Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 25, 200712:12 PM

Bloggers, Citizen Journalists And The Traditional News Outlets

I've been wondering about the notion of "titles" lately. In past lives, I've been a professional journalist. I've been Blogging (and Podcasting) for quite some time now and there are moments where I've had some form of "scoop" that I've discovered and divulged the way we're seeing many Citizen Journalists do (which could be something as simple as snapping a picture on a mobile device at the scene of an accident and uploading it). And yet, none of the titles seem applicable to me.

The reason this topic piqued my interest lately is because I was sent a unsolicited email pitch to learn more about a white paper covering the topic of pitching to Bloggers. It made me laugh. My email is probably stuck on some out-dated database that has me listed as a Journalist. So, here I am: business owner, Blogger, Podcaster, Citizen Journalist and - when time permits - Freelance Journalist (oh, the whore-like nature of my existence ;) and I get this in my email:

"Countless accounts of 'PR Flaks' who have spammed bloggers, mis-targeted pitches or just plain gotten blogger relations wrong fill the Internet. Don't risk finding your next pitch blasted on your favorite blog!"

The email itself is a paradox. I took it as, "hey, this is how you should pitch Bloggers for optimal PR," and yet it was sent to me as a mass email with no personalization or acknowledgment as to why this might be relevant to me. My guess is the content of the white paper should have been consulted prior to this email blast.

The point of this post is not to hurt the company that sent this. The bigger thought comes from walking the talk. It's easy to talk the talk. You can create a white paper that focuses on best practices for pitching Bloggers, but if you don't walk the talk and use those best practices to spread the word, you're part of the problem and not the solution.

I don't think any Blogger is interested in being pitched to. I do think that every Blogger is open to hearing from brands and marketers who understand their content, their community and have something to add to the conversation. I was never big on titles, but if you are going to split hairs to figure out who's a Blogger and who's a Journalist, those definitions better be clearly defined and agreed upon_ by all parties.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Serge Vallières
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch, I really like the way you approach this subject. As a PR practicionners, I think its our responsibility to understand the content we are pitching and to also have a good understanding of our audiences. The era of controlled message doesn't exist anymore. I will end my comment by leaving a question that you might want to answer. How can we advise our clients that the information (external communication) coming from company need to be share with every audiences? I mean what is the essence of communicate information towards different publics without accepting to share it with them...

    Best regards,

    By the way,SPOS #51 was good ! It was my first time in the podcast world...

    My next step is to create my own blog, but I feel like I need to find my angle prior to start this summer project.

    Serge Vallières
    McGill Student and young professionnal in PR

    Reply
  • Posted by Mitch Joel
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks for the comment Serge. It's a big question that you are asking. I'll do my best to explain, but I think you should also call it in as an audio comment to Inside PR and For Immediate Release Podcasts - those guys are the PR experts.

    From my point of view, I think - like social media - we need to connect more to our audiences. By doing that, we need to understand them as individuals instead of treating them all like one big group called "media."

    I know it's a lot more work and my guess is that your hit-rate will decrease. But, the ones that you do connect with should bring in more abundant and intense coverage... I would hope.

    Reply
  • It reminds me of the time I got an e-mail newsletter from a well-known e-mail marketing software firm, talking about how to avoid falling in the spam box of your newsletter subscribers and how their solution was good at avoiding that. I found the newsletter in my Gmail spam filter...

    Reply
Add a Comment

Please complete all the fields below, including the spam filter (to prove you're not a robot).

  1. Fill in your email address to have your Gravatar photo included with your comment.
  2. Please type the word pixels here: