Honey, I'm not home: Sci Fi's 08 digital press tour
cross posted to Snapshot Chronicles
Readers of Marketing Roadmaps may recall a series of posts I wrote about a year ago on the Sci Fi Channel's digital press tour. Sci Fi invited members of the digital press up to Vancouver for a weekend at which the network's current shows were featured – Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Stargate Atlantis and the then new, now cancelled and extremely horrible Flash Gordon.
The representatives of the online sites were treated to tours of the sets of the shows, Q&As with the some of the stars and a chance to break bread with Sci Fi executives Mark Stern and Bonnie Hammer. By all accounts it was a success for both the digital media and the network.
After I completed the case study, I half jokingly told Courtney White the PR rep from New Media Strategies that she should be sure to invite me next time.
And she did. In part perhaps because I have a feature on my personal blog Snapshot Chronicles that covers science fiction television, but mostly I suspect because I recently pinged her to follow up on the case study for the blogger relations book I'm working on.
So here I sit on a Southwest Airlines flight to Denver. This year, the focus is on SciFi's unreality show GhostHunters and the premiere of the new Amanda Tapping series Sanctuary on October 3rd. Apparently there was a big GhostHunters event already planned and Sci Fi decided to combine this year's digital press event with it. The event is being held at the Hotel Stanley in Estes Park Colorado which horror fans may recognize from Stephen King's The Shining.
Red rum anyone?
I'll be covering the event in three places, with three slightly different perspectives.
On Marketing Roadmaps, I will be focusing on the outreach program itself. How successful is it for the network and the writers? Is everybody getting their full value. I noticed some repeat attendees from the first one, but the sites I spoke with for the case study will not be there. Is it a content issue – they aren't interested in GhostHunters and Sanctuary as much as they were in the content of the previous event?
Or a cost issue? Sci Fi is reaching out to a population it refers to as digital press. Some of these are blogs, but many are online portals. The writers may even be paid and, paid or not, many consider themselves journalists. This is a very important distinction when discussing blogger relations. Not so much from the content or hospitality perspective but definitely from the expense one. Attendees pay their own travel expenses.
As a result a purist might argue that this isn't really blogger relations. Well, I've never been a purist. Online engagement can take many forms. The term “blogger” in fact is already a misnomer, as we may be reaching out to customers on Twitter or through Facebook or even a branded community. As long as the blog/site in question has an element of community, where readers can comment or converse with each other in some fashion, it is social media.
On Snapshot Chronicles, I'll be writing about the hotel and the general experience of the event, with an emphasis on photos. I saw two elk on the way into town and grabbed a quick snap from the car, and the scenery is just gorgeous. I'll also have a review of Sanctuary after it premieres. I've seen the screener but those don't always have all the effects. I'm not really a GhostHunters viewer so not entirely sure what I'll do with that content, but I'm keeping an open mind.
I'll also be doing a guest post over on BlogHer about the trip. Among other things, the post will cover a breakfast scheduled with actress Amanda Tapping, formerly of the Stargate franchise and now the star and an executive producer of Sanctuary.
Most importantly though I plan to have fun, and wash last weekend's Las Vegas dust right outta my hair.
Battlestar Galactica 8 minute recap
I know a lot of my readers are fellow sci-fi (and Battlestar Galactica) fans, so as a special leap year present, please enjoy this video recap of Battlestar Galactica (Source: Apollo-Starbuck Fanfiction Group).
Tags: Battlestar Galactica
Cleaning out the cupboards
I really do have some awesome posts planned, just no time to write this week. So instead, I thought I'd clean out my virtual cupboards of some goodies for you. Don't look for a theme, these truly are "small pieces very loosely joined" (nod to David Weinberger.)
First, some science fiction. Torchwood begins its second season on 1/26 on BBC America, and a few more trailers have surfaced. Official trailer. Two scenes from the first episode. Warning: As Twitter pal Dave Parmet and I discussed yesterday, Torchwood is DoctorWho with the naughty bits (his words) and without the most annoying David Tennant (mine). In other words, expect to see some adult relationships of all sorts in the show. And on these clips.
