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Contacting Bloggers and Journalists: A How To
The nice thing about contacting bloggers and journalists is that the basics of reaching out to them are the same as if you were reaching out to a friend. First off, you want to personalize your greeting. You wouldn’t reach out a friend with a Dear (Insert Name Here) or you would have a very confused friend. You also wouldn’t reach out a friend with some random, off the wall request that had nothing to do with them. The same is said for journalists and bloggers, you want to know what interests them and what they write about BEFORE you consider sending them a pitch or a press release.
Let’s delve into a little more detail about the best ways to approach journalists and bloggers.
The Devil is in the Details—As we said above, know the journalist and know what they write about in their publications. Take the time to follow them on Twitter or Facebook and interact with them to build a relationship.
Clarity and Conciseness—When you are writing a press release or a pitch, be clear on the details of your news and be concise in how you deliver it. Journalists don’t have a lot of time to read long documents, so keep it short and simple.
Consider Their Audience—While the news that they print is unbiased, journalists still need to sell the content in order to hook readers. So as you are writing your pitches and press releases, keep in mind the larger audience who could potentially read it.
Don’t Spam—Like journalists, bloggers get a ton of emails every day with requests to promote their product/idea/book/what have you. Bloggers also don’t have a lot of time to respond to each and every one of them, so keeping your request on point is critical. Be clear up front with what you want from a blogger and give them several good reasons why they should do what you ask.
Not Working for Free—Don’t expect bloggers to cover your story for free or for “exposure.” They are fine without your “exposure.” In fact, probably nothing aggravates them more than someone asking for a favor in exchange for some almost non-existent and unquantifiable “exposure.” Give them some solid benefits for covering your story.
For both bloggers and journalists, consider time frames. If your story is seasonal, pitch it ahead of time to give them time to consider it and perhaps tie it in with a piece they are already doing.
If you don’t get a response from your pitches or press release, don’t wallow in anguish. Always look to the next story and keep a good rapport with them.
Do you have a tip about approaching bloggers or journalists? Hit us up in the comments.