How To Pitch To A Blogger

posted in: Blogging, Public Relations 52 comments


I worked in public relations and marketing for 10 years.

So I know a good PR pitch when I see one.

It makes the PR girl in me rejoice.

Five weeks ago, I received an email in poetry form from a young entrepreneur and app developer, Ben.

He certainly got my attention.

Which got me thinking about the terrible PR pitches I’ve received and how I wish everyone could be like Ben. Consider this a PSA, PR agencies, marketeers and social media consultants, hoping to target bloggers.

How to pitch to a blogger

Be Personal

Not only did Ben’s poem address me by name, he referenced my blog name. It wasn’t a “Dear Mommy Blogger” pitch. Good start. He then went on to reference a few of my recent blog posts, which showed me that he’d actually read my blog before writing to me.

Be Original

PR pitch in a personalized poem form? Yes please. To quote Ben,

“If “But why a poem?” is what you thought,
It’s just cause “PR” can be boring and Cobypic is not.”

Be Efficient

Ben replied to my emails quickly (even though I wasn’t always on the ball as he was), and again, he always mentioned something he’d read in my blog (and something recent too). Yes, we bloggers really like it when we know you’ve read our blogs.

Be The Opposite Of Pushy

Ben’s app, Cobypic is a completely new iPhone and iPad app, developed by a very small and dedicated team. They work hard to get this awesome and fun app to work, and clearly need all the help they can get to get them into the market big time. BUT, he was never pushy. We exchanged maybe 10 emails before I even offered to do anything for Cobypic, as I’d recently decided not to do reviews. He never got impatient, he never bugged me about doing a review. Which I really appreciated.

Be Generous But Not In A Bribe-y Fashion

I’ve had pitches from companies, expecting me to give them something for nothing in return. I’m a blogger, doing this on my own coin, not a journalist, working for a newspaper or magazine, looking for content. I don’t write stuff off a press release. I need something to experience before I can write about an experience yes? Ben gave me the app redemption code to download as soon as Cobypic was launched. I stuffed up the download process when my Internet cut out halfway, and I asked him if I could have another code. He happily gave me one, and suggested I check my iPad to see if maybe I just hadn’t installed the app, which is why I couldn’t see it. Turns out, he was right. But he still gave me another code. Even after I’d told him I don’t actually do reviews.

Although I am not reviewing the app (I’ll just say here, it’s fun, it’s innovative and it’s unique), I want Ben and Cobypic to succeed. So I’m going to recommend it to friends with children, I’m going to tweet the fact that my son and I are enjoying it, and I’m writing this. Which I will post to my Facebook page and Twitter.

Making an effort with PR pitches really work. So stop sending us generic “Dear Mommy Blogger” emails. Take a page from Ben’s book. Because we do know better.


People, do go check out Cobypic and try the app out, it’s really fun! It’s like a coloring book, but you get the colors by taking pictures of objects around you. How cool is that? I do have that extra redemption code, so first one to let me know they want it, they can have it.

Have you received any good or bad PR pitches lately? Share!

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • October 1, 2012 Alex

    I love when PR companies do it right. Great job, Ben!
    I’ll take the coupon too.
    Alex recently wrote…Of course I keep my muffins in the freezer!My Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      It makes my heart happy when I come across PR-savvy folk. Enjoy the app!

  • October 1, 2012 thedoseofreality

    Fantastic post.
    There is truly nothing more validating for a blogger than a good pitch. I recently had one as well, and we are going to go out of our way to help this company. That is the part of blogging and PR that I absolutely adore!
    I am going right this second to purchase that app, because my girls will love it, and because Ben rocks! 🙂
    thedoseofreality recently wrote…Want Your Child’s Artwork To Become Part Of Disney History?My Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      That you want to go out and get the app, means my job here is done 🙂 (thank you for supporting Cobypic, I really want them to succeed!)

  • October 1, 2012 tracy

    Great job, Ben! There are some awesome companies out there. xo
    tracy recently wrote…How I Met My Husband #VlogMomMy Profile

  • October 1, 2012 My Inner Chick

    –You certainly caught my attention w/ this post, Mama A.

