Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Volunteer Journalism Means For PR Pros

The relationship between the PR professional and the professional journalist has always been one with a give-and-take balance. Public relations professionals pitch stories to journalist who turn those pitches into successful news articles. One professional could not turn a profit without help from the other. But today, when many journalist work for free on blogs or websites such as The Huffington Post, the game has changed a little. Journalist and bloggers have a lot less to lose when they work for free, so the PR pro should consider this when pitching to them, and adjust the pitch accordingly. Here are some tips for pitching to volunteer journalist:

Is the blogger/journalist worth pitching? - Not all bloggers or volunteer journalist are the kinds of writers you want to trust with a story for your client. Does their blog get a considerable amount of views? Is the website they contribute to one you would want your client to appear on? If not, you may want to consider bypassing pitching to that particular writer.

Contact Method - Because you aren't pitching to a traditional blogger, the way you send your pitch may change. It isn't uncommon for a lot of bloggers and volunteer journalist to be reachable through contact forms on their websites or through social media networking sites. Be prepared to travel through unfamiliar contact channels to get your story out there.

Know what they are in it for - Reality TV, Hollywood glamour, and seeking a claim to fame is often the motivation behind many bloggers. For this reason, some of them don't want to put out your newsworthy story. They would much rather blog to promote themselves and boost their own self made celebrity spotlight. Make sure you separate these bloggers from more authentic ones.

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