Email Pitches to Bloggers: Where to go with Blogger Relations

Marshall Kirkpatrick is Angry
Marshall Kirkpatrick is Angry at Bad Blog Pitches.

Last week was a rough week for marketing and PR professionals in the blogosphere. Chris Anderson (Wire/Longtail), David Meerman and Marshall Kirkpatrick (Read/Write, TechCrunch) wrote critical posts to PR folks who are trying to reach out to bloggers. Chris even published a list of emails from PR people he’s blacklisting.

But what are the responsibilities and expectations of PR/Marketing Agencies and Blogggers?

While I am a marketer by profession, I am also a blogger. I’ve received plenty of horrible blog pitches, like the dreaded “Dear Website Owner” emails or even those completely misunderstanding who I am or who I work for. I’m right there beside with Chris, Marshall and others on this.

We bloggers embrace the long tail influence we have over traditional media, but we don’t like being on what looks like a “Press Release spam list”. Marketers and PR folks need to adapt to this. And as Bloggers, we’ll always be caught with horrible “Dear Site Owner” emails every once in while. It just shouldn’t be every blog pitch email.

As someone involved in e-Storm’s Social Media efforts, we spend time reading and targeting each blog we recommend our clients to contact. We build a list of bloggers along with a description of each, plus an “Approach & Messaging Recommendations” document for each blogger. Generally, these documents have to be approved both internally by e-Storm and externally by the client before any blogger outreach happens.

Bloggers: Help Educate us PR/Marketing on How to Do It Right

And to my fellow bloggers out there, instead of just being angry, write back and tell them what you’d prefer. Educate us marketers because in this ever changing Blogosphere, we’re all learning what it means to be a blogger, what is a blogger mindset and how can we reach out to bloggers relevantly.

Marketers and PR folks need to learn that the blogosphere is a community, not a place to send press releases to. Let’s show them by helping them join the community in a relevant and helpful way.

To those rightly annoyed bloggers, point us PR/Marketing flacks to the right direction:

I’ve also set-up a Wiki on Blogger Outreach, which is available here. Feel free to contribute as you wish and save bloggers from poorly targeted PR pitches and help PR/marketers from embarrassing themselves.


  1. I work client-side, however, I recently helped with promoting a non-profit organization. I was shocked to see that the “professional” PR person involved(she worked at one of the big firms)simply emailed off the pitch to 195 media personnel (all from one city). Just from looking at the list, and my limited PR background, I could see that the list was unfocussed and not at all researched. It is no wonder that media press the delete button more often than they open and read the pitch – when we inundate them with unrelated material.

  2. @David:

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’ll add that to the running list of resource.


    Thanks for sharing your own experience. That “send to the list” mentality happens more often than not, unfortunately.

    For journalist and the press, I’m sure they hate it but they take it as part of the job. But as bloggers straddle that line of being both a “personal journal” and “amateur journalist”, PR/marketing folks can’t make the assumption that bloggers are “just used to it” as journalist tend be.


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