Issue #743 Aug. 20, 2013
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Pitch Blind, Invite Blackballing
- Patch Lays Off 500
- Promote a Blog on Facebook, Twitter
- Hound Photos of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
If you’re gluten free or know somebody who is, make this recipe for Carrot Banana Muffins from Dr. Andrew Weil’s “True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure” cookbook. I ate one last night and savored every bite.
1. Pitch Blind, Invite Blackballing
Facebook users, the media, and some of the most influential social media experts are hammering Facebook for its greedy pay-to-play rules and the skimpy exposure that your company’s status updates
When you pitch journalists, bloggers or broadcasters, how many different ways do you research them before pitching?
What’s that? You don’t research?
You’re asking for trouble, and setting yourself up to be blackballed forever.
Let’s say you’re pitching a radio talk show host named Chris Smith. An email message that begins “Hello Ms. Smith” would be deleted in a nanosecond if Chris Smith is a man.
But if you’ve taken the time to do your research, and you know that Mr. Smith’s little Chihuahua named Butter broke its leg, because you read about it at his blog, you can email your pitch along with your best wishes for Butter’s speedy recovery.
Do you think that would get his attention? Mention my dog, Bogie, in a pitch to me, and you’ll make me snap to attention. You might even win my heart.
This morning, someone who sells webinar services emailed me with the subject line “Introduction” and wrote: “I do value your time, so may I ask a quick question? Have you ever considered using webinars?”
Well, yes, actually. I’ve been hosting them for about five years. And if you took the time to visit my blog, or my online store, you’d know that rather quickly.
Jerk, don’t waste my time. Delete.
Is that how you want influential people, who can give you publicity, to react to you?
If not, join me for a one-hour webinar from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Aug. 22, and learn “11 Fast, Free, Easy Ways to Research Journalists, Broadcasters and Bloggers BEFORE You Pitch.” I’ll go live on the Internet and demonstrate several of the 11 ways to research so you can see where I’m going, where I’m clicking, and how I’m drilling down to find valuable clues about journalists and bloggers. I’m recording the webinar so you can watch it at your leisure if you can’t attend live. .
2. Patch Lays Off 500
Patch.com, the uber-local news site in 22 states plus the District of Columbia, is laying off 500 people, about 40 percent of its staff.
Publicity Hounds love Patch because it competes with local newspapers. But AOL, which owns it, can’t make all the sites profitable. It’s consolidating or closing about 150 of the 900 sites. Washington state’s sites already have been closed.
Does this mean local news doesn’t sell?
Absolutely not. Even though most daily newspapers are struggling, many weeklies are doing well because local news is their bread and butter.
One of the big advantages of Patch was the ability to get daily emails from your favorite site, tipping you off to stories covered that day.
Keep pitching Patch as long as it’s still alive. But don’t forget about local bloggers, local newsletters, local radio and TV talk shows, Yelp, and perhaps the biggest site of all for spreading local news: Facebook.
3. Promote a Blog on Facebook, Twitter
But I disagree with her tip to publicly thank people for sharing your content.
That simply adds to the noise. Instead of “Thanks for the RT,” a much more effective way to thank them is to retweet or share THEIR content with your friends and followers.
4. Hound Photos of the Week
Thanks to Publicity Hound Meryl K. Evans of Plano, Texas, for this funny photo collection of dogs shaking off water.