Pitch Perfect: Getting a blogger’s attention

Jasper and Tucker and Calvin tails

Receiving a great pitch is as rare an occurrence as my dogs and cats snuggling together.

Ain’t got time for bad pitches

As a  blogger, I get all kinds of pitches for products, books and events that people would like me to write about.

Some I trash, like the ones that have nothing to do with what I blog about. (Example: Treating Migraines Without Medication. Really? I write about dogs and cats. Though admittedly, sometimes they can be a headache, but still…)

Some I ignore or give a cursory glance over. (Like the ones that say merely “News release attached and copied below.”)

Some I read, but won’t write about either because I don’t believe in the product,  it wouldn’t work for my pets, it doesn’t align with my brand, or the story isn’t interesting to me (gear for small dogs, retractable leashes, electronic fences).

And some I respond to, with the understanding that without a paid contract, I do not promise anything other than consideration, and a possible test of the product. If I like it,  I’ll write about it, though I rarely write straight reviews; more often I write a story and the product is featured in it.

A good pitch catches my attention

As a communications professional, I appreciate a good pitch.

One that is well written, with no typos or awkward grammar.

One that is targeted toward me and my brand.

One that includes my name, or shows that the person has actually visited my site.

One that shows personality or even some humor.

A perfect pitch is a rare creature, and very effective

Then there is that extremely rare pitch. I’m talking unicorn rare. Blue moon rare. My cats and dogs actually lying next to each other on purpose rare. One that is so good, it stops me in my tracks.

I got one of those yesterday from Chloe Licht of Light Years Ahead, and it is so awesome that I am quoting it in its entirety below, as a case study for a perfect pitch.

Dear Susan -
It’s the“Me-OW” heard – and Instagrammed — around the world. This weekend, Taylor Swift’s kitty Meredith apparently decided to write her name in a blank space on her famous human’s $40 million leg. And chances are the singer won’t be able to “shake it off” any time soon. Wounds as dramatic as that tend to leave red, raised visible scars.
Meredith might be off the hook though, since there’s a great non-invasive scar fading solution on drugstore shelves. Can I send you some information about ScarAway’s Silicone Scar Sheets and Gel – an effective way to fade and flatten scars resulting from a pet scratch or bite?
Best regards,
Chloe Licht

Why is this pitch perfect? Let me break it down for you.

Dear Susan - [She used my name.]
It’s the“Me-OW” heard – and Instagrammed — around the world. [A great opening line that informs me that the pitch is cat-related, and is very, very funny.]

This weekend, Taylor Swift’s kitty Meredith apparently decided to write her name in a blank space on her famous human’s $40 million leg. [In case I didn’t get what Chloe was referring to, she explains it in a clever — and quite humorous — way.]

And chances are the singer won’t be able to “shake it off” any time soon. [She refers to a song by Taylor Swift — a touch of humor for those in the know. Since I’m not the Swift demographic, Chloe put it in quotes, as an indicator that the words have double meaning. I admit; I had to look it up.]

Wounds as dramatic as that tend to leave red, raised visible scars. [After three finely crafted sentences, she’s leading me to her reason for writing.]

Meredith might be off the hook though, since there’s a great non-invasive scar fading solution on drugstore shelves. [She tells me there’s a solution to Taylor Swift’s — and the cat’s — conundrum. She’s keeping it tied to one of my blog’s subjects: cats.]

Can I send you some information about ScarAway’s Silicone Scar Sheets and Gel – an effective way to fade and flatten scars resulting from a pet scratch or bite? [She includes the product name along with an offer to send me more information.]

What else is right?

It’s short, punchy and to the point. It’s amusing and very, very timely. It tells a story and is very well written. Chloe keeps it focused, and makes sure the cat angle (the one I’d be interested in) is woven throughout.

I think the only thing I would have added was a link to the ScarAway’s website.

Did it work?

I wrote this post, didn’t I?

 



15 Comments on "Pitch Perfect: Getting a blogger’s attention"

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  1. Ellen Pilch says:

    Could you please do a post about how bloggers can get attention?

  2. easy rider says:

    Great post :o) I never got pitches, except that I won 87 billions in a lottery (3 times, woohoo I’m rich!). I like the way it was written, who wouldn’t smile while reading about a CAT-too on a 40 million $ leg, that cat has class :o)

  3. Ann Staub says:

    Looks like a winner! I am familiar with Taylor’s songs, so I find the pitch pretty funny :) I think it’s also very cool that this brand is seeking out pet bloggers for their product. That is definitely thinking smart!

  4. Daisy says:

    Your perfect pitch carries many of the same features as a perfect query letter. As a freelance writer, I learned right away that the query letter (written pitch) is almost more important than the article I’m pitching, because if I can’t catch an editor’s or agent’s attention, even a groundbreakingly amazing article won’t get printed – or even looked at. So all that is to say that your advice and breakdown is right on target! :)

  5. Emma says:

    So true! We have learned to be careful about deleting pitches too fast. When we got one about Emma driving fancy cars, Mom almost deleted it. For some reason she decided to read it and sure enough, they knew I was a dog and they wanted me to test a car for a week and it was no joke. Now we do skim most pitches just in case.

  6. You’re right…that was very clever!! Some marketing person was using her head.

  7. Robin says:

    That is a really good pitch! I have to say that it would be nice to get more pitches like that. There are some pitches that I receive that leave me wondering if it was a pitch or not. It drives me nuts when they have obviously never been to my site.

  8. Claudia says:

    This was a good and insightful read. But how do you draw the line between a pitch that is funny and clever, and a pitch that a blogger won’t take seriously?

    • Good question. Somewhere in the pitch, you need to make sure you show your professionalism. Show that you know the product. Tell the blogger what you want him or her to do. And for me a good pitch means you have paid attention to details, including spelling, grammar and punctuation.

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