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Pitching To Social Media

_This article is by Guest Contributor Kate Trgovac, reports on the recent “BlogOn”: conference in New York City._
The “Pitching To Social Media” panel was one of the more hotly contended at BlogOn2005 and really polarized “old-school” bloggers who see this as another attempt at exploitation by Big Business and “new-school” marketers who are trying to find their way (still) around a new media and are making mistakes. It was moderated by Cathy Brooks, VP at Porter Novelli and included “Jeremy Pepper”:, Founder & President, POP! Public Relations and Andrew Carton, Editor, “Treonauts”:
Brooks opened the conversation with the question “Should PR firms pitch bloggers? Yes or No?” The answer: “It depends.”
Then all hell broke loose.

Pepper, a PR professional and long-time blogger, brought a unique perspective to the discussion, now that he is on both sides of the pitching. He says he has modified his own pitch tactic as a result of his experience as a blogger. He says send one paragraph via email with a good subject line, sum-up who you are and what the product is, ask for a meeting or if they want a sample. Done. Pepper also shared his suggestions on what you do as a blogger when you get pitched and don’’ want to be – ask to be taken off the media list.
Carton offered his perspective as a product blogger. Treonauts is about relevancy. If a blog isn’t relevant to its community, its popularity will fade. Therefore, only write about what is relevant. “So take the time to find out what my blog is about and only pitch to me if your content is relevant.”
Fair enough.
I wish the audience had been as moderate as these two gentlemen. A couple of people (marketers and PR folks beginning this social media journey) tried to ask questions about how they can appropriately pitch (or engage conversations) with bloggers, but old-school folks in the audience continued to push a business exploitation angle.
If you are in PR and want to engage social media, I encourage you to read and connect with Jeremy’s blog. He was very engaging and thoughtful about social media and I wish we had heard more from him.
_Kate Trgovac is currently Manager, Web Evolution for Petro-Canada. Prior to joining Petro-Canada, Kate spent eight years developing user experience strategies for clients at several interactive agencies in Toronto. She writes about technology, branding, user-experience and other topics of note on her blog “”: ._

One Comment

  1. Cathy Brooks
    Cathy Brooks November 12, 2005

    The perspective shared by this account of the panel definitely strikes a chord with me.
    When we were preparing to go on stage, we were all joking about hoping for some Jerry Springer-like theatrics. Alas, a few feisty comments from the crowd had to satisfy me during this panel.
    My main takeaway from this panel, and indeed from much of the conference, is that we in the PR community have been given a call to action.
    I’ve written my thoughts on it, at and would welcome additional discourse on the topic.
    Who knows, maybe if we can get a conversation started we can figure out some ways to ease the transition into the exploding realm of social media.

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