Tag Archives: how to pitch bloggers

“Chow Down: How to Use Friendfeed for Better PR”

So we’ve held off on posting about Friendfeed for several months.  As adoption has slowly increased, we have started to warm up to it.  While it may be too soon to ditch Twitter and throw all your efforts into Friendfeed, it can be a great tool to add to your arsenal.  Today, socialTNT takes a look at some of the ways Friendfeed can help you build relationships and more effectively reach your target reporters and bloggers.

What is Friendfeed?

  • Friendfeed is a “social aggregator”
  • In non-Valley speak: Friendfeed is like the Facebook newsfeed, except it lists all the actions you do across more than 43 sites, including YouTube, Flickr, StumbleUpon, Digg and LinkedIn
  • Also like Facebook, you can share items directly into your feed.
  • Most exciting: Every action in the feed becomes a blog post, letting you comment in a conversation thread

Friendfeed for Media Research

To be the good PR person that you are, you do your due diligence by reading all articles and post by your target journos and blogos–if not daily, then before you reach out to them.

With Friendfeed, you can see:

  • All of their latest posts
  • What they are reading
  • Twitter-feed
  • Pictures of the fam
  • Videos

Take a look at the page from Chris Nuttall of Financial Times (click to enlarge):

You can stay up-to-date with any of the blogos or journos you follow by adding their feed to your reader.  Scroll down to the bottom of the feed and click the RSS Logo:

Get Involved With a Reporter’s/Blogger’s Community

Friendfeed isn’t just a stalking device, it’s a great opportunity for PR peeps to form relationships and have conversations not usually possible.

  • Become a member of the reporter’s or blogger’s community by:
    • Adding thoughtful comments to their items
    • Participating in discussions

Check out the screenshot, below, from Robert Scoble’s feed. The red box shows you where to go to comment.  Click “more” to link to this item or share it with your feed.

Click on “more comments” (as indicated by the green box, above) to see the full conversation thread related to that action’s comments.  Robert even answers comments:

Getting Started with Friendfeed

  • Sign up for a free account
  • Add the info from the sites you want to share
  • Add me
  • Add some Reporters/Bloggers (a few listed below)
  • Join “Rooms” or groups based on your interests or your clients’ industry
  • Share posts, articles, interesting thoughts

Reporters and bloggers on Friendfeed

Just a small sample:

With Friendfeed and Twitter, you have a great non-intrusive way to get to know reporters and bloggers.  You also get the chance to join their community and share ideas.  Go ahead and give it a shot!

Also, check out the new widgets Friendfeed (like a Blogger Badge, Share This, RSS and others) has recently launched. It also looks like they are trying to speed up RSS. Cool!

Are you using Friendfeed? What has your experience been like? Like/dislike? Let us know in the comments!

Like what you read? Add our RSS feed! [what’s that?]. Or start your morning with socialTNT in your InBox! Or read Chris 24-7 on Twitter!

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Filed under It's A Conversation, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“Gina Responds! And: About Yesterday’s Post”

Late yesterday, I received the following email from Gina. My reply is further down the page:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your email. My name and further explanation appears on the
wiki, which anyone can leave a comment on. (You just need to log into
PBwiki to do so.)

Also, as I say on the wiki, I welcome story pitches to tips@lifehacker.com.

Have a good weekend,
Gina

I also received some Tweets and emails saying yesterday’s post/email was a little harsh.

The post was about accountability, communication and education. If someone creates something that could impact people’s pocket books, that person should take responsibility for their actions. Especially if that person is already involved in social media and understands that nature of how it works.

On Gina’s blog and in her books, she helps educate people by offering tips and tricks to do things more effectively. That’s what was so irksome about the situation. She could have easily taken the same amount of time to write an educational post–or really any post at all–and could have positively affected the conversation.

My reply to Gina is below. As always, please feel free to comment.

Hi Gina:

Thanks for your email, and thanks for changing the wiki. I’m 100% for sharing opinions. I also 100% understand your frustration.

