Blogger Phil Gomes, a graduate student at USC’s Annenburg school of communications and an online specialist at the Edelman PR agency, has written a lovely set of guidelines for PR managers who want to ‘pitch’ stories to him.
Okay, we’ll put to one side the idea of a PR pitching to another PR. But how should communications managers be looking at blogs? Since I keep a keen eye on the measurement community, I’m aware than some measurement specialists strongly argue that blogs count for nothing. However, I’m unconvinced. Even I get pitches from PR managers for this blog. Our readership snakes up and down between 1,000 and 2,000 per month: these are tightly focussed, so it’s a good number in our niche.
It certainly is the case that this modest blog has an impact in some of the organisations we write about. Anecdotally, its clear that some posts have had a major impact. When we launched, almost 20% of the traffic came from analyst firms. Even now, a large part of our traffic comes from intranet links at analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester. Many firms link to our posts about their companies on their websites. And, generally, most analyst firms are increasing open with us.
I like to think that the fact that almost all of us here at Lighthouse were ourselves analysts helps a lot. However, it’s also a reflection of their interest in the blog, an appreciation of its readership, and the understanding that, unlike others, this blog steers away from sensationalism.
In tightly focussed markets like ours, therefore, blogs are well worth pitching to.