I have a page about how to pitch a blogger, but I’m realizing that this goes beyond pitching bloggers vs. traditional media. It’s how do we pitch people in general?
The traditional standards still apply: get to know the person you’re pitching, understand his or her preferences for pitching, and make sure you’re pitching something relevant. The questions now is, which is better? Twitter, facebook, linked in, RSS feeds, etc.
I’ve seen a lot of writing around new ways of pitching. In a first of a series of postings, I will look at different ways to “pitch” reporters and bloggers. For this issue, it’s how people are using Twitter for media outreach and relationship building.
Twitpitch: I read about this on Read/Write Web regarding Steve Bowd, a consultant. Consider it the online version of an elevator pitch. With only 140 characters, there’s only so much bullsh*t that a company can give. It forces you to be succinct and get to the point. Steve’s initial experiment is now the only way he wants to receive pitches.
Conference Conversations: In an email exchange with Chris Parente, he highlighted how his clients were able to get in front of journalists by following key analysts and reporters at the RSA Conference via Twitter. Chris was able to keep his client updated on issues being discussed and debated during the show, which helped their client be smart in front of key influencers. I see this being a huge trend, especially in early adopter/technology conferences.
Follow Key Influencers: Connected to “conference conversations,” I recommend that you start following key influencers now. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the person’s personality and topics of interest. It’s also an opportunity to participate in conversations with the analyst or reporter, especially when they ask a question. You never know when one of these mini-conversations becomes fodder for a blog posting or article. Just don’t get caught in the trap of trying to follow everything 24/7.
Update – Create Your Own Conversation: TechCrunch wrote about an interesting use of Twitter for a project wine tasting via Twitter. The company identified key twitterers, sent them some bottles of wine, and invited them to taste the wine and provide feedback online. What made this work? Making sure that the wine tasting conversation ocurred on a specific day and time. And I assume the wine tasted good as well.
What about you? Have you used Twitter for media/analyst relations? If so, share your stories below in the comments.
I’m a little late in posting my Weekly Articles. I will try to post another set of articles at the end of the week. However, future weekly updates may be more spotty as I’m focused on an upcoming launch. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed.
Disclosing Everything? – Scott’s Morning Brew discusses how Mitch Ratcliffe of ZDNet discloses his professional affiliations. This raises an interesting question about ethical blogging. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I work for ON24. Mitch previously invested in ON24 when the company was a financial multimedia services company.
Next Gen Marketing – Richard Karpinski of BtoB Magazine’s wrote a recent article about next generation tech marketing. The article provides a high-level view of widgets, social feeds, mash ups and more.
More than Media Relations – a shel of my former self highlights why PR is a two-way dialogue. Though media relations may have the “highest” visibility, Shel discusses how this is a small portion of what PR truly is.
The True Measurement of Social Media? – In this post, KD Paine highlights why trying to develop a standard way to social media is not possible. Rather, she ends her post, “Sorry to inform you folks, but a standard metric will not solve the problem. Listening to your customers will.”
More than Media Databases - Peter Himler of the Flack blog provides his perspective on how Vocus is systematically spamming people in their media database. Frankly, in the age of permission marketing, these databases should be forced to take people out of the database upon request.
Quality Versus Quantity – Brian Carroll of B2B Lead Generation Blog is an expert on lead nurturing. In this post. Carroll brings up the issue of measuring the effectiveness of programs by cost-per-lead. Rather, he advocates looking at the cost-per-opportunity. This way, better quality leads are forwarded to sale. Sending quantity doesn’t do anything if sales views the leads as “poor.” Hence, you may be generating lots of leads and blame the sales team for not following up. But who’s truly at fault?
Online Marketers Don’t Feel Recession – Betsy Schiffman of Epicenter writes that online marketers are bullish despite overall industry indicators of a recession. Unlike the dot.com crash, if there is a recession, online marketing will weather it better than other types of marketing spends, such as print advertisements.
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When you’re a start-up, PR can be a difference for the company. The challenge is how to get targeted, quality media coverage on a limited budget and competing objectives. One of my favorite sayings lately is “by hook or crook.” What I mean is what can I do in the short-term to satisfy immediate results while keeping the eye on long-term value.
Here are some ways that start-ups can get some quick and dirty media coverage:
1) Editorial Calendars: Magazines will publish an editorial calendar to highlight areas of coverage for the coming weeks or months. Though the purpose is to garner advertising dollars, this will give you an opportunity to determine if there are appropriate stories. Contact the editorial assistant to determine process for contacting reporters and if the story has been assigned. 2) Executive Profiles: Consider pitching profiles of your CEO or founder to local newspapers, business journals or bloggers who focus on entrepreneurship. This provides a good opportunity to highlight your thought leadership within in your industry as well as vision for the company.
3) New Hire Placements: Local newspapers and journals include information about new executives at local companies. Each publication will have different criteria for submitting this information and may take several weeks for it to appear. I recommend submitting a photo as this will likely will get published with the brief.
