Not even the most rascally of bloggers or journalists expect or even want the PR industry to die; really they just want better PR. But while they writhe in pain at the volume of misdirected pitches, few bloggers take action beyond whining. If anything, the PR and marketing pros themselves seem to be the only ones engaged in the slow-drip of Blogger Relations education.
If you are a successful blogger, part of the reward for your hard work is that you’re gonna get pitched.
(That’s not a bad thing. Not all pitches are bad. A good pitch could help a blogger write their best-post-ever. A good pitch could result in some cool toys to play with; a free trip; an interesting meeting; a job offer.)
But you have some control over this. Why not take the time to inform marketers about HOW you’d like to be approached?
An attempt was made back in 2005 to standardize this mechanism. I think it’s worth re-visiting. I asked our in-house graphics whiz to bang-out “boring” and “fun” versions of the original badges.
If you’re a blogger who wants NO PITCHES, the badge alone should suffice…
If you’re a friendly type who wants to hear what everyone has to say, similarly the “PR OK!” icon says it all (though you might want to link the icon to your contact info)…
But if you are like MOST bloggers, you don’t mind a GOOD PITCH and tend to despise & discard crappy pitches. This is where you need to Act Responsibly. Educate! Tell the PR pro “what makes a good pitch.”
Link the “PR?” badge below to a separate section of your site in which you describe your personal preferences and gripes…
Sometime this week, I’m going to add the funny li’l “PR?” avatar to my sidebar nav. It will link to a new page on PR-Squared on which I’ll inform would-be PR pitchmen that they are welcome to send me a note, but that I’ll be looking for:
“A brief pitch that demonstrates an understanding of my blog’s typical topics.”
I was planning to gin up a list of 5–or-so benchmarks but, on reflection, this is all I’m looking for from anyone. I don’t necessarily care that the PR pro is a regular PR-Squared reader or participant (though that’d be nice). I just don’t want them to waste my time with stuff I would never write about. (That’s all any blogger wants, at a high level.)
But it never hurts to be completely unambiguous. If bloggers make the effort to be clear about their expectations, they have more justification to be enraged at bad pitches. The blogger can take some responsibility for their in-box; if they don’t do something to educate would-be pitchmen, they’ll continue to be abused.
These badges might help cut down on the bad stuff. Know a cranky blogger? Maybe you could share this idea with them?
Posted on: August 25, 2008 at 10:12 am By Todd Defren