Five Tips For Pitching Me

As time goes on and the number of readers of this site slowly grows, I’m receiving an ever-increasing number of pitches from people hoping that I’ll write about their product, service or news. Very few of them are any good.

Occasionally I receive a good pitch. Sometimes I’ll even write about good blogger outreach. On the other hand, if I receive a bad pitch there’s a chance I may write about that too.

I’m open to people pitching me. If you read my site over time, then you already know me and you probably know how I like to be pitched. However, I know how the communications business works. Unfortunately, if you have a new client or you’re new to an account the chances are fairly high that you won’t have the time (or budget, for that matter) to dig way back in every blogger’s archives to see what they’ve written about pitching.

So, today I’m following in the footsteps of people like Jason Falls and Todd Defren have also done – I’m publishing a set of tips on how to pitch me. When I have a spare second, I’ve also added this to my blog header so it’s available on every page of this site.

I don’t need special treatment (quite frankly I’m astonished that anyone wants me to write about them). In general, if you follow these tips you’ll likely do ok pitching most bloggers. If, on the other hand, you send me what I consider a bad pitch:

  1. I’m not going to read it
  2. You’re wasting your time and/or your client’s money.

Hopefully this will help at least one person to change the way they approach pitching. If you have your own site, you may want to consider doing the same thing yourself. Who knows, it may help to improve the pitches you receive. If not, at least you’ll have a page to point people to when they spam you.

Five (plus one) tips

If you’re about to pitch me, I have five tips for you (plus one for luck):

  1. Know what I write about
  2. Know where I live
  3. Remember my name
  4. Write to me personally
  5. Use the ‘to’ field in your email
  6. Bonus: Get to know me first

#1: Know what I write about

I write about social media, communications and marketing. If your pitch isn’t about one of those topics, you should refine your target list.

#2: Know where I live

I live in Toronto. If your event is in San Francisco and you’re not planning to fly me down there, I’m not likely to be interested. If it’s in Toronto, however, you’re on the mark.

#3: Remember my name

It’s in the URL of the blog and at the top of every page. It’s Dave Fleet. Not “Dear Blogger” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” Thanks!

#4: Write to me personally

I’m a person. I appreciate a personal email that acknowledges why the pitch is relevant to me, breaks the ice and shows that I’m not just another email address on a list. I don’t mind if you copy a press release at the bottom of the email, or provide me with a link. If that’s all you send me, though, I’m not reading past the headline.

#5: Use the ‘to’ field in your email

Simply put, if you ‘bcc’ me on an email it’s game over. Odds are that if you follow the other guidelines above, you won’t do this.

#6: Bonus: Get to know me first

I’m more likely to read your email if I already know you. It doesn’t guarantee that I’ll write about your topic – especially if you don’t follow the other tips here – but the odds go up substantially. I’m not hard to find – try here.

Sound reasonable to you?

  • Great post! As a freelancer, blogger and journalist I get tons of emails just like the ones you mentioned. Nothing gets under my skin more than people who don’t do their ‘homework’.

    Thanks so much for that post. The same rules can, should be and most always are applied to those pitching writers as well!

  • May be it’s because I’m in San Francisco 😉 that I felt I would comment. Many years ago I was in an organization who used to send letter with ‘dear xyz customer’ -> so impersonal. One smart guy decided to revamp our comm and, amongst many things, decided the name of the person should be in the letter.
    May be another (optional tip) – Find a particular post you wrote that is very relevant to the pitch. It’s even more personal, it really shows one has read your blog and, equipped with deep knowledge about what you write, decided to go ahead and contact you -> you already have a relationship (through content) before having one (though personal, well virtual, contact).