it doesn’t seem realistic, for the most part. I would think it to be difficult to be traveling around all day getting interviews, not to mention a waste of gas.

  2. Angeline Vo said

    Yes, there are many downfalls to face to face communications environmentally and timely. But think about, face to face communication is just the beginning of building a relationship. Where will this would be without it? Also, bloggers go to conferences all the time. They have a feel for other bloggers/ people’s personality. What if bloggers just did it virtually. It’s not realistic once the world is well adapted to social media, but it is traditional in some sense and traditional adds value.

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