How to talk to a blogger so you get results: Social media tips for fun and profit

My blog is big enough now that I get PR people contacting me all the time. Now, I want to say straight off that I like PR people. I used to be one.

I sometimes still am.

And sometimes you’re great. But when you are not, you waste your time, your clients money, and my time. So I want to help you by giving PR people everywhere the very best tips on how to talk to a blogger so you get results.

My hope is this it will help me, too.

1. The number one tip for pitching bloggers
Read the blog. Yeah, I know. This should go without saying. But the fact that I think it needs to be said should tell you something.

I am a vegetarian blog. I talk about vegetarian food and things vegetarians might like.

I don’t talk about the opening of a new burger joint, how to get over jet lag or regional topics.

So quit flooding me with releases or pitches that deal with topics I do not.

2. The key to getting the biggest ROI with bloggers
Be relevant.

No matter how many times I rail against meat products and high fructose corn syrup and the like, you persist in sending me releases on product loaded with this stuff.

Dear PR people: I am a HEALTH food bog. If you are going to send me this stuff, then at least have the courtesy of providing an unsubscribe feature on your release, lest you end up being mentioned in a post like this one.

3. The one thing you must do to build strong blogger relations
Gimme what I need. For example, I always talk about ingredient lists. So it would be really nice if your release included ingredient lists. And not just the useless marketing hype.

But, alas, I have NEVER received a release that included a full ingredient list. Ever.

4. How not to alienate bloggers
Skip the B.S.

Just a few weeks ago I got a pitch from a PR person who told me “Our Executive Editor, Victoria von Biel, is such a huge fan of your site that she has her heart set on you attending the exclusive sneak preview of the brand new bonappetit.com website.” So I wrote back and asked which post old Victoria liked best. She hasn’t gotten back to me yet. But I know she will. She’s a huge fan, after all.

5. Skip the formula pitch
It goes like this: Say something nice about the bog, like how you read it all the time. Mention a post you liked to prove you read it all the time. Pimp a product or service and talk about how you know it is perfect because you read the blog all the time. End by saying you look forward to reading more on this blog you read all the time.

Only get the angle all wrong because you read, at most, three sentences. While on hold. With a journalist.

Update
Well, I just tripped across a blog post at ProBlogger written from the other point of view called: Understanding PR People for Fun and Profit. Happy reading!