The PR Professionals Guide to Burned Out Bloggers
February 17, 2015
When I first started reading Burned out Bloggers Guide to PR by Jason Kincaid, I was admittedly a little nervous. Jason starts the book off by saying how much reporters don’t like PR people, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read a book smashing my profession. But, I quickly came to find out that Jason and I agree on many things. One of which is that crappy PR people are the worst. We only have ourselves to blame here folks. We’ve allowed for bad PR to become our defining factor. And now is the time to make practicing good PR our thing. Here are some tips to help have faith restored in us:
Make real relationships:
We’ve all heard this one before. “Build relationships, make contacts, blah blah blah.” Well, I have some news for you: reporters know they are looked at like the door way to your success. Instead of telling them you like hairless rabbits because you recently saw a tweet that referenced them liking hairless rabbits, be real and genuinely try to connect with the person. No one wants to be fake friends with someone, just like reporters don’t want to be exploited all day long. Real relationships in the PR/reporter funnel are a rare breed, but when they are genuine and thoughtful, they just might hold actual value. Relationships should be mutually beneficial. So stop being selfish and be friendly, it’s that simple. Not everyone is going to want to be your friend (just think about elementary school, those were some rough years), but the ones who are will be keepers.
Have a story:
Reporters are fully aware that some pitches are chalk full of BS. Shocking, I know. So lets try something new, lets remove the BS from the pitch and see what we are left with. Anything good still in there? Then proceed to go. If you’re eyes start to glaze over as you read it, do not collect $200 and go straight to jail. Get your angel down first: Why do people need to know this information, why should they care, why are you the person to tell this story? If you’re able to answer these questions without having to add in fluff, chances are you’ll have a good story.
Pro tip: Add an interesting or unique angle to each pitch that relates to that specific reporters beat and style, this just might help your chances. And reduces duplicate stories.
Don’t be wrong:
If you are unsure that the information you are putting out into the world is accurate, omit. Jason says on multiple occasions how much reporters hate to be wrong, and you don’t want to be the one feeding them wrong information. But really, why pitch information that isn’t true? You only run the risk of pissing off the reporter, ruining your relationship with the reporter and never being able to pitch them again, ruining respect from your client for losing said reporter, and all for what? Yea. Just don’t do it. Okay?
Above all else, we need to be better as a group at practicing good PR. We won’t always get it right, we will make mistakes at times; we are only human. As Phoebe would say, “I need to live in a land where people can spill.” And spill you will my friend, but it’s what we take away from the mess ups that help us grow as PR professionals and perfect our craft. There is great value in what we do, but we can’t allow bad PR to taint our worth. So get out and gain some respect back from the people we work with on a daily basis. I’m looking at you burned out bloggers.
Photo Credit: Stuart Seeger