Battlestar Galactica is (finally) due back in April, and spoilery bits are starting to surface on YouTube. Here's the latest one.
Now, unfortunately, I will not be able to watch Torchwood on the 26th because I will be at the Sundance Film Festival. Tough break, huh. I'll have more information for you on Monday, but the short version is, I have a new client who is premiering a film during the Festival and I will be going out for the launch party on January 25th.
Speaking of Sundance, be sure to check out HP's Backstage At Sundance blog. Longtime readers will recall that I helped develop this blog two years ago. Last year, they started featuring videos of impromptu performances by musicians attending the festival, a tradition I believe they plan to continue this year.
BlogHer Business and New Comm Forum are both fast approaching. At BlogHer, I will be speaking, including a case study from a client project. More on that when the agenda is published. At New Comm Forum, I will be moderating an "Alumni" Panel during lunch on the first day. We are inviting attendees from previous years to share a social media/ new communications project or campaign that applied the knowledge they acquired at New Comm Forum. The criteria are pretty simple:
- you attended a previous New Comm Forum;
- your project was done sometime in the past 18 months and you are free to share information about it;
- you've never spoken at a previous New Comm Forum.
If this sounds like you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/sgetgood.
Finally, colleague and friend Kami Watson Huyse has a great post today -- an interview with John "Pat" Philbin, the senior communications person who took the heat for FEMA's fake press conference last fall. You can read it on her blog or listen to the full interview at For Immediate Release.
My virtual cupboard is now pretty bare. Meatier posts next week. Promise!
And a happy new year: Torchwood returns in January
As for this blog, I will try to wrap up my three-part series on customer service before Christmas. After that, here's what's on deck: a report on the Photographic Memories program I just completed for HP, interviews with bloggers & a Ford exec about Ford's On the Lot blogger program last summer and two new client projects with heavy social media elements.
More on the Writers Strike
The writers are doing a great job communicating their story on the Internet. I wish them luck, and will be doing what I can as a fan to support them. If you want a good summary of the issues, watch these two videos.
And check out these sites:
- United Hollywood (sign the petition)
- Writers Guild of America West
- Writers Guild of America East
- Pencils down means pencils down
The issue is resonating particularly loudly in the fandoms I follow, chiefly the Whedonverse and Battlestar Galactica. Joss Whedon has posted on Whedonesque multiple times and Ron Moore of BSG just started his own, personal blog (versus the scifi.com one he sporadically posted to last year.) And of course writers Jane Espenson and Mark Verheiden, whose blogs I read on a regular basis anyway, have been covering the strike in their usual articulate fashion.
SciFi, Battlestar Galactica and building relationships with bloggers
(warning, long post)
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I interviewed Michael Hinman of SyFy Portal about SciFi Network’s successful digital press tour and promised a follow-up with comments from the PR agency that arranged the event about why the network did the press tour and what it hoped to achieve.
Well, time flies. I did do the interview with Courtney White from SciFi’s agency New Media Strategies. I also chatted briefly with the TV Addict, Daniel Malen, another one of the online journalists who attended the Vancouver event, about his impressions of the tour and his relationship with the network.
But other things intervened. The post, which seemed pretty evergreen, kept getting pushed off the calendar.
And then about a week ago, actor Jamie Bamber (Apollo on Battlestar Galactica) told an audience at Dragon*Con that SciFi was considering splitting the upcoming fourth and final season of Battlestar into what effectively would be two mini-seasons of 10 episodes each separated by as much as a year. According to convention reports, he was less than complimentary about the possibility. His statements were backed up by Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol on the series) and subsequently apparently in comments by Mrs. Ron (Terry Moore, producer Ron Moore’s wife) on a sci-fi board. So, not a rumour.
The shit hit the fan.
