If you want publicity, or you simply want a big-shot blogger to pay attention to you, you can deliver a decent pitch with a little writing talent and some research.
Doing your research before you pitch will make them far more likely to cover your story, because you’ll be pitching the right people, not the ones who are in a position to blackball you on a site like The Bad Pitch Blog.
After accepting and rejecting thousands of pitches for almost 40 years as a newspaper reporter, editor, blogger and ezine publisher, I’ve seen it all, including the 7 Deadly Sins of Pitching. I discussed them all in-depth when I hosted the webinar “11 Fast, Free, Easy Ways to Research Journalists, Broadcasters & Bloggers BEFORE You Pitch
on Thursday, Aug. 22. Update: The video replay and all the other materials are available for purchase.
Here are the sins I’ll keep you from committing:
Never assume that Chris is a woman or that Val is a man.
How do you ever know for sure? Usually, all it takes is seeing that person’s photo, or reading an article someone else has written about the person you want to pitch.
2. Knowing the gender of the person you’re pitching but being so careless that you address them by the wrong name.
This happens to me occasionally. People pitching me call me John, or “Mr. Stewart” even though they said they were at my blog and my photo is posted there.
3. Being clueless about topics the reporter, editor or blogger covers or writes about.
People pitch me hoping I’ll write about their new book on how to cold call, or the safari they’re leading to Africa, or the workshop they’re hosting on neuro-linguistic programming. I don’t write or care about those topics. If you did your research, you’d know that.
4. Not knowing whether the story you’re pitching has already been covered by the person you’re pitching.
You can usually find this out, within seconds, by doing a quick Google search. If you want to know whether I’ve covered how to get onto the morning TV talk shows, you’d search for “The Publicity Hound” + “how to get on the morning TV talk shows.” You’d find this:
5. Not knowing whether the blogger accepts guest blog posts and, if so, the process for submitting them.
Again, not rocket science. Go to the blog. Read the blog. Search the blog!
6. Pitching me to sell me something—yes, I said “sell,” not “tell”—before I know who you are and whether you’re worth my time.
If you got my name from a media database, shame on you. Never use that contact information to troll for business. If you’re going to spam me, at least give me some free information I can use.
7. Telling me you don’t want to waste my time, and then wasting it with a pitch that demonstrates, within seconds, that you don’t know who I am or what I do.
If you want to stay out of trouble, heed this warning.
If you want to know all the fast, easy ways to do your research and wow the journalist or blogger, register for Thursday’s webinar here.
I’ll show you exactly how to find enticing little details about the person you’re pitching and weave them into the pitch so that it sends the message, ‘I know exactly who you are, I know exactly what you do, and I’m here to help you.”