Yahoo pitch is music to blog's ears

Coverage of Yahoo Music event on PerezHilton.com on November 22, 2005

Coverage of Yahoo Music event on PerezHilton.com on November 22, 2005

Who is your client and why did you target celebrity blog PerezHilton.com?
Paul Armstrong:
Our client is Yahoo Music and they were looking to get coverage of a surprise concert they sponsored in New York's Times Square by the singer Shakira. We focused on PerezHilton because we know it's one of one of the most talked about sites in the blogosphere and is read by the influencers and opinion makers we want to reach.

How did you pitch them on the story?
Armstrong:
I'd met PerezHilton founder Mario Lavandeira at a networking event just before he launched the blog, so I contacted him and said that we had an event they would certainly be interested in. But we didn't give them too much information beforehand because we really had to keep Shakira's appearance a surprise to make sure too many people didn't flock to Times Square to see her. We promised them exclusive photos and content the minute the concert was over.

A lot of PR pros advise against pitching blogs directly. Why were you successful with that strategy?
Armstrong:
First and foremost, it was the promise of exclusive photos and content. We also suggested story lines, but stressed that they could run with it however they wanted. The other key is that most bloggers either are, or consider themselves to be, journalists and you have to treat them that way. That means cultivating a relationship and making sure you tailor your content to fit their site.

What was the impact of the story?
Armstrong:
Yahoo Music was very happy. Though our client didn't give us exact numbers, PerezHilton linked their story to exclusive content on the Yahoo Music site and traffic coming to Yahoo Music through the blog was way up. Plus Yahoo Music is now well-known for its respect of bloggers and the blogosphere.

Name: Paul Armstrong, media relations specialist, Bender/Helper Impact

Placement: Coverage of Yahoo Music event on PerezHilton.com on November 22, 2005

Pitch timeline: Hours prior to the event

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