Which got me wondering. How do you handle a fan storm like this, especially when the bad news was leaked by a principal actor? According to the same convention reports, the next day, Bamber went overboard in his compliments of the network. Did the “hammer” come down? Did someone speak to him “sternly?” Maybe. Probably. But, as a fan, I’m grateful he spilled the beans, and since he’s a pretty smart guy, I’m sure he knew exactly what he was doing.
SciFi Channel is an enigma to me. Sometimes they get it so right, as with the digital press tour and other fan initiatives they’ve had. For example, the Battlestar Galactica fan video contest last Spring and the recent fan voting for the DVD cover for Razor. When you look at these efforts, it seems that they truly understand how important the fans are and want to “do right” by them.
And then you consider some of the programming decisions. Like this one. Which looks like nothing so much as trying to squeeze five seasons for the price of four. Show producers Moore and David Eick wanted a 5th season commitment from the network and only decided to end the series at four when SciFi wouldn’t make the longer term commitment.
Or the cancellation of Farscape. Still a sore spot with many fans, regardless of the possibility of its return next year as a web-based series
The latest report from SyFy Portal seems to indicate that the final decision on BSG hasn’t been made. Naturally, the fans are mobilizing their letter and email writing campaigns.
So my follow-on question for Courtney White: how do you handle this news? First the leak and then the ongoing internet shitstorm?
And for the digital reporters who cover the SciFi beat, did you cover the Dragon*Con leak any differently than you would have prior to the tour last Spring? Were you able to get answers to your questions quickly? Regardless of your feelings about the potential decision itself, was the communication from the network good as you were trying to cover the story?
I hope to have some of these answers for you in the not distant future, and have some additional thoughts at the end of this post. For those of you still interested in the initial case study, and the network’s decision to do the digital press tour, here’s the scoop.
Courtney told me that New Media Strategies has been monitoring online media for Sci Fi for a few years. This year, they decided to develop a digital media network to facilitate partnership with blogs and other online media. Instead of having to compete with the mainstream press for PR department attention, the digital media would have their own dedicated contact, Courtney.
They wanted to kick everything off with an event. Since it was considered very critical to have top talent involved, a large part of their discussions focused on what was possible. It ended up as the two-day event in Vancouver; in addition to the sets, they had access to the actors because most of the shows were in the midst of filming.
They invited sites they had been working with for a long time plus some newer ones.
“Our goal was to put faces to the sites and develop the relationships further. For some sites, who often acted as unofficial brand ambassadors for the network, it was also a way to say thank you.”
“At my company New Media Strategies, we think this would be amazing for other networks to do as well, and we hoped to show them how successful this sort of thing can be.”
I asked her about measurement of results. This is part of New Media Strategies’ proprietary service, so I didn’t get much detail, but she said that they have methods for measurement that factor in both tone and number of mentions.
Courtney was pleased with the good coverage the tour got, but stressed that the long term relationships were more important. I spoke with her just before ComicCon, one of the biggest conventions in the sci-fi world held in San Diego at the end of July, and asked if there was any difference in her relationship with the various sites, a month after the press tour. She said that when she was reaching out about ComicCon she definitely felt a difference between the 31 who attended the event in Vancouver and those who didn’t: "There is a lot going on and relationship matters.”
In response to a query Monday as I was drafting this post, Michael Hinman also emailed me the following:
“Courtney put on an AWESOME event. In my real-life job, I deal with hundreds of PR firms, and many of the experiences aren't a lot of fun. But Courtney and her crew knew exactly what they were doing, and that's why they have 31 bloggers and online journalists who think she is absolutely amazing. :)”
Courtney was pleased with how well the event showcased the online media to the network.
"We work with these bloggers and sites on a daily basis. We know how professional they are. It was great to allow everyone else to see it . That they aren’t rogue bloggers, they are 31of the very best, representing blogs and online to the network. Acting and reporting like journalists.”
At the time we spoke, she felt it was a turning point, and hoped to be able to give even more exclusive coverage to the online sites.
