I find myself in an interesting position. I am a mommy blogger (boy, I hate that term) but I also have a day job doing PR for a local nonprofit. We are looking to do some blogger outreach and wouldn’t you know, all that late-night blogging is actually paying off for something!
I’ve been blogging long enough to have developed some of my own likes and dislikes when dealing with PR people. I don’t think my list is different from any other blogger, but hey, let’s just put it out here anyway.
1. They don’t read my blog – at all. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I haven’t been in PR long, but if you were pitching a newspaper or magazine, wouldn’t you read a couple of issues first? Same principles apply in the blog world. I can tell if someone has read my blog or they haven’t.
Bad e-mail: “Hey I love your blog. Your topics are great!” That’s a definite sign that someone just gave them my name and they dashed off an e-mail.
Good e-mail: “I had tears in my eyes after reading your post on trying to find time to exercise while the kids are running beneath your feet – it was hilarious!” This means they’ve at least spent a minute and a half on my site, which is really all I’m asking for. You don’t have to be an expert in everything I write about and I certainly don’t expect you to know the archives backward and forward. Just read a post, and reference to it in your pitch.
2. Asking me to participate in a giveaway or review and then having 73,521 stipulations on what I can and can not post. I like working with PR folks that trust me. If you give me all the goods about your product, service or website (photos, link to extra info, video code, coupon code, etc.), please trust that I will get the point across.
Bad e-mail: “Can you link to the video, place at least three photos at exactly 325×275 size, and include these exact words – ‘We provide memories your family can count on again and again throughout the ages no matter what else is going on in your life we have you covered.” Bad, bad, bad. Why is this bad? Because you’re probably not just pitching me, but other bloggers as well. And the internet might seem big but it’s really a small, small world. The same people that read my blog probably read the other ones too and if they keep seeing the same description over and over again, it’s a turn-off. I like when blog reviews or giveaways read organically and sound like the blogger actually wrote it themselves. I like to actual WRITE my posts, not repost what you give me verbatim. And really, it’s doing your company a favor to have posts sound more human.
Good e-mail: “Thanks for choosing to write about XYZ topic. This is great! Here is a link to the minisite where you can find any photos and videos you need. Let me know if I can be of any other assistance to you.” This is great because it puts the ball in my court and allows me to view my PR contact as a true partner, not someone who comes to me when they want to take over my blog.
3. Coming to me with content that in no way resembles anything on my blog. Being a mommy blogger is hard because people will try to stretch ANYTHING to make it mommy-related. “We sell roach spray! Roaches live in houses! Mommy houses! WRITE ABOUT US, PLEASE!!” Um, no. If you take the time to actually read my blog (see point #1), you’ll know automatically if you magic oven mitts or car caddy or golf club cleaner would be a good fit. And we’d both save time in the end.
What about you? Do you have any PR pet peeves? It’ll be good for me to learn how other bloggers feel before my company launches headfirst into blogger outreach. Wish me luck!