    Loooove. Xxx

    Ben Rocks.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Gaga, Madonna, Bitches, & GothsMy Profile

  • October 1, 2012 Ben

    Reviews definitely make me happy, but your post made me smile.

    Thanks for recognizing Cobypic and I for what we do. We’re honestly just having fun and emailing with you was exactly that, so thanks for having fun with me and our app.

    Looking forward to your future posts and future inspiration, like we did with our most recent blog post. Thanks Alison!
    Ben recently wrote…Cobypic is…My Profile

  • October 1, 2012 Lady Jennie

    Cool! Someone did their research.

    Great post for a non-review. 😉 Oh, and so glad your blog is working. I did come back later that day, but on iphone and everything was messed up. It made me think maybe it was because I was on an iphone.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…The Winsome and The WinnerMy Profile

  • October 1, 2012 Vanita

    moments like this i miss having an iPhone. Damian would love this app! we have one for coloring too but it’s the same basic colors all the time. damian asks why can’t he paint with Percy green and THomas blue. this would rock his little socks off. lol. thanks girl.
    and you’re right, PR people can learn a thing or two from Ben.
    Vanita recently wrote…Linkedin You Dirty ScoundrelMy Profile

  • October 1, 2012 Heather

    I’ve just started growing to the point where I have started getting the bad ones. Until then, they were all personal and I wondered how bloggers were getting the “Dear Mommy Blogger” pitches.

    And you’re right, the little details make all the difference in the world!
    Heather recently wrote…Peeling Back the MaskMy Profile

  • October 1, 2012 Blond Duck

    When I was an editor, I’d delete any pitch that addressed me as Maria or Melinda.
    Blond Duck recently wrote…And now for something different…My Profile

  • Great post. Now I wish Ben success, too! Ellen
    Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms recently wrote…Ten Things About Fall That Will Bring You to Your KneesMy Profile

  • October 1, 2012 sarah

    Man, I want to be wooed by a PR dude. What a cool app too. Go you, lady 🙂

  • October 1, 2012 Krysta

    I so appreciate his approach and want to support these kind of peple which is why we’ll be downloading cobypic for my kids.

  • October 1, 2012 Kristin

    Brands that expect bloggers to give them promotional consideration for free that they would otherwise pay to advertise is something I’m planning to write about as well. I recently received a pitch from a PR rep – with whom I’ve previously worked and for whose client I’ve previously written paid posts! – asking me to consider an unpaid promotional post as a “show of faith to his client.”

    I was tempted to turn the offer down flat, but instead took the time to craft a response explaining exactly why I, as a blogger, expect to be compensated fairly for any promotional work I do. The rep, in turn, thanked me for my candor and apologized for asking me to basically write something for nothing, saying that he and his client were still new to blogger outreach and were sure to make mistakes as they navigated these uncharted waters. (Although, he also admitted that they were “testing the waters” to see how bloggers responded to certain pitches, which I felt was rather smarmy as some bloggers don’t recognize the value of their time and work and actually would do an otherwise sponsored post for free).

    In any case, after all of that, the client did decide they were willing to compensate me for the post. So, I feel like I turned the experience into what I like to call a “teachable moment” when I’m dealing with my 3YO – which, let’s face it, brands can often act like. And I thought such an experience would be a good one to share with other brands and bloggers as well. Because a lot of brands AND bloggers just really don’t get it.
    Kristin recently wrote…Friday Tapas: The Meat Loaf EditionMy Profile

    • October 1, 2012 Kristin

      P.S. Kudos to Ben for doing it the right way.
      Kristin recently wrote…Friday Tapas: The Meat Loaf EditionMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      I look forward to reading this, because you’re right, there are bloggers out there who don’t know the finer details of how PR works, and are so eager to get their feet wet, they say yes to everything. And go you for turning that pitch around!

  • October 1, 2012 Robin

    That’s totally awesome. Good for him.
    Robin recently wrote…Birth ConversationsMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Thanks Robin, and yes!