From what I can see from your blog, you and I both have the same goal: to help and educate. That is probably why I found your actions so upsetting. Instead of using your talent and skill to help people learn and perhaps prevent the mistake, you chose a negative action. You used your position of power and influence to negatively affect an industry on which you rely. You may say, “I shouldn’t have to educate people on how to do their job,” but you do it daily on your blog.

Check out these posts from Mashable and this one from ReadWriteWeb. By offering tips with best and worst practices, these guys are helping to make it easier for themselves and the PR pros that pitch them. After receiving several really really bad pitches of the course of a few days, I also posted “Luke I Am Your Blogger, How to Pitch From the Dark Side” as a way for me to vent my frustrations. It also allowed me to use my unique role as both blogger and PR pro to help others grow from my experience.

Remember, what you say/post can affect people’s pocketbooks. Please think about that and look to find ways to positively impact the conversation.

Thank you,

Chris

Don’t miss a post: Got RSS? [what’s that?]. Or, start your morning with socialTNT in your InBox!

[The above painting is by my favorite guerrilla artist, Banksy. His book says “Copyright is for losers,” so I don’t think he’ll mind if we use it]

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Filed under Blogger Relations, It's A Conversation, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“Unsubscribe Lifehacker: My Email to Gina Trapani”

This morning, the Twitterverse was a flame after Gina Trapani from Lifehacker tweeted a link to a wiki she had created. The wiki, PR Companies Who Spam Bloggers, is a ready-to-paste-into-your-spam-filter list of domains belonging to a good chunk of the tech PR firms out there. Her response, thus far, has been linking back to this blog post from Matt Haughey. [UPDATED: Gina emailed saying she had changed the wiki to include attribution and reasoning. See the email, my response and my reasoning behind this post here.]

In the past, socialTNT has responded with blog posts on how to increase communications (you can find those here and here). Since there is no attribution on the wiki, I had no clue who had created the until someone shared Gina’s original Tweet. Because I found this semi-anonymous approach to be rather old-school in nature, I decided to send her the below email. It may be a little harsh, but the bottom line is that her actions affect the wallets of PR professionals everywhere. If you find my email to be a little agitated, you might prefer Todd Defren’s open letter to Gina or Brian Solis’ post discussing PR “spam.” Also, please feel free to unsubscribe Lifehacker from your RSS feed.

What do you think of Gina’s actions? Or my email? Please share your thoughts.

—————–

Hi Gina:

My name is Chris Lynn. I edit a blog called socialTNT. Our mission here is to create a discussion between PR Pros, Marketers, Bloggers and Journalists on social media and its role in our respective professions. While not as big as Lifehacker, we still receive a nice amount of traffic. I would love to expand socialTNT into something larger, but I don’t have a lot of extra time to invest. You see, I work full-time as a PR professional.

As a PR person in the new media age, I work daily with bloggers and journalists, sometimes through the phone, sometimes through email/twitter/IM. No matter what the medium, I try to devote 100% of myself to the process. I say “try” because we all have bad days, but it’s a job. I’m sure you have at least one post that wasn’t your best, so maybe you can empathize.

After I finish working 9 hour days, I come home and work on the blog. That can mean anything from reading through my feeds to planning the interviews, tweaking layouts, researching emerging tech, or just learning editing software. Then I write about it. I try to stay tuned into trends in media, marketing and PR–like I said, I don’t have a lot of time to write, but I do have a lot of ideas.

With my professional life (both with the blog and at the agency) I operate on these 3 principles:

  1. Accountability and as much Transparency as possible
  2. Communication and Conversation
  3. Education and Peer Development

Your wiki doesn’t do any of the above. [UPDATED: Gina emailed saying she had changed the wiki to include attribution and reasoning.] Sure, you semi-transparently Tweeted the link. Those who stumble upon the wiki won’t know this. By cutting off domains, you stifle conversation. Had you blogged the list, there might have been debate/discussion in the comments. Yes, Twitter is a discussion, but it’s not particularly contiguous, nor is it associated with the list. Finally, your post did nothing along the lines of education. In my eyes, your move was an aggressive one that came from a place of anger instead of looking towards understanding.

