Home > Blogger, Pitch > How to Throw a Perfect Pitch

How to Throw a Perfect Pitch

Pitching to a blogger takes time to develop, like a slow 66mph curve from Livan Hernandez

Despite observing a Nationals pitching staff that was anything but perfect in baseball this past year, I have seen enough to know how to throw at least a good pitch to bloggers. Just like in baseball, there should be a camaraderie between pitchers and catchers in the blogosphere, and there’s never been a time when this relationship has been so important.  So how are you supposed to develop that kind of relationship? Well, maybe the best way to explain what to do is to explain what not to do.

Don’t do what Rob Bresnahan did by trying to slip his pitches past bloggers without getting to know his bloggers. Bresnahan sent generic news releases advertising products to The Bad Pitch Blog through an automated distribution program.  This is absolutely the wrong way to be sending out your pitches.  It lacks personalization and authenticity, two things that I’ll discuss later that bloggers want to see.  The recipient of these not only turned Rob down, but used Rob as an example of a bad pitchman on the very blog Bresnahan was pitching to! Some small time writers will certainly recite a press release for you, but according to promoter Adam Ritchie,  in comments from PR professionals on how to pitch, many top bloggers will not copy and paste them for you.  He also says to offer different options for the blogger to address the story by adding things like a YouTube clip or another piece of media.  Richie comments that some small time writers will certainly recite a press release for you, but you can only do that a few times as even they will get tired of that shallow style of news reporting. Times have changed, and companies can’t just send out a seemingly anonymous message out there expecting it to stick.

So what are communicators supposed to do? For starters, Todd Defren gives some tips on what to think about when talking to bloggers. Many of these involve knowing their tendencies in order to interact with them better. These will help you write  some of the best pitches,  personable pitches. Author, blogger, and business owner, Geoff Livingston shows off a great one on his blog.  The practitioner clearly knows what the blog is about, shares common interests, and actually offers something of value to Livingston.  Right off the bat, this pitch has a much better chance of seeing the public because there is an instant bond.  Like a good relationship, it’s authentic.

Authenticity is stressed in every aspect of PR,  and now more than ever does it seem as though pitches need to feel that way. Learning about the blog, the blogger, and offering them mutual benefits are key. It shows that there is a true interest in the author of the blog, and that you aren’t just using them as a means to an end.  By being involved and interested in the blogger you are pitching to, you are not only helping your company get a particular pitch out there, but you are helping establish a mutually beneficial relationship for the future as well. Just like Livan Hernandez’s (above) sluggish curve-ball, these relationships take time to develop, so be patient, do your research, and be genuine in order to offer up the best, most effective pitches.

Categories: Blogger, Pitch
  1. October 7, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Great analogy Phil! I really like how you related your point to baseball and made it easier to understand. Sometimes in social media, I believe people do not realize there are still social etiquette lines that should not be crossed. Just by commenting on someone else’s blog “Hey, read my blog!” comes off very rude and it seems like you are just using that person. However, if you take a deeper interest in what they have to say and constructively comment, I believe it would be appropriate to incorporate your blog into the comment if relevant. Bloggers want more readership and by politely creating a feedback loop and relationship, both parties can benefit.

  2. October 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I agree with Julia, the baseball analogy really worked here. I think this concept of pitching is a good one to talk about because in this age of blogs everything is personalized. You can look up exactly your interests and someone will be blogging about them. Because of this personalization in blog topics, when someone is pitching their company or blog to you, it needs to be personalized back. Like what you said about anonymity, it’s just not tolerated anymore. Making connections with the blogger is important.

  3. October 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Wow, what a great post! I agree with both Julia and Kim about your topic. This is such relevant issue to talk about. I don’t think a lot of people understand how social media has changed the way media relations works. With such a personalized format, media relations communicators need to be just a personalized in their pitches and responses. I would be interested to see how communicators are finding ways to pitch through other social media outlets like Twitter or Facebook. Great Job!

  4. October 10, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I really liked reading this post and it coincidentally got me excited for playoff season. Using the automated distribution program just seems careless in many ways. It shows that you don’t care enough to research the blog you are posting on and that you don’t care about the blog itself. Like you said, Research has to be done about the blog and comments have to be well-thought and researched as well. They should help the blogger, not clog up his inbox.

  5. October 10, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Again, I agree with Julia and Kimberly. Pitching is very key when doing business in PR. It also important for the pitcher to understand who he is talking/trying to relate to. You should always know background information before doing any project. This works for any aspect of your life. It is even true with going on a job interview. Do your research, understand what the company is doing and why they are doing it. Not only will it impress them, it will show them you are serious. This is the same with pitching. If your homework is done then they will know you are serious about what you are pitching. It will look like you did all your research.

  1. October 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm
  2. November 8, 2010 at 10:43 am

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