Blogger Relations

Spreading The Noise

As regular readers of BlogCampaigning might know, I also write a music blog. That means aspiring artists, their labels and their PR people always email me new music. Some of it is good. Most of it isn't. Nearly all of the pitches I get are amateurish at best, and nearly all of them are poorly targeted.

However, one name has consistently stood out over the past few months for sending me music that I usually like wrapped in well written emails: Alastair Sloan from Spread The Noise. Curious to find out more about what he's doing, I wrote him an email and he was nice enough to answer some of my questions.

Describing his company as a "music marketing agency specializing in digital relations", Alastair explained to me via email that he got his start because his own music blog, Noise Porn, received so many poorly written pitches that he recognized a need in the market.

Alastair also mentioned that he doesn't have any formal marketing or communications training, but rather draws on his experience as a music blogger and from time spent working for newspapers and the PR department of a major organization. I think we'll see a lot more of this in the future, as PR education programs start to focus on production and internships rather than teaching the theory, while many more self-taught online communicators will have the skill and self-confidence to start their own companies or enter the working world.

Since I've always got an interest in how artists feel about giving away their music for free, I asked Alastair for his thoughts on it.

"It tends to be larger labels with an established position within the industry who are less keen to give away music", he wrote. "Sometimes I convince them; sometimes I don't. The important issue to point out here is that the business model of the record industry can have a 'free' aspect to it. Building your profile online can lead to more gigs, and more money. And building that profile is a lot easier if you're prepared to give away something to the bloggers." He goes on to mention that in a lot of cases, the artists he represents are actually paying him to see that their music is given away to the blogs, quite the reverse of the traditional model.

His parting advice for others wanting to reach out to bloggers and the online community is to be personable and not too formal. "Follow up your emails, and show you care", he says. He also adds that if you are a large PR agency, you shouldn't be sending the same formal news release to blogs that you would send to more traditional publications.

From what I can tell, this British bloke seems to be doing pretty well for himself, so go check out to see for yourself.

For some more posts on music blogging from BlogCampaigning, check out A Round Table of Music Blogging Knights and Music Blogging: Posting, Pitching and PR


Blogger Outreach (Podcamp Toronto 09)

I know that PodCamp Toronto was almost a month ago, but I'm still catching up on some of the videos of the sessions that I missed. One of those sessions is one on Blogger Relations that Eden Spodek recently wrote about. The session was moderated by Keith McArthur and featured David Jones and Mathew Stradiotto representing the agency side while Eden and Anita Clarke represented the blogger side.

If you are in PR and interested in reaching bloggers, the session is definitely worth a view:

Some of the main points are:

While I don't want to say that the

Anita: "Good pitches always included a lot of information, and gave it all up front so that I didn't have to ask a lot of questions."

"I don't like being bothered every other day, whether the post has gone up or whether I'm going to do this, because I have a full time job." And I think that most bloggers have a full time job. If they don't, and the blog is their primary job, then they are probably equally busy. Either way, the message is that PR practitioners should respect the bloggers time.

"people from the states pitch to me, and they don't sell