In the new media age, information is currency. By limiting the flow of information, you could find yourself bankrupt. Just remember: there’s always another up-and-comer in the wings who might just be a little thirstier than you. Oh, and another thing about the new media age: your audience is fluid. As soon as they find something better, they are quick to change their click.

In true liquid fashion, I’m exercising my right to click by unsubscribing Lifehacker from my RSS feed until the wiki is removed or until you start a more genuine dialog–on my blog or on your own. [UPDATED: Gina emailed saying she had changed the wiki to include attribution and reasoning.] I don’t support negativity. At all.

Just remember that your flippant actions and comments can affect the livelihoods of real people with real families. Please don’t take that lightly.

Best,

Chris

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Filed under Blogger Relations, It's A Conversation, Public Relations 2.0, Rants

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3Min: Mike Rothman, Security Incite”

No time to check out the spring wildflowers in bloom? No problem, today’s “3sdays 3Q’s in 3Min” is just as fresh and colorful.

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

Mike RothmanThis week, socialTNT is at the world’s largest security expo, the RSA Conference. While there, we ran into Principal Analyst and Blogger at Security Incite, Mike Rothman. Since Mike is a blogging analyst who was once a VP of Marketing, I was really psyched when he agreed to an interview. In today’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Mike tells how he likes to get pitched and the value of a blog for brand building.

Mike has been in the security industry for over 15 years. Starting out as an analyst, he spent the mid-90’s as a VP at IT research firm The META Group. After that, Mike served as VP of Marketing at a couple of software firms. In 2006, Mike founded Security Incite, an analyst firm specializing in information security. With the founding of the company, Mike also started blogging. Alongside the bog, Mike has a highly circulated, daily newsletter and just recently started podcasting.

Known for offering a “no bull” take on information security, Mike’s blog aims to create a conversation between buyers, consumers and product manufacturers. He can’t stand product messaging that sets the wrong expectation for buyers, and will write a harsh reality-check, should he cover your product. Mike’s “Security Incite Rants” have pissed off many a CEO, but like any conversation, Mike encourages them to respond in the comments.

To marketers, Mike strongly recommends they jump on board the blog train as a great way to get their voice out and build thought leadership. He also believes in Karma, stating that you get what you give. While many marketers might shudder at the thought of giving away free products, Mike readily offers a free monthly analyst report to his readers. His reasoning: Karma–you have to give to get.

Fun Facts About Mike:

  • Lives just outside of Atlanta
  • Mac user
  • Used to have a column in Network World
  • Not on Twitter (he thinks that it’s not an important communication channel for his target demo)
  • Is on LinkedIn

Mike hopes that today’s video will help slow the tide of bad pitches in his Inbox. Watch as he tells us how to pitch a blogger and the best way your spokesperson to respond to a bad post. Also find out why Mike thinks blogging is so important for small businesses.

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I like Mike’s take on blogging and the importance of distribution to increase the conversation amongst like-minded individuals. How has blogging changed you or your company’s role in the industry? Has the increased conversation changed your outlook on industry topics?

No time to watch the video at work? Get “3Q’s in 3Min” free from iTunes and watch it on the go!

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“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Chris Parandian, MobileDiner.com”

Pardon our radio silence; we’ve been at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas. (Almost) live from Vegas, it’s “3sdays 3Q’s in 3Min.”

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

Chris Parandian Filming by Jeff PulverWhile at CTIA, socialTNT met up with MobileDiner.com‘s Chris Parandian. If you or your client is in the Wireless space, pay attention. In today’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Chris tells us more why he loves social media and shares his CTIA show faves.

Unless you’ve got the clout of GigaOm or TechCrunch, most bloggers don’t blog full time. Whether full-time or not, most bloggers are pretty passionate in the niche they cover. Chris is no exception.

Offline, Chris works as a mobile policy consultant. Not surprisingly, MobileDiner.com is a forum for consumers and feds to learn about the ins and outs of wireless policy. Don’t let the nichey-ness scare you, Chris also covers mobile startups or innovators that change the ways people connect and communicate. He’s also the founder of the DC-based, new media firm Tin Can Communications, so you’ll also notice posts on social media or marketing and PR.