4) Hold a Crazy Stunt: There is a balance between a stunt for marketing purposes and one that ties back into your overall objectives. I recently read about this stunt in the local newspaper. Briefly, this company was giving out tomatoes with money on it. Why? The name of the company is CashTomato.com. Frankly, I think this was poorly thought out and didn’t help promote the company’s end product… video-sharing site… yeah. Though it garnered coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, I don’t know what else it accomplished. Dead pool anyone? =)
What are you PR tips for start-ups?
This past week has seen some interesting conversations about press releases/newswires, how to conduct social media campaigns and the relationship with customers. Enjoy this last issue before the President’s Weekend Holiday. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed.
The Power of News Wires – Read/WriteWeb has an interesting post about how BusinessWire’s influence and ability to be a top Techmeme source. If newswires are able to gain this much influence for a press release, does this mean PR folks will be “lazier” in getting placements for press releases?
When a Release is Not a Release – B.L. Ochman highlights her experience with PR Web’s decision not to post a release because it didn’t satisfy their standard of a press release. The release was a funny announcement for procrastinators on Valentine’s Day. The tone was perfect for this type of announcement, yet PR Web insisted that B.L. make some changes. Frankly, who’s to decide what is and isn’t a release. I could understand profanity but because it wasn’t written in the third person? Puh-lease!
Blogs are the Music to My Ears – Mack Collier writes about how blogs have contributed more to music sales than MySpace. Need I say more?
Valentine’s Day Special: It’s About the Relationship -Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog put together a special post for Valentine’s Day. She lists 62 responses to how to create great business relationships. Tons of great tips from all walks of life and industries. I like #4, #7, #12, #27, #34 (this one is tough for me.. ask my husband =), #62. My tip? Be humble and admit that you don’t know everything.
Successful Customer Case Studies - Jeremiah Owyang is on a roll. He’s providing great insight as an analyst that should help every PR person out there. This week’s nugget of wisdom, creating successful customer case studies.
SMRs in the Real World – Brian Solis posts an email from Steve Kayser who has outlined his experience using SMRs in the real world. Very informative regarding what to be aware of as one proceeds down this avenue.
Social Campaigning… Not! – Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology highlights a good point about Social Media. Social media can’t be considered a campaign as a campaign eventually ends. It require diligent work and commitment. Only then can you see reap the rewards of entering the social media world.
Measurement Makes Your Executives Care – Dave Fleet reminds us that measurement is key for executive support and understanding. Like Social Media, it can’t be an one-time project. It has to be monitored constantly. I previously wrote about the PR measurements I track. It’s quick, easy and can be maintained weekly. Leave a comment if you’re interested in learning more.
Six Deadly Sins of Social Media
This week’s summary is shorter than usual. Let me know if you have any recommendations for make this a more useful list of information. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed:
It’s Good to Be Delicious – I so love MarketingPilgrim because I always get nuggets of wisdom that help with PR and marketing. Yahoo is starting to include delicious information into the search results. Whether or not this will augment search rankings, it’s good to know how many other people find the information useful. From a PR perspective, all press releases, marketing materials, etc. should be bookmarked on delicious. You never know who is looking for what where.
Fact Check Everything – Dave Fleet of Fleet PR writes an important post about fact checking everything first. By just omitting some details, the meaning can be completely different.
Jumping on the Green Bandwagon – This article in MarketingProfs highlights the recent trend to jump on the green bandwagon. I think this is a key thing to keep in mind as companies proceed with sustainability and green programs.
Online Reputation Management – Paul Dunay provides good tips for managing your online reputation. Monitor – Respond – Optimize. Check out my previous posts about online reputation management and the tools I used to manage my online reputation.
Effective New Media Mediums for Marketers - eMarketer is summarized some recent reports about what are effective marketing mediums. For my company, I found it interesting that 54% of marketers found webinars effective. Who knew!
Google PR just sent me an email. the CCd instead of BCC – I know have email addys for all major journalists! Woohoohaha
Wow, this journalist email list is GOLD, shame I’m too ethical to do anything with it
I was surprised that Google PR didn’t personalize the emails based on the reporter/blogger and beat. Andy’s response was that this was typical depending on the PR person within Google.
Don’t get me wrong, Google is obviously doing something right. I barely read any negative articles about Google. But this non-personalized approach surprised me. I was always taught to personalize my pitches. Here are my top don’ts for pitching reporters:
- Don’t Misspell Names – Misspelling names turns off the reporter before he or she even reads your pitch.
- Don’t Use Nicknames – unless you’re absolutely sure, I would err on using the reporter’s full name. Make sure you remember point 1.
- Don’t Generalize Pitches – research the reporter to make sure that you target your pitch to his/her beat. Using a general pitch can backfire as it’s obviously a mass emailing.
- Don’t Mass CC Reporters – this one refers to what Google PR did. If you have to mass email reporters, at least use the BCC line. Otherwise, you’re advertising who you’re pitching and possible competitors in the email.
Any thoughts or other recommendations for PR Pitching?
Cece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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