  • October 1, 2012 Natalie

    This is great advice Mrs. PR 🙂 You have mad skills!
    Natalie recently wrote…Five Years and Here’s to Many More!My Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      I did do PR for a living! 🙂

  • October 2, 2012 Jessica

    It’s nice to see that a PR person took time to be original. Really helps them to stand out.
    Jessica recently wrote…Comfy, Cozy, And Cute FTW!My Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Yes, exactly.

  • October 2, 2012 Jessica

    These are all fabulous tips! I hate generic emails that ask me to do something that is not really in my best interest but is worded in such a way that I should think its in my best interest. You know those emails? I hate them!

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, I know those emails!

  • October 2, 2012 Anna

    yay ben and team – an inspiration to pr people everywhere!
    Anna recently wrote…31 Days of Halloween: Day 1 – Cat Halloween CostumesMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Yay indeed!

  • October 2, 2012 Christine

    I appreciate when someone actually treats you like a person and respects the relationship building aspect of it. I love when PR companies just assume that you’re independently wealthy since you blog and get all huffy when you ask about compensation. Great job Ben!! And now, I’m seriously curious about this app!
    Christine recently wrote…Best.Foodie.Pen.Pal.Ever.My Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      You should really check it out, your boys will love it!
      (and OMG, people think bloggers are rich?? Hahahahaha)

  • October 2, 2012 Kristen

    Sadly, I do not get any pitches…good ones or bad ones. A poem is pretty clever though and I am totally vain…I love when people use my name! 😉
    Kristen recently wrote…Sisters With PrideMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      It’s totally awesome when someone takes the time to personalize a pitch, that’s the way to a blogger’s heart!

  • October 2, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    That’s awesome, Alison! And good for Ben…I hope his business succeeds. And with your help it probably will 🙂
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Through the LensMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      I hope he does well too! And whatever help I can give him, I most certainly will 🙂

  • October 2, 2012 Kimberly

    It’s nice to see when somebody does their research before reaching out. Good job, Ben!
    Kimberly recently wrote…Exactly What I NeededMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Right?? Wish everyone would do the same.

  • October 2, 2012 April

    I’m visiting from SITS! I will definitely have to check out that app…sounds like something I’d enjoy! Have a great day!
    April recently wrote…Dance The Night AwayMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Although it’s designed for kids, I admit I played with it for a little while.
      OK, 15 minutes 🙂

  • October 2, 2012 Barbara

    Love that someone did their research! Way to go Ben! And I love that he also commented. Bonus points.
    Barbara recently wrote…Just Another MondayMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Yes, totally bonus points!

  • October 2, 2012 Jess

    Well said!!! I hope your message gets heard! And hopefully more Ben’s out there to come!

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Amen to Bens.:)

  • Job well done Ben!
    I just hate it when I get a pitch that starts with ‘Dear Mommy’ or even worse ‘Mommy Dearest’.

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      “Mommy Dearest”?? Oh. Em. Gee.

  • October 4, 2012 Stasha

    I love supporting young and talented. Tis is such a great post Alison, it really shows how amazing you are at your profession ( both PR exec and blogger! )
    Stasha recently wrote…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      You’re so sweet, Stasha, thank you!

  • October 5, 2012 adrienne

    Good job, Ben! Informative Alison! 🙂
    adrienne recently wrote…5 Places Your Teen Son is Sure to Go!My Profile

    • October 5, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Adrienne!

  • October 5, 2012 Galit Breen

    Love the tips, the conversation, and of course the non-review review!
    Galit Breen recently wrote…The Big Gay RaceMy Profile

    • October 5, 2012 Alison

      Hee! Non-review review, indeed. You see right through me, my friend. xo

  • October 20, 2012 Tonya

    I too worked in marketing and PR for 10+ years before becoming a mom and a good pitch is worth gold!

    I laugh out loud at some of the ridiculous e-mails I get wanting me to review a product or cover a topic on my blog. The misspellings alone are horrendous.

    Oh, and I love the fact that they often refer to Lucas as a she.

    Glad to Ben was the complete opposite!
    Tonya recently wrote…Dear BabyMy Profile

    • October 20, 2012 Alison

      It’s good blog fodder though, right? 🙂

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