What would you do differently? She said she would “definitely allow more time. Although we were planning it for six months, it was only a month out from the event when we sent out the invitations. Some sites couldn’t swing it in that short a period. I’d also have a longer event, with more time for the panels so we could showcase even more shows and actors. And I’d eat more of the free food.”
I asked her what she would advise other companies considering blogger outreach. She said the most important thing is to establish relationships. She also suggests that you kick it off with something “big” to show the people – whether they are digital media or bloggers – how important they are to you.
She also commented that “companies and the networks have to come down from on high and get to know the consumers, the viewers. Bloggers offer honest opinions and often a true fan perspective is more valuable than the filters of an editor.” That was one of the things that most impressed her about the SciFi event; network execs Bonnie Hammer and Mark Stern attended many of the events, both formal and social, and listened to feedback from the attendees as both journalists and fans (editorial comment below).
“We wanted this to be a first, not a last. We plan to do this more than once per year. We all learned a lot and as we move forward, it will only get bigger and better.And next time we would invite Susan.” :)
When I started writing this post in early August, I thought it would be interesting to get the perspective of an online writer who attended both the Vancouver shindig and ComicCon. Michael from SyFy Portal introduced me to Daniel Malen, the TV Addict. I asked Daniel if he sensed any change in the relationship with the network after the media tour, and particularly at ComicCon.
He said that unlike some of the folks who have been writing for a long time and who might have a different perspective, he’s only been doing the TV Addict site for a couple years, and SciFi has always been very helpful to him. Some networks won’t send him stuff because he lives in Canada, but he noted that Courtney recently had sent him the screener of Flash Gordon (Editorial comment: bit of a mixed blessing, that.)
He also said that she was really helpful before ComicCon, letting him know about the various events and press conferences. but he didn’t have much interaction with the network during the convention. Last year at ComicCon, he attended some press conferences but this year the convention was so crowded, he basically stayed glued to his seat in order to see both the Heroes and BSG panels.
Courtney says she loves working with sci-fi fans because they are so passionate about the genre. As I commented above, I wonder how that plays out when the news is not so good…..
As a fan, I’d hope that Bonnie Hammer and Mark Stern are listening to the fans now too, at least to the Battlestar Galactica fans, and will give us a good fourth season, rather than trying to milk 20 episodes into two seasons. Hell, if they’ve changed their minds and now want some sort of 5th season, I’m sure Moore and Eick can come up with a Plan.
Finally, speaking of Flash Gordon (SciFi), we watched it Friday and I was not impressed. Torchwood (BBC America), on the other hand, was terrific, and I highly recommend it. Be warned though: it does have some pretty adult themes. Doctor Who, Season 3? David Tennant is still no Chris Eccleston, but it seems a bit better… We shall see.
The $25,000 question: should I watch Heroes?
Here are the questions I posed directly to Courtney, Michael and Daniel in an email before I published this post:
How do you navigate the waters when the digital media, who may also be fans, and the fans in general, don’t like what the network is doing? How does your relationship help? How do you balance everything? Especially if as fans, you aren’t crazy about the decision you may be reporting on as reporters.
"I'd say we have to keep in mind the medium we work in within this Digital space, and the very essence of what makes it successful. People want to read the true opinions of those they have come to know and trust. I don't ever want to put my partners in a position where they feel like they can't be honest about a certain decision or property. Instead, we like to try to honor that relationship by giving the partner site as much content and information as possible to use in the most positive way that they can, while being true to their feelings. Helping fans understand the reason behind your decision, and delivering a good product after that decision is also key. I'm lucky that working with the SCI FI Channel, most of the product that they put out is really great stuff - and their decisions are based on solid reasoning.
I think it also comes down to the relationship the fans have with the network. Do they trust that network's vision? Do they trust that that network is really listening to them? If so, I think any property will be given a little more slack to find it's place. Things like the Digital Press Tour and Comicon invitations have helped us to show the fans that they are important and being heard - and that has really worked in everyone's favor over the past few years. ”
Sci Fi Channel boldly goes where no network has gone before: the Digital Press Tour
Star Trek, x5. Battlestar Galactica, x2. Babylon 5. Farscape. Firefly. Dr. Who, x10 (Doctors that is). V. Red Dwarf. Blake's 7. Lexx. Andromeda. Stargate SG1. Stargate Atlantis. Buffy. Angel. Lost.
