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PRBC has talked a lot about blogger outreach from the PR side (see: Pitch Problems
and Need Blogger Outreach? A Case Study in How NOT to Do It.
This post is about bloggers reaching out to PR professionals.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are unscrupulous content producers in content farms looking to get as many clicks on their links as possible. Some of the content creators have gotten more and more sophisticated in their techniques, some might even go so far as to call some of these techniques deceptive. For example, you might have seen pitches similar to this one:
“This is (NAME), I went through your site (YOUR BLOG SITE) while surfing in Google, am very much impressed with your site’s unique informations.
I work as a content writer in many educational communities and love the opportunity to guest post for your readers. I would like to give you a unique article on any education related topics or you can also suggest me any education related topic. No duplication or copying of the article is done. I assure you that the article will be published only on your site.
The best part is I won’t be charging you a penny, but in return all I need is just one link with in the article. I would be really thankful, if you allow me to do relevant informative guests post in your blog.
Looking forward for a positive reply.
Aside from the language and grammar issues, the warning bells should go off regarding the outside link, particularly if the author is writing on a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with the link they want to use.
The response more PR Pros use to these kinds of mass email pitches (if they respond at all) is probably something like:
We won’t published previously mass-published posts, but if you would be interested in writing something specifically for us for our audience of (TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC), we would be happy to consider it for our blog. However, since we are not [related to the link you want to use] focused, we would not be able to link to website. Again, you can see our blog guidelines here: (YOUR WEBSITE).
Often the subsequent emails completely disregard your reply. These come across as mass-produced and set to a follow-up timer. This is also when a misinformed blogger can come across as abrasive.
Have you had a chance to publish these articles yet?
(Submitted Article Title)
(Submitted Article Title)
If so, could you please provide the URL?
And it gets even worse when the exact same email is sent every week for six weeks.
And yet, for the personalized touch, on the seventh week, something different:
You are receiving this email because in the last couple of months, we sent you an article or two.
We never received confirmation that you published it. So, please do NOT publish it in the future. We are sending it to another blogger. If you publish it, it will be duplicate content.
PR Pros are expected to be professional in their communications with bloggers. Shouldn’t we expect the same from them?
A 2005 graduate of the University of Missouri’s Journalism School, Aurora spent several years covering education-related issues in Missouri, Texas and Washington, D.C., before returning to Columbia, Mo. The active Alpha Chi Omega alumna serves as the Online Communications Coordinator for the Missouri State Teachers Association and runs a successful communications and consulting business. Outside of the office, Aurora enjoys running, and is training for her fifth half marathon. Her two biggest fans are her husband and cat, but only one of them cheers her on at all the big races.
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