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If there’s a unique aspect to what social media has changed, it’s that PR pros sometimes find themselves getting a taste of their own handy work: pitches.  I get a lot of these at work – usually young PR pros confused in thinking PRWeb is a news outlet – but not too many for this here humble blog: I’m comfortable small fish.

This morning my personal inbox – the one associated with this blog – had a pitch from
Lauren Carlson, of Software Advice.  She was pitching a couple of interviews her organization scored with CEOs of two well known marketing automation firms, Eloqua and Marketo, while at the Salesforce users conference. 

While the content does interest me, since Eloqua is both a customer and a service provider to my employer (disclosure), I was more interested in the pitch itself than the subject of the pitch.  In researching a bit about Lauren , I stumbled on one of her posts – Tail Winds for Marketing Automation – with some comments from a couple of names I recognize (and blogs I read), including Paul Dunay and Mike Volpe.  So I fired off a few questions by email which Lauren graciously answered.

1. Who are you guys and what are you trying to achieve?
Software Advice is a free online resource for software buyers. We present reviews and comparisons of CRM software, develop “best practices” articles on how to research software and provide other information resources to help buyers evaluate the market. At the end of the day, our goal is to help buyers come up with a short list of software options based on their needs. 
>>>Interesting difference on the traditional analyst ivory tower model.

2. What spawned the idea for blogger outreach?
I work very hard at researching and writing useful content. I learned the hard way that no one is going to find this content unless I go out and promote it (or unless you are Seth Godin or TechCrunch). I’m not sure what sparked the idea, but it seemed like a natural thing to do (“I just spent three days researching and writing this article, why not share it?”)

>>>There’s a tidbit here for traditional journalists. 

3. How did you choose bloggers to reach out to, and how many?
I try to find people that are talking about similar topics, then start a dialog with them. I don’t really have a number in mind when contacting bloggers. Usually it’s just a handful.

>>>Great point.  If there’s a big take-a-way I had from The Cluetrain Manifesto, it’s that one author writes he was far more successful when he engaged reporters with dialogue rather than pitches.  It’s something I strive to emulate – to be an educated resource, even when, there’s nothing in it for you.  That’s called relationship building.

4. Are there any other marketing tie-ins?  Other tactics?
Not really. We’re just trying to develop helpful information and make it available to others on the web. Of course the extra exposure is good for our company.

5. What have been the results?
We see a boost in referral traffic when we promote articles to bloggers. Unfortunately most of the visitors aren’t really looking for software. Regardless, the increased visibility is good for us.

6. You’re, um, title isn’t PR manager or something similar, yet you’re doing the outreach. Please comment.
My title is CRM Market Analyst and my main role is to make sense of the market (then share my findings with buyers). My content won’t help anyone if it can be found, so I have to go out and promote it myself. We don’t have a PR person and like any small business, we all wear several hats.
>>>Yeah, I can identify with your comment “if it can’t be found.”  I recall Brian Solis telling a story about a company that developed some very clever videos and were astounded they didn’t go viral.  Brian’s question to them was, okay, well did you tell anyone about them?

Here’s a bit of Lauren’s handiwork:

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