Home / Content Marketing / How to Pitch an Influencer, Blogger, or Journalist

How to Pitch an Influencer, Blogger, or Journalist

In the past, I’ve written about how to NOT pitch a blogger. The saga continues as I get an endless stream of unprepared public relations professions who don’t have the information I need to promote their client’s products or services.

It took a while to actually get a pitch that was worth showing. I received an email from a social media strategist with Supercool Creative. Supercool is a creative agency specializing in online video creative and production, viral marketing, video seeding, integrated social media campaigns, viral videos, branded entertainment and webisodes. This is an incredible email!

Features of a Great Blog Pitch

  1. The pitch was personalized. I typically receive a blanket cut and paste. I delete those pitches immediately. If you can’t learn who I am, why should I listen to you?
  2. The pitch succinctly tells me the information. Most PR folks simply cut and paste a ridiculous press release into the body of the email.
  3. The pitch provides me with a quote to enter directly into my blog post!
  4. The pitch includes a link to the actual story (and where I can reference and point my visitors to).
  5. The pitch tells me different ways I could utilize the information! This is when I welled up in tears… sniff. Imagine that… to save me time, Darci had already thought about how I could act on the information… and adds a note to contact her if I have any questions.
  6. The pitch provides background on the expert and why he’s important enough to listen to.
  7. The pitch closes with Darci’s actual name, title and company (which I even looked up!)
  8. The pitch has an opt-out! PR folks often send cut and paste emails out of Outlook – a direct violation of the CAN-SPAM act.

This is a near perfect email… I’d rate it a solid B+. The only tiny piece of information missing is a leap that I don’t think too many PR folks would care to take – but it would have been great to hear why it would have been relevant to my audiences. A simple few words in the email like, “I noticed the Marketing Technology Blog has spoken about video and social media in the past, so I thought this would be of interest to you…”.

About Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of The Marketing Technology Blog. Doug is the CMO of CircuPress and CEO of DK New Media, an agency specializing in assisting marketing technology companies with their inbound marketing - leveraging social media, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click and public relations. Their clients include Angie's List, GoDaddy, Mindjet and many more. Douglas is also the author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies.

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  1. Hi Douglas

    Thanks for sharing this – really interesting. As someone who sits on the PR fence, and as a blogger myself (although not important enough to get pitched!), it’s very helpful to see the sort of pitches that work. Great learning opportunity, so thank you!

    One thing I am surprised about though is point 5. I run a small but effective PR/Marketing team as my day job, and occasionally receive this sort of pitch (and rarely, make them as well).
    In the pitches I’ve made, I’ve never included the sort of information contained in point 5, because I assume that the people I’ve pitched can think of these things for themselves – and I don’t want to tell them how to do their jobs (equally I get a little annoyed when people do that to me).
    However, your post is making me rethink that position!

    I totally agree about personalisation though – so important especially considering the hyperconnected nature of the ‘modern’ communications function.

    So, thanks again!

  2. Im taking the dissenting view here. What in the heck does political video and political social marketing have to do with you or the Marketing Tech blog? #1 its not “personalized” sure it has your name in it but who cant access that and have it auto import into the email (I think an ex employer of yours is good at that) #5 I agree with interacter completely about not putting that info in, you should know the best way to use the info for your audience but the link to a tweet is a nice idea. Basically just because most other PR pitches suck doesnt make this good, it just makes it less sucky than the others. This pitch would be better served going to someone in the political realm in my opinion.

    As an aside anyone who markets themselves as viral anything loses credibility with me (but probably gains search and eyeballs for using that term)

    • Politics and marketing are hand in hand, Chris. I would argue that it was marketing that landed Obama in office. His ‘campaign’ of hope and change was devoured by voters. His use of followers and influencers was pretty amazing, truly a grass roots movement. RE: #1, I kind of agree with you. My point was that Darci did actually come check us out before pitching… something most batch and blast PR firms do not do.

  3. Doug, how would you recommend someone create an opt-out link for an email when it is written for just one person (blogger or journalist) and sent to that one person and it’s not connected to a list in an email marketing platform?

    Most legit PR folks don’t send mass email pitches so I don’t know how an opt-out would be possible. Obviously, if a company subscribes you to its marketing emails (without your opt in), that’s a different story.

    • Hi Carri! Actually many of the legit PR folks do send mass emails. Most of the PR platforms allow you to select all your journalists and bloggers and then send. Some, like Meltwater (a sponsor) have Unsubscribe features on their platform but most of the others don’t. If you don’t have a business relationship, you really need a program that will log the opt-out. Outlook and Gmail just don’t cut it. I suppose one means would be to use a tool like Formstack and just have folks fill in a form (or a Google Form on an spreadsheet)… but that’s tough to keep track of.

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