How NOT To Pitch A Blogger

A little while back we received the following email to the .eduGuru Staff that came through the Contact Us form.  People use the form to contact us about all sort of things from guest blogging (if you are interested and have a solid and relevant to our audience post we are always interested), to sales pitches, to just trying to contact a certain individual on the team.  Now what made this one stand out so much is the fact that they called us a “company” and weren’t even personal in directing their inquiry at a specific individual on our team.  The person, who shall remain nameless, obviously knows very little about this site or the people who write on this blog other than the fact we have a little influence in this niche that they would like to tap.

In case you have trouble reading the image:

Hello, I work for a online mkt company for the education industry and would like to discuss opportunities for working together with your company. Please contact me so we can set up a time to talk. I look forward to hearing back from you! Regards, XXXXXXX

I mean I thought we make it pretty obvious about how to contact individuals as we all have ways to contact each author at the end of each post and a whole “about us” section with a little detail about each of us.  Bottom line is we are hard not to recognize on this site and this person simply didn’t do ANY homework to try and identify and talk to any of us directly.  We talk a whole lot about social media on this site so I guess we just kind of would expect PR people to at least know something about one of us?  Am I asking to much here?

What is even more surprising is that that looking at the corporate website they have a clean professional looking website (although watch out Associate Directorthe whole site is designed in tables instead of divs) that looks mostly well optimized (from an SEO/usability perspective), clear CTAs, and even a corporate blog (although it does look a little mechanical in the fact that posts are written exactly every seven days and the pictures all look straight from iStockPhoto).

Right Ways To Pitch A Blogger

So let’s talk about some ways to properly pitch a blogger.

  1. Social Media - especially Twitter.  Twitter has become a favorite outlet for PR and marketing professionals.  LinkedIn isn’t all that bad either.  I mean come on… if we are blogging we are MOST LIKELY highly tuned into social media don’t you think?  The point being that you should make a connection with these individuals before flying in blindly expecting a call from us.  WE ARE BUSY PEOPLE.
  2. Make a Connection - along with Social Media it’s important to initially establish some sort of common ground.  How do I know you?  Why should I care about you and what you do?  Have we meet before have you been adding value to the community already?  Which leads right into my next point.
  3. Start Out Offering Something Back - I don’t get contacted all the time but from time to time I’ve been contacted with people asking me to do something for them.  .eduGuru is no New York Times or a TechCrunch, but we do provide value to our audience and we respect their time they spend reading our content.  If you want to waste my time to use our influence to target our audience you BETTER be offering us and our audience something of value and you BETTER make sure that I know it out of the gate.

So what do you think?  Should I have contacted the individual back?  What tips do you have on pitching someone?

This post was written by:

Founder - who has written 226 posts on .eduGuru

Founderis currently the Customer in Residence at HubSpot, a Co-Founder at nuCloud and  formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. Founderis an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

Ways to Connect with Kyle


9 Responses to “How NOT To Pitch A Blogger”

  1. Says:

    Spam, spam, spam, spam. I wouldn’t even go as far as saying they know your influence in the niche. These people just target anything and everything with a form or email on the site. These come through my blog every week, straight to the trashcan every time.

    • Says:

      No this is actually a legit company (I say it is legit anyway) with a real website that sells tools and resources to educational clients.

  2. Says:

    I think I’d rather have a good old-fashioned honest pitch like this one than have them build a phoney relationship with me through social media and then start pitching. At least this way you can make an instant assessment (delete!).

  3. Says:

    Actually, a little while ago, I tried sending email to a few people directly on eduGuru and all of them got bounced. So, maybe this person had the same thing happen and used the contact form instead.

    Based on the email you list, it seems like the person is just doing a cold-call and hoping for the best. Lots of sales people are judged on the amount of contacts they try (easily measured), not the quality of the try. Since email is essentially free and email templates are easy to setup, I’d assume more “cold calls” will become “cold emails.”

  4. Says:

    Kyle, if I were you, I have probably throw this email into the trash bin after I read it. Go figure, it’s very important to write in correct and proper language, especially when you’re contacting a stranger for the very first time! Honestly, not everyone know about the meaning of “mkt”, as it can be referred to many different forms…

  5. Says:

    I think these are fairly common sense terms in order to correctly pitch a blogger. Its amazing how inconsiderate sometimes people are, I agree try to connect with me first before you start blasting me with spam!

  6. Says:

    Yes! I am so tired of form letter emails that feel like they were sent to 3 thousand other websites that day. I usually just delete them. If they even bothered to use my name and be specific I might actually reply. Thanks for the article!

  7. Says:

    Hey! Just thought I’d chime in. I truly loved your opinion. Keep up the great effort.


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