No TV fan is more loyal, more devoted than the science fiction/fantasy fan. So loyal in fact that many of them start Web sites and blogs devoted to covering their favorite shows and favorite genre. And not just fan sites and spoiler sites. News sites that rival the mainstream media for their depth and breadth of coverage.
But quite often, these sites find it difficult to get access to the TV shows and stars they cover.
I'm one of the sci fi fans who regularly reads these online sites for the latest news, and spoilers, from my favorite shows. I've also been covering the topic of blogger relations quite heavily here on the Roadmap so this story is kind of a dream come true. Or at least a two-fer.
One of the problems with most coverage of blogger relations is we tend to obsess over what is wrong with blogger outreach programs. Wal-Mart's ill-advised RV trip. The Microsoft Vista laptop snafu. Even criticisms of programs that really weren't bad at all, at least in my opinion.
We spend a lot of time telling businesses what they shouldn't do and not nearly enough time talking about programs that did work, that did achieve their objectives, for both the bloggers and the companies.
Well, beam me up, folks, because that's going to be the focus of Marketing Roadmaps this summer. Starting with Sci Fi's successful outreach to the digital press.
Earlier this week, I spoke with Michael Hinman, founder and site coordinator of SyFy Portal about the digital press tour. Michael was one of the online editors invited on the tour, along with representatives from UnderGroundOnline, IGN, Sci Fi Meshes, Monsters and Critics, TV Addict, TVaholic, DVD Verdict, TV Squad, GateWorld, Eclipse Magazine, TV.com, Zap2it, TeeVee, Media Blvd., ACED Magazine and in-house network news service SCI FI.com.
Sci Fi Channel invited the online editors and bloggers to Vancouver for a two day blitz during which they attended cast panels and toured the sets of Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis, Eureka and a new show for the coming season, Flash Gordon. The network organized some deals on hotel rooms and provided some meals, but the editors were basically responsible for their own expenses, which Michael welcomed:
"I'm a journalist in my regular, "offline" job, and SyFy Portal is a news site. If they had offered to fly us out, I would have turned it down. We went because we wanted to go."
Overall, Michael was very pleased with the event. It was his second trip to Vancouver. The first time he went, last year to visit Battlestar Galactica, he had to pull quite a few strings to get near a filming site, and only succeeded when he made a connection to Edward James Olmos. As a result, he was able to spend a day on set as EJO's guest, but that is a very different thing than being welcomed as a member of the press. [Note: as Entertainment Weekly was prior to the start of season 3 last fall.]
This time, he felt like the network rolled out the red carpet to connect with the digital media. One of the things that really impressed him was how accessible Sci Fi executives Mark Stern and Bonnie Hammer were - leading and participating in the cast panels, attending the dinner and so on. Having the chance to sit down and meet with them gave him a better respect for them as people, not just network faces. He said that does make a difference, given how heated online exchanges can become.
For him, the biggest draw was getting access to filming sets:
"I really like to see what it looks like behind the camera. When I was there before, I was able to visit the New Caprica set while they were filming the scene in which Apollo finds out that Starbuck has gotten married."
While it would have been nice to have some of the bigger names like EJO and Mary McDonnell on the Battlestar panel, he was impressed that Sci Fi got Michael Hogan (BSG, Colonel Tigh) to participate, as he rarely talks to the media. Overall, he thought the Eureka panel was the best one, and mentioned that the Stargate Atlantis panel suffered from the fact that the series was on hiatus so not as many stars were available. Battlestar, not surprisingly, was the big draw for most of the editors.
