That Time You Bought That PR List….

OK so you’re going to do it the easy way and buy a PR list to reach out to influencers!  What could go wrong right?  Before you buy a PR list for your next campaign, here’s a few things you should know.

BUY PR Lists

PR Lists change like underpants

The advertising, media, PR and influencer industry changes pretty fast.  Ask anyone who has worked in media who has watched their ass grow from the constant “farewell cake”.  It’s a transient industry where everyone has worked with everyone at some point because staff turnover is massive.  So your list is already expired on the day you bought it.  In fact, chances are the only list any PR company would sell would be one they “don’t need anymore”.  Their power is in their contact list.  They’re not exactly going to give it away!  Don’t buy a PR list

BUT… digital influencers don’t just change blogs?

True that.  Digital media is a lot steadier than traditional media –  so there’s a chance that your Digital PR list hasn’t changed much.  Winning right?  Actually, your digital PR list is essentially a list of bloggers and influencers who are sick of your shit.  They’ve been put on some ANNOYING AF list that means a never ending stream of junk to their spam folder.  Make no mistake, your emails are going directly to spam.  Established digital influencers have the most regimented spam filtering system on the face of the planet – if you got an email address from a “sold list” the email address is set to “straight to spam”.


Scrrrrraaaappppeeeeee -the sound of list building

Scraping… where a digital tool like Buzzstream makes its way through the search results gathering up contact information and putting it on a list.  It’s not just outreach tools, it’s SEO tools too.  Feeding the same list to everyone who had the brilliant idea of making a list.  The list you’re buying?  It exists EVERYWHERE.  Everyone who wanted it, has it.  The influencers and journalists and copywriters and PRs… they all know about it.  They all HATE IT.  They’re sick of the repercussions of it.  You, and your email… that’s the repercussion to which I refer.

Fishing Monthly? Why not?


A PR list that’s NOT 100% targeted to your specific business type, is useless.  Fishing Monthly is NOT going to feature your gorgeous new earring collection.  Even The Shoe Fashionista – the right general industry, won’t be keen on your earrings.   The PR list for your earrings is not 100 of the top influencers in the world.  It’s maybe 20 of the top influencers in your niche.  Good luck finding a pre-made PR list for Boho earrings for women aged 18-35 in Australia willing to spend $25-$50 on accessories.  That list is specific AF and the one you actually need.

But if I only get through to one influencer in 100, it’s a win right?

Of the hundred contacts on the PR list you bought, you *might* make it through to one.  Your email finally has some eyes clapped on it.  What have you written?  One generic email you sent to all 100 spam accounts?  Or 100 personal emails that took you days/weeks?  If it’s the first, congratulations, you went to the spam account via 10 seconds in the inbox. If it’s the latter – hooray, the influencer may actually read it… before deleting.  The pitch is the most important bit.  You’re paying a publicist or digital PR for their contacts and nous when it comes to pitching.  Bloggers have set fees.  When they do a “freebie” for product or for a NFP, they have set expectations.  Each influencer is different but most agree that they don’t work their asses off maintaining an audience relationship to help you make money for free.  Especially if you bought the same spammy list that’s been driving them nuts for months.


So how do you do it right?

You can commission a digital researcher to find you EXACTLY the right list for your business needs.  Just be sure they’re not in the business of onselling your list to competitors and the world at large! Boho earrings with fascinated audience members in the right time zone and on the right income.  But, you’re not done yet.  It’s not enough to just shoot an email.  It’s time to follow the influencers.  Get intel on what they love. Uncover their personal style.  Check out what their audience responds best to – what gets them fired up and purchasing.  If you’re particular brand of boho isn’t for them, move on.  Once you narrow down your list to a few good options, when you understand the influencer and their audience, then, and only then can you start to build a relationship.

It’s not quick.  It’s not simple.  It’s not spam.  A blogger outreach agency is the quick and simple way to do blogger outreach because the agents already know what you need, understand the influencers and have access that can’t be “bought and sold”.   Don’t just buy a PR list, invest in getting actual ROI from your influencer and media outreach campaigns.


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