Repeat after me: Bloggers are NOT mainstream media
Now, I don’t get pitched that much. I’m not a lifestyle blogger, after all. But, I do get a few emails from time to time–“pitches”, if you will.
But the pitches I typically get are far less sexy than those my colleagues on the lifestyle side typically receive (I did some blogger research with my friends at Weber Shandwick earlier this year; if you’re interested, that info is here).
And, they’re off-target in one other key area: They typically treat me the same way they treat mainstream media.
What do I mean?
One pitch I received a few weeks ago asked me to help promote an event by blogging about said event.
Another talked about an upcoming business awards deal. Again, the pitch was to basically promote the awards for the organization.
These are mainstream media pitches–and, I might add, not the best pitch for mainstream media either.
But, for a blogger, they’re not even remotely on point.
Now I fully realize I’m coming across as the whiny, entitled blogger here, but there’s a bigger point at play here: Bloggers are NOT mainstream media.
We’re just bloggers.
Most of us have “day jobs.”
Some of us only write when we have time.
And others don’t even work in the industry.
All reasons to treat your pitch to bloggers a bit differently.
Like I’ve said before on this blog, the key with bloggers it to first think: “What’s in it for them?” Answer that question, and you’re halfway home.
It also pays to think it terms of collaboration when you’re approaching bloggers–instead of pitching them an event or idea to “cover.” Again, that is mainstream media thinking–we’re talking about bloggers here.
In the examples above, if the “pitcher” would have treated things just a bit differently, their odds of success would have been greatly improved.
For example, they could have taken the following approaches:
Don’t ask bloggers to promote–just give them access and get out of the way
Instead of asking bloggers to PROMOTE an upcoming event, why not ask them to attend said event and then just get out of the gosh-darn way? After all, that’s really what they want–access and “exclusivity.” In my case, this is something I routinely do (write about events I attend), and if the “pitcher” in this case had done their homework beforehand, they would know this 😉 Bonus points for giving the blogger access to content or speakers other bloggers/authors wouldn’t have access to (read: the blogger would have an “exclusive” in mainstream media terms).
Don’t ask bloggers to promote–give them exclusivity
Instead of asking the blogger to PROMOTE a local award, why not see if I’d be interested in interviewing and profiling a few of the winners? Again, in my case, if the “pitcher” took just a few moments to flip through my blog, they would have noticed that I do this ALL THE TIME! And, I LOVE to do it! It’s easy content for me and I get to highlight some really smart and great people. This would be a home run pitch for me. And again, all it would have taken, is a few minutes of homework. But, the overall key here is exclusivity. Think of ways you can give bloggers “exclusive” content they can’t get anywhere else. They will gobble that up.
So, to recap, are we all on the same page? Bloggers are NOT mainstream media.
Let’s repeat that: Bloggers are NOT mainstream media.
So let’s stop treating them that way.
They don’t exist to “cover” events for your client.
They don’t exist to help promote your organization.
And they certainly don’t exist to help you.
Bloggers are actually a pretty easy group to figure out. Much like you, they are out for themselves. They are content-hungry. They want unique opportunities.
Think of your blogger outreach in those terms, and I can virtually guarantee you’ll be successful.