Michael and I chatted quite a bit about why the network decided to do the digital press tour [Note: I have sent email to the network's PR rep at New Media Strategies asking for an interview,
but haven't heard back yet. Update 13 July: heard from agency, interview is on, just need to find a mutually convenient time.] He commented that up until this tour, outside of a few times or for a few outlets, by and large, the network has ignored the online media. I asked him what he thought had changed:
"They are starting to realize how much people are using the Internet, especially for entertainment news. Sites like Monsters & Critics have huge readership and Zap2it is syndicated in print. Our site is getting huge traffic- 40-50 thousand visitors per day -- as more and more people get their Sci Fi news from us. "
Although, he admits it is still tough to get attention. For example, in early June, at the same time the network was inviting the digital media to the special event in Vancouver, the news broke that Battlestar Galactica would be ending after the upcoming 4th season, but to Michael's knowledge only one Web site (not his) was invited to the special teleconference with the show's producers Ron Moore and David Eick.
But, in Michael's opinion, the digital press tour was a good first step to improving the situation. He told me that the network is planning to provide a dedicated contact person for the online media which will go a long way toward putting them on an equal footing with the mainstream press. It's not set up yet, but Michael is willing to give the network a little slack as the tour was just a couple weeks ago.
"It's still not perfect, but it is getting better. Everything they did, and everything they promised as follow-up, showed that they recognized that online media not only exists but also has a significant audience."
As we wrapped up our chat, Michael told me that he appreciated that they were treated both as journalists and as fans:
"They made it really easy to get pictures of ourselves on the sets, in front of key props like the Viper and the Stargate. Something that perhaps a less invested journalist might not care about, but we did. They treated us the way we wanted to be treated."
They treated us the way we wanted to be treated.
That pretty much boils it down for me. As you develop your blogger relations programs, if you remember nothing else I or anyone else writes or says on the topic, remember that, and you stand a pretty good chance of being successful.
Now, strictly speaking, the Sci Fi press tour isn't blogger relations in the "pure" sense. Many of the sites are Web sites with RSS feeds, not blogs in the generally accepted definition.While some of the sites are famous for their point of view, many of the invited editors are or consider themselves to be journalists and certainly, most approach their writing in a journalistic fashion. That means this is just PR, right?
So why am I writing about this press tour as a positive example of blogger relations? Other than the obvious excuse to write about Jamie Bamber, Tahmoh Penikett and Aaron Douglas?
Because it is about relationships, whether it be with bloggers or reporters. In its courtship of the online press, Sci Fi used some of the very best practices that I recommend for engaging with bloggers.
Give bloggers access to exclusive content and company principals. Bloggers need content for their blogs. Give them something good and juicy. Let them try your products. If you have interesting execs, give interviews. This in particular gives your company a more human face, just as the participation of the Sci Fi execs in the tour did for the network. But don't force-feed the execs. Give 'em what they want, not what you want.
And don't just approach the bloggers (or the media for that matter) when you have something new. Stay in touch and be sensitive to their needs, feed them material when they need it too. One of the reasons the Sci Fi tour was so successful was that it met important needs of all the parties. There was something in it for everyone. Including the fans.
With the exception of Eureka, which had its season premiere this week, and BBC import Doctor Who which just started its 3d season run in the US, most of the top Sci Fi shows are over for the summer. Which means there isn't a whole lot to review. And the shows are filming, which makes access to the cast a bit harder. You can of course dig for spoilers, but other than that, not a lot going on. The digital press tour gave the online Sci Fi press material in the dry-ish spell running up to Harry Potter month (formerly known as July.)
And it serves the needs of the network. The coverage, which was pretty extensive and generally good, keeps the shows top of mind for the audience, even as we wait months and months and months for the return of Galactica. And it introduces us to a new show, Flash Gordon, which might not have gotten anywhere near the play without being surrounded by the other three. Most importantly, when the new season starts, Sci Fi has built a better foundation for its relationship with the online press which should pay dividends in the long run.
