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 Nick the 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?