Pitch Letter – How I Pitched Big Brands (and you can, too)

May 18, 2015Blogging & Content

If you’re a blogger and you’re looking to work with major brands, my advice to you is to not wait for them to find you, but reach out to them instead. I wrote a pitch letter to General Motors that I wanted to share. The hardest part of pitching a brand is finding the right person to contact. Once you’ve got a contact, you have to spell out your idea in a clear and concise manner. Below is the pitch letter I sent. I’ll break down each section with narrative to explain why I included it in my letter.

Pitch Letter to a Brand From a Blogger

Hi Katie,Thanks for your reply on Twitter. I had an idea I’d like to run past you that I feel could work for any of the GM brands, especially Chevrolet, but for Buick as well. This is a spin on an idea I mentioned to you a few years back that never materialized with Corvette. I believe I see a potential to work together again and I hope you’ll take 5 minutes to review my idea below. Please feel free to either pass this along to other contacts as you see appropriate or provide me with their contact information.
I had the advantage here of already knowing Katie, my contact at General Motors. I reached out to her via Twitter and asked if it was okay if I sent along a pitch idea I had. She confirmed it was okay and provided me with her email address. Generally speaking, asking first can really help your pitch. Pitches from out of the blue will likely be ignored.

The Idea Synopsis:

This relates to Chevrolet’s sponsorship of the Indianapolis 500 and the 2016 Camaro (potentially) debuting at the race, but can really apply to any GM brand as it focuses on a road trip.My best friend of 20 years, John and I are embarking on a road tip. Believe it or not, we’ve never gone on a road trip together, but we’re doing one this May (2015) for the very first time. John just became a father (at the age of 39). We were able to convince our wives to let us have a guys-only road trip together. We decided to drive to the Indianapolis 500 from Orlando, Florida. The race is Sunday, May, 24th. We will be leaving on Friday, May 22nd.I’d like to document our trip through blog posts, photos & video including the drive itself (sharing memories and experiences along the way). We will each have pro-quality, 28 megapixel cameras that are capable of 4k / ultra-HD video and we each have our own website / blog as well. I personally have a strong social media presence, especially on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Our blogs / websites include the following: Depending on GM’s interest, we would be able to provide a series of posts on social media and / or our blogs, along with videos that narrate our experience along the way. I am also willing to share photos or video footage with the the Brand(s) for advertising and marketing purposes.
This section of the letter has to clearly explain your idea. Think about your pitch from the perspective of the brand. Your idea, to them, is simply a marketing tactic. How would your idea fit into their marketing mix? What is the unique perspective your idea provides to the brand? What’s your story and, at a high level, what will you be providing to the brand? All of these are important questions to answer right up front.

The Business Value:

I believe the ROI potential on this idea to be very high relative to the cost. We ask for GM to sponsor our trip, covering transportation costs for the round-trip drive and a reasonable fee for our content (TBD). Ideally, GM would provide a vehicle for use during the trip. A Camaro would be ideal, but I see tremendous value in Buick’s involvement as well. We are currently planning on staying with friends and family along the way, which we feel contributes to an authentic “best friends” experience, so expenses will be relatively minimal. We’re open to modifying our plans based on interest & requirements. The content that we’re able to produce would more than offset the minor costs associated with a sponsorship.
Marketing is becoming increasingly metrics-driven. Brands that are open to working with bloggers are ultimately interested in their return on investment (ROI). They’d like to invest as little as possible and see as large of a return as possible. Bloggers can often provide this. If you can, explain what you feel the ROI would be for the brand in exchange for what you’re offering. Chances are, this will be the biggest factor they use in making their decision.
How I used Canva

Copyright / Disclosure:

There are no issues that I’m aware of. I am currently also an “ImageLogger” for Samsung Camera, and would potentially like to use some of the imagery / video for that partnership as well (I retain ownership rights under my partnership with Samsung). Details can be discussed if GM is interested.
If you’re already working with other brands, be up front about it – especially if they could even remotely open up a conflict of interest. In this case, I’m already working with Samsung Camera as an ImageLogger and I wanted to state that up front. I felt that working with a non-competitor brand wouldn’t case a conflict of interest. Putting your chips on the table right away ensures you don’t get to the point of engaging with the brand and discover there’s a conflict and you have to cancel your project.

Professional Experience:

As you know, I have been a blogger since 2008 and currently manage a digital media team for the 2nd largest hospital system in the state of Florida. I know how powerful authentic stories and content like this can be to the consumer. We are late 30-something, happily-married fathers embarking on a trip we will likely only experience once in our lifetimes, despite being friends for over 20 years. Weaving the GM brand into the authenticity of our story could tremendously help the brand and build on your current campaigns in an extremely cost-effective way.
As a blogger, you bring some experience to the table. If you’re a parenting blogger and you’re pitching a brand about a family or child related topic, explain your experience in the space. Tell the brand your experience with them and why you chose to ask them to partner with you. In this case, I love GM products and understand their current marketing campaign and felt that my idea could add to that campaign in an authentic way. As we all know, authenticity is important when it comes to bloggers and brands working together.
Our tickets are already purchased. Our route is planned (we’re stopping in Atlanta for a Braves game, too). All that’s missing is GM! Thanks so much for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.Sincerely, Daniel Brent Ruyter Digital Marketing Strategist & Project Manager http://danielruyter.com/

What do you think?

Did my pitch letter fall short in any way? What, if anything, did I leave out? What did I include that I should have left out of my letter? I’d love to hear your thoughts below or on social media. Thanks for reading!

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