13 Rules of Ethical Blog Pitching

People are still wrapping their arms around what a social media agency can do for them, so one of the questions I get asked a lot is, “Can’t you go out to the bloggers and pitch them to write about us?”

The answer, I suppose, is yes, even if that’s 1/1000ths of what a social media agency can do, and not really the idea behind true social media marketing.

Nevertheless, the popularity is causing the A-list bloggers to bristle at being pitched all the time, so Ogilvy PR has come up with a good code of ethics to use when you reach out to bloggers. I’ve summarized it briefly here, but it’s worth a read:

  1. Reach out to bloggers you respect, who write about what your client wants to talk about;
  2. Every social media campaign doesn’t need blogger outreach, use it appropriately;
  3. Admit who you work for and what you want, right from the beginning;
  4. Check the blogs “About” and similar pages to make sure they haven’t requested no contact;
  5. Contact bloggers the way they ask to be contacted;
  6. Don’t pretend you’ve read a blog you haven’t;
  7. Say in the email why what you’re saying is of particular interest to this blog;
  8. Be sure you can be contacted if the blogger is interested;
  9. Encourage bloggers to acknowledge they were contacted to do a post;
  10. The blogger can say whatever they think about the product, even if it’s really unflattering;
  11. Ogilvy promises to keep a “do not call” list of those who’ve asked not to be disturbed;
  12. If an interested blogger doesn’t reply, follow-up only once;
  13. The first outreach will include a link to the blog outreach code of ethics.

This is a great start. Blogging has been the wild west, but like the wild west, we’ll need some sheriff’s and some laws. Ogilvy’s post is a good start down that path.

What do you think. What’s missing?

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