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Pitching to Kenyan Bloggers

Pitching to Kenyan Bloggers

Kenyan PR Firms are waking up to the reality of social media. Over the past few months, I have received several pitches from some of the leading PR firms mostly sending me press releases and seeking coverage of their clients’ products or services on my blog. While it is laudable that these firms and their clients are now beginning to appreciate the impact of social media, I must admit that some of the pitches that have arrived in my inbox are pretty wanting or downright insulting. I don’t mind it when these PR Firms pitch to me as long as they uphold the pitching protocol.

Because this is pretty new in Kenya, let me break down the basic dos and don’ts of pitching to bloggers:

1. Know a Blogger’s Niche

I am a social media and tech blogger and any pitches that arrive at my inbox should in one way or the other correlate to this. Prior to approaching a blogger, understand what he or she writes about first. Otherwise, an Omo program pitch ends up in my inbox and I feel insulted… {THIS BLOG IS NOT ABOUT WASHING CLOTHES}. It is insulting when you send us stuff that do not even remotely relate to what we are about. Do your research and send pitches to bloggers whose readers will appreciate the content. If it is Bank related, you have Bankelele, KaInvestor, and SokoAnalyst, if it is Social Media or Tech Related, you have myself, Moses Kemibaro, White African, Idd Salim John Karanja, Kennedy Kachwanya and many others. The point is; send to people pitches that are relevant to niches that we blog about.

2. Cultivate Relationships First

The personas from PR Firms in Kenya who have approached me are people I do not know of. They are not friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, or acquaintances. They have not left any comments on my blog nor have they in any way proved that they follow my blog and understand what I write about. Your first email to me should not be a pitch but an introduction of who you are and how you would like us to work together. If you are a reader of my blog and leave comments every now and then or a follower on twitter with whom we engage with even casually, I will relate to you better. Pitching with your first email is like expecting sex on the first date; there are plenty of reasons to say no.

3. I don’t work for you

Your pitches should not feel like work to me. The only way that this can happen is if there is something in it for me at the end of the day. Are you providing me with exclusive content that will establish my authority and build credibility? Are you providing content that my readers will appreciate? Will working with you give me greater visibility, reach, or clients? Creating content is hard work and there must be an incentive for me to put in the work. Find that incentive and bloggers will readily work with you.

4. Know when and what to pitch

Not everything is worth pitching. I don’t want to see you in my inbox every waking day pitching I don’t know what. I hate hawkers and that is what you become when you start clogging up my inbox with requests and pitches. Timing your pitches to only when you have juicy exclusive information will work wonders. Spamming bloggers will lead to them blacklisting you even in public as was the case in a recent meetup I attended. You don’t want to be known as those people who spam bloggers. In our world, word travels first and soon enough, you will run out of people to pitch to.

These are just some of the cases I have experienced personally. However, you need to read this comprehensive list by Problogger on How to Pitch to Bloggers like your future depends on it.

  • Muigwithania

    Ala can i pitch my blog for special mention along with other Kenyan bloggers lol .www.muigwithania.com….We have had some interesting pitches but not for OMO

  • Kainvestor

    Thanks for the mention. I agree with your discontent about PR pitches. i've also had to ignore some that really didn't make sense to me.

  • Blogging has been with us for sometime and it is very much appreciated on the individual levels. But when come to business use and the way it should be handled, it is like completely new thing in Kenya. The people running PRs firms have a lot to learn, at the moment they are like they don't know exactly what to do, who is who in the industry. I hope this article has come at the right time for them.

  • Anonymous

    This article is well written, need i say more. When a PR rep contacts you they should have done good research on your blog and save themselves the energy of blank shots. Luckily i’ve not had to reject anyone.

  • Marvin Tumbo

    Thanks. I have rejected plenty of pitched because they are just absurd. Now I do not respond at all, I just delete them. And it is not so hard to tell what kind of blogger someone is, it is only basic research and not something you need to contact Consumer Insight to run the research for you!