Today’s GOOD(!) PITCH submission comes from Lindsay Bell, the fabuloso content director over at Spin Sucks. Why did she like it? It was humanized… and relevant.
There is a certain irony that, as PR professionals who earn a living based on our pitching skills, our own industry blogs are smothered with a constant deluge of bad pitches. You’d think the difficult part would be picking from so many GOOD ones and that all are relevant but, alas, that is SO not the case.
I’m not convinced it is related so much to PR pros, though, as it is the fact that so many MARKETING generalists (and entrepreneurs) are taking on PR with little or no PR-specific training.
If this isn’t the case, please, I’m begging you. Don’t burst my delusional bubble. It would just be too darn depressing.
(Names and email content used in this post are included with permission from both the original sender and the publisher, lest you think I’m doing something sneaky.)
On Jul 24, 2014, at 8:42 AM, John Larkin (kudos, John!) wrote:
My name is John Larkin, from PropelAd. We make software that helps eCommerce stores advertise and retarget to people on Facebook. We also run a popular eCommerce marketing blog. It features unique, inhouse, longform content about three times a week on all facets of eCommerce marketing.
I personally have spoken at a number of Facebook Advertising conferences and events, as well as eCommerce meetups, Startup events, and an occasional podcast. All on the topic of Facebook advertising, and how to make the most from it.
I would love the opportunity to guest post on your blog, not for link building purposes but to help raise a bit of awareness of our own blog which we work really hard at. I would be delighted to write an in-depth article about Facebook that your audience would find really useful & hopefully interesting! I would also engage with them in the comments after the fact.
What do you think, is this an opportunity we could explore?
Thanks in advance!
This isn’t the best pitch I’ve ever seen – it doesn’t even include any specific post ideas – but it was honest, it included a decent amount of information and it won Lindsay’s attention. These days, that’s a feat in itself, right?
Using a similar formula for your own pitches won’t cause any facepalm moments.
I like that he showcased his experience, was honest about why he wanted to write a guest post and was specific about his topical areas of expertise.
What I didn’t care for is that he felt it necessary to mention he wasn’t doing it for linkbuilding. It’s like a coming home to a child that quickly tells you he didn’t eat the last cupcake when frosting is smeared around his mouth. I find those who feel the need to mention it are the very ones who are thinking of it the most. Anyway, who cares if someone wants a link? As long as the content is fabulous, nobody cares if you want the link.
Kudos in a major way for saying his main goal was to build awareness of his blog, however. Well-said and nicely honest.
I also thought he probably could have eliminated many emails back and forth if he included specific headline ideas in his very first email. Publishers are busy. Make it easy on them.
Here’s her response…
First, let me say what a refreshing pitch this was. Kudos for actually being a human being!
Second, I want to connect you with Jess Ostroff (cc’ed here). Jess is the powerhouse who deals with our guest bloggers. She can work with you on your post, and answer any questions you might have.
Great to meet you. I’ll let the two of you take it from here!
Whoot! His pitch worked. In a side email, Lindsay mentioned one of the biggest selling points in his pitch was his remark about engaging with readers in the comments after is post ran. HIgh five, John!
He then wrapped it up with this last email, before shifting the conversation over to Jess.
The verdict is still out whether or not I am human hah :)
Jess, could you send me on any guest posting criteria & guidelines you may have? Also, any preference as to what type of post I might write? Happy to write about a broad range of topics, anything to do with Facebook marketing or eCommerce / small business marketing in general.
His questions are good ones, but earn him a slap on the wrist for asking something already on the Spin Sucks website.
That’s it for this critique. What do you think of John’s pitch? If I see a post show up on Spin Sucks with his name on it, I’ll share it in the comments so you can see the end result.
If you want to pitch Lindsay for a guest post on Spin Sucks, don’t forget to check out those guidelines first and be familiar with her audience. If you REALLY want to win her heart, make sure you are subscribed, then join the SS community by posting comments for a few weeks before you pitch her. She might even send you cupcakes.
Don’t forget to email me if you have a pitch to submit for an upcoming column!