baseball batter

I wake up every morning to an email in-box full of PR pitches. A good PR pitch can be the first step in a wonderful working relationship between a brand and a blogger, but a bad PR pitch is a waste of time — yours and mine. Here are three simple mistakes to avoid when pitching bloggers.

Strike one: addressing pitches to the blog, not the blogger. Nothing tells me you don’t know who I am quite as clearly as a pitch addressed “Dear Working Closet.” An even worse version of this is the pitch that comes addressed “Dear Mommy Blogger.” If you really want to work with a specific blogger, do your homework and find out what his or her name is. Bloggers who are interested in partnering with brands make that information easily available, typically on the website you are pitching.

Strike two: typos and grammatical errors in your pitch. Bloggers are writers, and we are careful about how we use language. Do us the same favor by proofreading your pitches. By the same token, keep pitches focused — bloggers don’t want to read a five page document about your company, we just need to know what exactly you’re offering to send us or asking us to work with you on. Think about it this way: you wouldn’t want a blogger to write about your brand or product in a post riddled with misspellings and overwhelmed with irrelevant information. Set the standard with well-written, carefully edited pitches.

Strike three: pitching the wrong kind of blog. A majority of the pitches I get are for things that are not a fit for my site — kids’ toothbrushes and sex toys and books about nursing, for a blog that focuses very specifically on fashion and personal style. I find these pitches frustrating because it is always clear to me that the PR person has pulled my name from a list somewhere and has not actually looked at my site. Before you pitch a blogger, get a feel for his or her work, and consider how your brand fits into that niche. Pitching me solely because I’m on a list of influential mom bloggers doesn’t do anything to help your brand — or mine.

Photo by mwlguide on Flickr.