Treat them with respect and treat them the way they want to be treated. I cannot repeat this enough. If you don't know, ask. In the case of the online Sci Fi press, they wanted, and were enticed by, the same level of access that mainstream media get. Sure, they are fans, and many loved the little fannish touches like photos in front of Vipers and so on. But I doubt they would have flown to Vancouver from as far away as New York and Tampa for a few photo opps and a t-shirt. It was the cast panels, set tours and respect for their publications that drew them North.
It's the same with bloggers. Understand what they want, what interests them. Don't assume that just because they are your customers, that they will want the same things you do. They might, but your product, while of central importance to you, is only important to them in its ability to fill a need or desire. Your outreach must be grounded in what they want, not what you want. The good news is, if you do this, if you stay focused on what is in it for them, you are far more likely to get what you want than if you try to forcefeed your approach, your product.
Bottom line: I was impressed by Sci Fi's digital press tour and hope the network continues, as it has promised, to reach out to the online media. Hhmm, maybe I should start a science fiction blog in time for the Battlestar premiere in January 2008.....
Blogger Relations Extra Credit Question
I have your extra credit question.
This week has seen two rather interesting blogger relations mis-steps: the Fleishman Hillard "Marlo Thomas" pitch and the Vocus white paper "spam." Many people have posted about these two incidents; if you need to catch up start here, here and here.
In addition to all the other advice you can find, on this blog and elsewhere, a couple points bear repeating and are the subject of today's extra credit question.
First, give something first. Don't ask the blogger to write about you. Give him something he wants -- information, trial product, access, whatever. No strings attached. That's what makes it a GIFT. And try to do it with a minimum of "marketing speak." If you wouldn't say it, don't send it. Try it sometime. Read one of your email pitches out loud. After you get over how stupid it sounds, fix it.
Second, remember: with bloggers, you do have a window into their lives. Make sure you aren't approaching them at an inappropriate time. Personal/life bloggers blog about their lives, so there is no excuse for not knowing. But even business bloggers give clues. Look for them and reach out appropriately.
Here's the question: would you pitch me on something this week? Specifically tomorrow May 25th. What would you pitch to me and why?
Okay, it's the holiday weekend, so I am going to give you the answer.
Unless you are the manufacturer of a hot convertible and want to give me a demo model to test drive for the next month or you can offer me a set visit to Battlestar Galactica, I would seriously advise you to steer clear. And the reason why is only one click away from this blog, on my new photo blog Snapshot Chronicles. I also twitted about it. In other words, the information about my craptastic day is pretty much public record.
I'll make it even easier for you. Even though Marketing Roadmaps is a business blog, if you read it, even just once in a while, you'd probably know:
- I am married and have a 7 year old son Douglas.
- I breed and show Scottish Terriers.
- I am a huge science fiction and fantasy fan with a current obsession with Battlestar Galactica. You can introduce me to Jamie Bamber, Edward James Olmos, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin or James Marsters? You can frak-ing fill my inbox with as much spam as you want.
- I am a lifelong Democrat.
- I am vocal supporter of equal rights and often write about gender issues.
- I occasionally do book reviews on the blog but I have never reviewed products.
- I hate, hate, hate getting press releases with no cover note. Really.
- I just launched a new blog called Snapshot Chronicles.
- Today pretty much sucked.
These are easy to find clues about me, all accessible from Marketing Roadmaps. And guess what? I am not alone. Every blogger -- personal, business, even anonymous -- leaves clues about her interests, affiliations, current activities on the blog. Even what happened on a particularly craptastic day.
It isn't about pitching bloggers. It's about getting to know them and providing the information that THEY want, not just the information that you want to share. As I wrote to a colleague earlier today, don't think about what you want to say TO your customer. Instead, think like your customer.
And by the way, that set visit? I'm waiting patiently. Ron Moore? David Eick? Are you listening?
So it goes
RIP Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 1922-2007
Battlestar Galactica in 5 minutes
Well, the Battlestar Galactica season ended a few weeks ago, and we won't get the resolution to the cliffhanger until January 2008.
If you already need a fix, check out this 5 minute recap of the series (hat tip to The CIC).
Tags: battlestar galactica