Twitter and customer service; the big picture
Launched: Kenneth Cole's "Awearness" blog

Your last contact cannot be your first contact

I (like most bloggers) am on the receiving end of at least 3-5 PR pitches a day. Some of them are really good and on target, but the majority are really tired attempts. Now that I work on the other side of the aisle, so to speak, I want to give a little friendly advice to PR folks doing outreach.

Your last contact cannot be your first contact.

crisis.jpgTo make it crystal clear, if I am reading an email from you right now, I need to have heard from you before. I need to have had an intro email or have seen your name on a comment. Maybe you follow me on Twitter (and I follow you back) or you've added me as a friend on Facebook.

Those people who do this right break through the clutter and avoid my dreaded 'bad pitch' folder in Gmail. (I save these emails to show people what not to do.)

WAY too often I get a pre-formatted, "personal" email (I won't even mention the numerous emails that contain nothing but a press release). You know what I am talking about. It usually starts looking something a bit like this:

Hey [blogger name here],

I really love your blog [blog name here]. I think the perspective and insight you have on [industry name here] is amazing. Your last post on [post subject here] was really good.

[Insert press release here]


While this type of outreach does occasionally work, I can immediately tell what's going on. The ones who've taken the time to reach out and connect with me get through. It's more like P2P outreach in that the relationship is two-way and symbiotic. I often follow up with people who do outreach to get more info or see if they have something new for me.

Blogger "pitching" is not going anywhere. Bloggers are gaining influence and share of voice in media. The key for PR efforts is to choose bloggers that truly fit your product/service niche and build those relationships over time.

Once you have a blogger's attention it's important to offer them easy ways to consume the assets. Logos, video and copy should be online, be embeddable and easy to access (this is the premise of the social media news release). This limits waste and maximizes everyone's time.

Personally, I don't think that the wall exists between PR and bloggers the way it does between PR and journalists. We're all in social media and on the same playing field.

What lessons would you add to this for people in PR who do this type of outreach?

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