Chris and I have been following each other on Twitter for sometime. Last month, he also covered news from one of my clients, so it was great to finally meet him in person. Even though both of us were over-stimulated and running on little sleep, we had a great conversation.

In the following video, Chris tells us more about his blog/beat and explains what he likes most about social media. He also drops his best-of-shows at CTIA 2008.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

No time to watch the video at work? Get “3Q’s in 3Min” free from iTunes and watch it on the go!

Also, don’t miss a post: Drop socialTNT into your RSS reader [what’s that?]. Better yet, subscribe to socialTNT by email!

[Above photo courtesy of Jeff Pulver]

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“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Liz Gannes, NewTeeVee”

No Valentine? No problem! Today’s “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min” comes with all the sweet sentiment of a box of chocolates, but without that bad stomach ache afterwards.

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday, socialTNT chats with Liz Gannes, Editor of NewTeeVee. In today’s “3 Q’s in 3 Min” Liz shares best practices for PR pros, and also explores the future of online video now that the writers’ strike is over.

In December 2006, Liz left her very PR-pitch popular position as writer covering the Web 2.0 beat at GigaOM to edit NewTeeVee, a new media focused blog published by Om Malik’s Giga Omni Media network. If you or your client is a start-up specializing in some aspect of new media–particularly focusing on the convergence with video or broadband–this is the place to be.

When Liz agreed to the interview and gave me a pier number as an address–and then told me to meet her by the docks–I got a little worried; had I sent a bad pitch and was about to get offed? Silicon Valley can be a bit of a mobster state. Plus, Om’s stogie-smoking imagery and all-encompassing media network are pretty mafia-like. Not so, said Liz. They had just moved and didn’t have any markings up yet.

Fun Facts About Liz:

  • Before moving to Palo Alto, Liz used to live a couple of blocks from me in SF’s hipster-haven Mission district
  • Graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelors in Linguistics
  • A night person, she wakes up late and then catches up on the daily news by reading a couple hundred RSS feeds
  • While not opposed to being pitched through Facebook and Twitter, Liz sees those as personal realms — email is best
  • Liz organizes the NewTeeVee Pier Screenings in SF
  • Introduced me to my new Video Valentine: blip.tv

Watch as Liz tells us a little more about her beat, names the most influential new media innovation in 2007, and let’s us know what makes a good communications professional.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What was the most influential new media trend in 2007? Or, for PR pros, how do you add value to your reporter relations? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “Liz Gannes” by joeywan on flickr, used under Creative Commons.]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Best Practices, Blogger Relations, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video, Video Interview

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Kara Swisher, All Things D, Part 2”

It’s Thursday. I’m up in the sky on a trip to Austin, and you’re reading “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min.”Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This week is part two of our discussion with Kara Swisher from All Things D. Last week, Kara told us why she LOVES blogging. In this week’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Kara tells TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington how to “Just Say No” to PR pitches, gives her tips on good PR, and explains the art of good video interviews.

A few days ago, PR pros everywhere sighed with relief; a study came out showing that reporters truly need the relationships they have with their public relations contacts. Although she knows a thousand and one ways to say No, Kara does value a good PR professional. For Kara, PR is more than just a one-night stand. It’s a relationship.

Here are Kara’s tips to becoming a good PR pro:

  • Know what the reporter writes about
  • Create and build an ongoing relationship
  • Bring interesting stuff
  • Be loyal to your client, but address issues and problems in an honest way

Wanna know more? Watch the video. She’ll even throw in a description of her beat.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What are other traits you think a good PR pro should posses?

On All Things D, Kara obsesses on companies/stories as much as she wants. How does blogging change the traditional media flow of information? Do news bloggers convey stronger opinions through their pieces than a traditional outlet? If so, do you consider that a good thing? Love to hear your thoughts.

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Recommended reading

“3Q’s in 3Min with John Markoff, New York Times, Part 1”

“3Q’s in 3Min with John Markoff, New York Times, Part 2”

“How Media Relations Got Its Groove Back”

[The above photo, “Kara Swisher is looking at YOU, yes YOU. You know who you are.” by Mark Montiero on flickr, used under Creative Commons.]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Best Practices, Community Relations, How To, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview