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Bloggers Pitching PR: Turning the Tables


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Bloggers Pitching PR: Turning the Tables

  1. 1. Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting Bloggers Pitching PR: Turning the Tables Created for the MomSpark Community October 2010 1 Stephanie Schwab Stephanie Schwab Consulting Twitter: @socialologist
  2. 2. Bloggers Pitching PR: Contents • Planning • Media kit • The Windup: How to pitch [myblog] • Getting the leads: Cold calls vs. warm leads • The Pitch • The Followup • Extra: thoughts on being a professional blog/small business • Resources: Recommended reading 2Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  3. 3. Planning to pitch PR • So you think your blog and your personality is a good fit for a brand? • Determine: – What are your objectives? Monetization? Traffic? Increased celebrity (i.e., that eventual book deal?) – How do those objectives meet with blogger-brand associations you’ve seen in the recent past? – Which blogger-brand associations do you think have worked out the best for both parties? – Can you create and sustain similar types of content or promotional activity for brands? • Develop a short list of a few brands or product/service categories that you think would be a good fit for your blog and offering 3Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  4. 4. Types of (paid) blogger-brand associations • Likely single-use associations (though could be or lead to more): – Product/service review (may not be paid, could be just product) – Launch announcement (ditto) – Promote promotion/contest/coupon – Conference attendance – Host events – Connections to other bloggers • Likely longer associations: – Sponsored content/blog – Brand evangelist/advocate – Spokesperson/spokesblogger – Freelance writing/blogging gigs – Consulting 4Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting Remember that all paid associations that end up on your blog must be disclosed, per FTC requirements!
  5. 5. You must have a media kit • You’ve got to have a media kit prior to your pitch – If you don’t have information on your site, traffic, demographics and other partnerships, no one will take you seriously • Media kits were covered in a previous MomSpark seminar; see details here: UhRgLi5NQpNFWn4jIP7Iro&hl=en&authkey=COrf8PAJ • Also see my presentation on Media Kits from the 2010 Evo Conference here: bloggers-media-kit-editorial-calendar-stephanie-schwab 5Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  6. 6. The Windup: How to pitch [myblog] • Make it easy for brands to work with you • When they visit your site (as they will the moment you reach out to them), show them the ways you typically work with brands • Create a “PR Friendly” or “How to pitch [myblog]” page on your site 6Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  7. 7. Getting the leads: cold calls vs. warm leads • How do you find people at the brands (or their agencies) that you want to work with? • Figure out who you need to talk to – PR agency or in-house PR manager – not always the right entity to talk to bloggers (they may not handle blogger outreach/promotions), but a good start – You can often find PR information on corporate websites – Another good source of PR information is press releases – the press contact is nearly always included • Once you’ve got a (cold) lead, reach out politely – Don’t assume they’re the right person to receive your pitch – Ask who is the right person, clarify your intent, be patient – Don’t bombard them with emails or calls – An email from an email address with your blog’s domain will be more likely to get read than an email from or 7Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  8. 8. Getting the leads: cold calls vs. warm leads (con’td) • How to warm up your leads – Meet brand/agency people at conferences – Network with them at other events – local networking parties, educational events – Follow them on Twitter – Subscribe to their blogs • Brand managers or agency personnel may have their own blogs, start a polite, non-salesy dialogue with them there • Do not pitch a brand in the comments of the brand blog! But do read the brand blogs to understand what they are doing with other bloggers and in general – Ask other bloggers if they know people at companies you think would be a great fit for your blog • Don’t stalk! For example, don’t friend individuals on Facebook unless you’ve been invited to do so – but by all means, do Like their brand pages • Use your warm leads carefully – nurture the relationships through “great to meet you” emails and then call on them when you’ve got a solid idea or pitch 8Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  9. 9. The Pitch • Stephanie Smirnov of Devries PR has developed a great construct for bloggers pitching brands 9Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting STORY ACTIVATION SUCCESS SUSTAIN
  10. 10. Pitching with SASS • What story do you want to tell that you would’ve told anyway? – This program must be aligned with your blog’s brand • How can you activate your story? – What are the mechanics of your program for the brand? See slide 11 • How will you measure success? – You will want to report on your success in a formal, written report – see slide 12 • Sustain and nurture your agency relationships – Repeat business is your best business – don’t fall off the radar of the agencies or brands you want to work with the most 10Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting Want to see more? Stephanie’s Evo Conference presentation is here:
  11. 11. Constructing the perfect pitch • Using the SASS method, develop the most professional-looking document you can possibly develop – Ask for editing and advice from other bloggers, friends or (well-written) relatives – A Word doc or PowerPoint deck are standard – Use section headers, bullets and other navigational markers to help organize your ideas and make them clear to your reader • Include as many details as you can – What do you plan to do? • How many posts do you want to write? What type of posts will they be? • How will you represent the brand at the conference? • What services are included in the price you’re quoting, and which are optional – What’s your timeline for delivery – You may or may not want to include costs up front – depends on how far down the road your relationship is with the brand • But don’t confuse things by offering too many options – Choose up to three of your best ideas and pitch those • And don’t give away too much! But this is a very difficult balance, so you can’t get too stressed about “giving away ideas” (another reason to only give three ideas, not ten!) 11Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  12. 12. The Followup • Per the SASS method, you will need to report on your success – If you’re not a “numbers person,” enlist the help of someone who is – You will want to report more than just blog comments – page views for that page, demographic info for your visitors, total tweet impressions are all possibly metrics to report – Also include anecdotal/qualitative information – best tweets received, blog comments, etc. – Don’t wait to be asked for a report – make this a part of your standard package, and in your pitch indicate that post-relationship reporting is part of the service you deliver 12Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  13. 13. Extra: thoughts on being a professional blog Some additional thoughts on how to be the most professional blog you can be – so that brands take you seriously to begin with and then keep coming back (some of this content may be covered elsewhere in other MomSpark materials) • Brands may not take your blog seriously if it’s not on your own domain – or indicate that you’re not willing to spend a small amount of money and time developing a professional presence for yourself – Even if you’ve blogged on a hosted site for years, you can always buy your own domain and point it to your hosted blog – Use email associated with your own domain • Ditto for design – Using WordPress right out of the box says that you don’t care about how your blog looks; maybe you also won’t care about how your brand association comes off to people – Even if you only have a header designed, it’s a worthwhile investment to generate better relationships and future income (if you do everything else right) • Your blog must have an About Me section – Demographic fit is one of the #1 things brands will look for when they visit your blog – Include as much info as you can, even if it’s sanitized - you don’t have to give your kids or spouse’s name or exact ages if you don’t feel comfortable with it – Location is also important – “I have two toddler children, a boy and a girl” – keep it up-to-date (kids grow!) 13Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  14. 14. Extra: thoughts on being a professional business And some thoughts on how to be a professional small business – not comprehensive by any means, just a few things that came to mind • Be ready with a partnership agreement – Most agencies/brands will use their own agreement, but it can’t hurt to have one ready just in case • Know how much (and how) you want to get paid – Consider developing a rate sheet with your standard pricing for ads, sponsored posts, giveaways, hourly consulting rates • Make sure it’s clear that these are standard rates and you’re open to discussion, based on the project – Do you want 50% up front? Paid in full by 10 days after the post? You should know this before you ask for payment • Have a professional-looking invoice to send to partners – Google “invoice template” for examples for Word or Excel 14Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  15. 15. Resources: Recommended Reading • From Blog To Business – – Whitepaper on becoming a business, not just a blogger, from ShePosts and MomBloggersClub. A must-read with tons of important and useful examples. Go get it now. • She Posts – – Lists of brand ambassador programs, articles about brand-PR integrations – a cornucopia of great info for any blogger wanting to see what’s being done • Strategic Planning 101 for Bloggers – – Recent presentation from 3SmartGirlz on developing goals and overcoming obstacles for your blog 15Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting
  16. 16. Copyright 2010, Stephanie Schwab Consulting Thank you! Any questions? Stephanie Schwab Twitter: @socialologist 16