I have blogged for a little over 6 years now and have been in the online advertising and marketing business for over 10 years. I get over 300 non-spam emails a day and I’m not saying that to brag by any means. There are bloggers out there that get far more and there are bloggers out there that have their email under better control than I do and don’t get to the point where they have over 20k emails in their inbox. Enough of that.
I was compelled to write this article to answer a question that Cecily Kellog wrote for Babble recently titled “Pitches Gone Bad, When PR Agencies Only Get Part of the Story”. I won’t get into the article here because if you are a blogger, you really should read the article in its entirety but at the end of the article Cecily asks the question “How can we, as bloggers, make it easier for them to research us so that the pitches we receive hit the mark more often?”.
Here is my answer:
Include our full name, email address, Twitter and Facebook links on our Contact and/or About page. If you accept products for review and feel comfortable with leaving your kids genders and ages then doing so will help PR reps know if you are a good match for their product.
As far as pitches are concerned, I used to prefer personalized emails, but I now prefer a more ‘broad pitch’ than the personalized pitch. I think it’s great when a PR rep acknowledges my kids by their names and ages, but I find it more annoying than just about *anything* when I see “Dear Sally” instead of “Dear Alicia” or when the PR rep makes other mistakes in the pitch such as referring to my blog as someone else’s entirely.
What I would like to see from PR representatives:
- Most importantly.. a clear and concise subject line such as “product review opportunity” or “brand ambassador opportunity”.
For product review opp pitches I would like to see a/the:
- Brand name
- Product name
- Product URL
- Product description
- Age range
- Product price
- Store availability
- Exactly how many products will they be sending me?
- Do they want to do a giveaway?
- Brief company bio
- What they would like from me
- What they will provide me with and/or do for me?
- Subject line examples: “Sally’s Ice Cream Play Set product review opportunity” or “iPad app review opportunity – redeem code available”.
For brand ambassador opportunities I would like to see:
- Brand name
- Brand ambassador campaign name -Having an official brand ambassador campaign ‘name’ gives the campaign more credibility.
- Why was this opportunity created? To build brand awareness, product awareness, blogger outreach?
- What’s expected of me. How many posts are required? What am I expected to do on Twitter and Facebook, etc..?
- What they will provide to me? Let me know if all brand ambassadors are getting paid the same amount or if pay is based on a ‘sliding scale’.
- Potential travel requirements. Tell me what expenses are NOT covered (transportation to airport, parking, dining once I get to the location, etc).
- Information about past brand ambassador campaigns they’ve done. Include a URL to the landing page of the last brand ambassador campaign you ran.
- How long the campaign will last?
- How many bloggers are you inviting to and will be participating in this campaign? This one is very important!
- I would like to see all of this information included in the FIRST email that I get from the PR representative. That’s my wish anyway!
- Subject line example: “Sally’s Organic Potato Chips Brand Ambassador Opportunity” – Easy, huh?
For article pitches:
- Include the FULL article text and tell me that this article will not be posted on 5 million other blogs.
- Include the author bio and a link
- Subject line example: “Article post idea about dogs and Halloween costumes – full exclusive article text included”
Here are a couple of emails that I haven’t opened yet because the subject line doesn’t make me WANT to open the email:
Here are a couple of emails that I opened right away because the subject line made it clear what was being offered to or asked of me:
I understand and appreciate that PR reps are very busy, as are bloggers, and I am ok with more generalized pitches HOWEVER pitches must include all the information I need to make an informed decision right away. I don’t want to have to ask a million questions. That’s when I hit the delete button.
I, like may bloggers, have over 22k emails in my inbox. Yesterday, I received over 300 non-spam emails all of which I would LOVE to read but because I run two businesses and have two children and a home to take care of I have to choose very carefully which emails I open. That’s where a very clear and concise subject line comes in.
I hope this helps bloggers and PR representatives alike. I enjoy what I do which is why I’ve done it for so long and consider myself to be successful seeing as how I’ve worked from home, providing my family with a full-time income for over 10 years.
If you have tips on what you’d like in a PR pitch or brand ambassador campaign pitch, let me know in the comments below or email me at email@example.com!