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 heâ€™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. Iâ€™ve received plenty of horrible blog pitches, like the dreaded â€œDear Website Ownerâ€ emails or even those completely misunderstanding who I am or who I work for. Iâ€™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 donâ€™t like being on what looks like a â€œPress Release spam listâ€. 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-Stormâ€™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 â€œApproach & Messaging Recommendationsâ€ 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 youâ€™d prefer. Educate us marketers because in this ever changing Blogosphere, weâ€™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:
- Emergence Media Blogger Relations Outreach Guidelines
- SHIFT Communications Blogging Guidelines
- Word of Mouth Marketing Association: 10 Principles for Ethical Contact by Marketers
Iâ€™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.