November 29, 2011

A Blog Post about PR and Blogging - By A Blogger and PR Warrior.

I have met the PR Warrior (AKA Trevor Young,  AKA Trev) around the blogging traps. And for a while I always got him confused with the OTHER blogging master Darren Rowse. I cannot imagine why.... Can you?


I am thinking of insisting on some DNA tests to confirm that they are indeed two different people,  but I have seen them in the same room before so I know they are not one and the same. But both are leaders in their fields and very generous with their knowledge. So when I asked Trevor if he could spread his Public Relations wisdom to bloggers who read this blog, he ponied up the info within 12 hours. A study in efficiency!

PR Pitches: Bin the crap but keep an eye out for the gold!

GUEST POST by Trevor Young, Edelman Australia *

I’ve attended a number of blogger events recently - including Nuffnang Blogopolis and the Problogger Training Day in Melbourne - at which there was much discussion from participants regarding the hassle many were having dealing with PR people.

“They don’t understand what my blog is about.”

“I keep getting pitched irrelevant stuff.”

These are the types of comments I hear often from bloggers, and fair enough too - but there is a flip side.

(Interestingly, I also attended the biggest blogger confab in the world - BlogWorld LA 2011 - and I didn’t hear much chat on this subject except at one presentation that was all about “How to make the most of the blogger/agency relationship”).

I’ve seen and heard a lot of scorn poured in the direction of the PR profession and to a degree I empathise (and in some instances, agree wholeheartedly). There are some in our industry who still treat journalists like spam buckets, so if I was a blogger I wouldn’t be holding my breath expecting ‘best practice pitching’ any time soon.

Firstly, it’s important to re-frame your situation: Getting crap pitches is a good sign! It means you are getting noticed and recognised as an influential blogger. Mark that down as a huge positive!

The key thing is don’t let it get to you. You will receive stupid, irrelevant pitches (and not all will be from PR people by the way). And the more popular and/or influential you become, the more crap you will be served up. I would dearly love to say every pitch you receive will be interesting and exciting and relevant, but I can’t. The world doesn’t work that way. Bin the crap and move on!

But here’s the kicker - don’t become frustrated or complacent. Stay focused on your end game and make sure your ‘opportunity radar’ stays on full alert.

You may receive some pitches that at first blush are a bit off the mark but in reality might be a good opportunity in disguise (not full hair and make-up, more a false Groucho Marx nose and glasses).

Bottom line is, it’s bloody difficult for a PR person to get every pitch absolutely perfect; conversely, sometimes the pitch is pretty spot-on but for whatever reason the blogger can’t see it (yes, this does happen, even with seasoned journalists - we’re not talking an exact science here).

It’s worth taking into account some PR agencies flick ‘blogger outreach’ to their more junior staff who are still learning the caper. It’s not ideal, but it is what it is. Understand and be empathetic to this fact.

Lastly, identify and work with the ‘good’ PR people ( you’ll quickly work out who they are) - don’t dismiss them out of hand but befriend them, trust them, listen to their pitches (but also challenge them as you see fit, educate along the way as necessary). Do this and I’m convinced you’ll see benefits over the long term because a solid network of PR peeps can be an incredibly valuable resource for bloggers in so many ways.


● How to make your blog more desirable to brands (and their PR people).
Building your personal brand so its transcends your blog.

* Trevor is both a blogger and a PR practitioner. He works in a strategic role with leading PR firm Edelman Australia; he blogs at and runs the Australian blogging website, Follow on Twitter @trevoryoung.

What is the most bizarre PR pitch you have ever received?
Mine was a request to review a new type of tampon.
(Please note that this is Mrs Woog asking the question. Not Trevor)
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