We’re all guilty of them – those little PR faux pas that make reporters – and bloggers – go bonkers. We’re aware of some of them – sending a templated email, or sending a pitch to a recipient who doesn’t cover the type of product or service you’re promoting. Others may not be as obvious – particularly when pitching the new breed of media that is the blogosphere. We’ve polled Kari Janesko Photography, and they’re offering some valuable insight into what makes bloggers batty – and how you can make your pitch stand out over the noise:
Top Five Blogger Pet Peeves:
- Irrelevant Pitches. As a PR pro for the last decade, I know first-hand the pressures of delivering coverage for a client, and how challenging it can be to keep up on all the posts for each of our media contacts, particularly if you’ve just signed a new client who requires that you brush up on an entirely new list of contacts. However, as a blogger, I’ve been the recipient of too many irrelevant pitches to count – pitches for new mom products (I don’t have a baby), or for a service geared toward bloggers/readers in a geographic area 3,000 miles away from me.
Most bloggers are flexible, to a point, but many express frustration over being treated like “the masses” – and bloggers talk. Making a pitch personal or taking the time to filter out extraneous contacts can make the difference between a successful campaign and turning off a blogger and her colleagues to your product.
- Repeated, Insistent Follow-up. We’re all under pressure to provide clients with updates, pending and current coverage, and to create buzz around our campaigns. However, 32% of bloggers surveyed cited persistent follow-up as a major pet peeve. One blogger noted, “For example, I once received an irrelevant pitch from a PR pro on a particularly busy day, so I didn’t have a chance to respond to her query. A few hours later, I received a follow-up note, saying, ‘I’m not sure if you’ve had a chance to read this, but I wanted to resend and make sure you received my pitch.’
The following day, I received the same email, verbatim. I work and have a family, so I’m not tied to my computer all day. If I am out of town or busy, and return to my email after 2 days and see several emails – especially obviously templated, mass emails – it’s a major turnoff. That PR pro will probably get blocked as spam, which means that his or her future client pitches, which may be relevant, won’t ever make it to my inbox.”
Most bloggers don’t have the opportunity to blog full-time, and many work evenings or early mornings, so patience is key – don’t expect, or demand, instant responses. Likewise, understanding that bloggers may have delays in posting their stories about the HX60 turbo is key.
- Not Answering Questions or Sending Information in a Timely Fashion. Just like newsrooms have deadlines, bloggers have their own deadlines. They post regularly and can’t wait around for images, answers to questions, or other details for their posts.
One blogger explains, “We work hard to promote your product to our readers, and ignoring my questions/requests shows me that you’re not taking me seriously, but you’re asking me to take your product/announcement seriously.” Always treat bloggers the way you’d treat a professional reporter – be conscious of deadlines, ask about convenient times to call or follow-up, and keep to the promises you make.
If you promise to send an image today, sending it in 3 days means that a blogger lost a post for the day, and many bloggers keep finely-tuned editorial calendars, post based on themed days of the week, and have many other products they could be writing about.
- Not Sending Products in a Timely Fashion or Not Sending Them At All. When committing to send a review product, our bloggers state that an email update within a few days of that commitment, either letting the blogger know her product has shipped, or that it will be shipped soon, lets the blogger know that you haven’t just forgotten about her.
“Bloggers are typically excited about the products we review,” explains one blogger. “We aren’t a giant newsroom that’s receiving dozens of products a day to pick and choose from. We hand-pick the products that are interesting to us, and we don’t request products we’re not going to review. If we’ve taken the time to follow up with you and request a product, take the time to send it in the mail.
Forgetting to send a product or shipping it a month later without any follow-up is a major turnoff and will affect how actively I pursue any future opportunities from that publicist, whether or not the product is something I’d love to cover.”
- Treating Bloggers Like Amateurs. A whopping 73% of bloggers cited this as their biggest pet peeve when dealing with PR pros. In addition to the pet peeves listed above, bloggers have cited numerous examples where they’ve been treated like amateurs or, as one blogger put it, “Second Class Media,” as their biggest PR pet peeve.