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.