Celebrating 22 Years!
Twenty two years ago on this date (September 14th), my husband and I got married! We've been together for 29 nine years! I celebrated my 20th anniversary in Flickr and with this video (darn the gown doesn't fit this year!) as well as a post marking our long term relationship. Today, I posted on Twitter and got lots of good wishes. There isn't any thing specific on the geek anniversary gift list to mark the 22nd, so we'll toast the date with flowers, a donation to the Sharing Foundation, and a nice dinner out someplace.
Blogger relations (not to be confused with blogger relationships like I'm describing above) that is blogger outreach came up as a topic in a workshop I did on social media and the arts earlier this week. Given the interest in this topic by many of my nonprofit readers, and since I'm started off this post with a story about relationships, I thought I'd share some advice about how to NOT to pitch bloggers to write about your organization, product, service, or event.
1. Don't have your office intern hapzardly send out a canned pitches, get to know the bloggers first. While I write about nonprofits and social media, I try to approach the topic with a bit of personality - and that means sharing information about me - like the fact I'm celebrating my 22nd Wedding Anniversary. So, why would someone send me a story pitch and press release and invite me to write about social network designed for women who are divorced? I got a good laugh before hitting the delete button.
I got the impression that someone just scraped this list and send out pitches blinding without, at minimum, clicking through to a Facebook profile or perhaps evening reading the blog. So, before you begin blasting out your pitch happardly to bloggers, read some of what the blogger has written and see if your pitch is relevant.
2. Don't have your first point of interaction be a request to blog about your program or whatever. My husband didn't ask me to marry him on our first date - we had a great courtship, getting to know each other before we said "I do." The best first date with a blogger is to leave a meaningful comment on their blog. Something more than "this is great" or "write about my project," but something that leaves the impression that you've taken the time to read the blogger's previous posts and add something with your comment. Kevin Bondelli has more advice.
3. Don't overwhelm the blogger with requests and information. Once you've developed a relationship with trust and respect, then you can begin to pitch. But don't ask them to write about every little thing and don't swamp them with pages and pages of material. Be succinct and make a clear connection between what the blogger is interested in writing about and your program or organization or whatever your pitching.
There's lots of great advice about blogger relations and outreach. Here's a few choice links:
- Connecting With Bloggers from Free Range Graphics Studio (written for the nonprofit reader)
- Bloggers Talk To PR Agencies by Toby Bloomberg
- Blogger Outreach 101 by Kevin Bondelli
- Definitive Guide to Social Media Releases by Brian Solis
- Blogger Outreach: New Study Attempts to Define Success by Kami Huyse
- Are Bloggers Media? by Todd Defren
- Put Away Your Shot Guns by Chris Brogan
- The Secret Sauce of the Perfect Pitch by Susan Getgood
- Blogger Relations by Lee Oden
What tricks or tips have you learned about approaching bloggers and getting them to write about your nonprofit's programs or services? If you're a blogger, what advice would you give to nonprofits? What are some of the best resources?