…but more work than some PR professionals and their clients/companies might be willing to do.
I think as PR professionals we can agree that our profession is broken. And those issues don’t go away just because there’s a new “shiny” way to reach target audiences via social media.
I received three pitches last week and I can tell you that even though all three were personalized and two were well written, I won’t be sharing their news anytime soon (call me gun-shy). Instead, I thought I’d share some tips for blogger relations and getting blog ink. (And yes, some of this is basic common sense.)
First and foremost, every blogger is different…understood? Now, with that in mind some basic steps to blogger relations:
- Read the blog! (and the comments too)
- Know what kind of blog it is (breaking news, tips, opinions, educational, etc.)
- Understand what motivates the blogger
- Know and understand the blogger’s community and what motivates them
- Understand that it is indeed a community and NOT a target audience
- Understand that most blogger’s don’t have an editorial calendar to meet (i.e. most of us are not working on your or your client’s ‘breaking’ deadline)
- Build a relationship and engage with the blogger on their blog and any other social network (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) that they belong to
- Build a relationship with the blogger’s community (it’s possible to do, so why not do it?)
- Only pitch news that is relevant and add values to the blogger’s community
- If the blogger gives you ink, be sure to say thank you
- If your news is blogged about—and this is VERY important—be sure to join the conversation!
- Be sure to advise your client to join the conversation too (you sold them on social media, DON’T be a social gatekeeper!)
- Let the community share your news naturally (don’t self-promote that you or your client were blogged about)
Why am I gun-shy? Well, I have given ‘ink’ to one agency and their client and after a conversation started (i.e. comments, reactions, etc.) I suggested (via e-mail) that they and their client to join in because I felt it important that they, as guests, should engage with the commenters. They never did. To me, it was a missed opportunity that led to the loss of their credibility and understanding of social media. Using bloggers to get ink is not social media and it’s definitely not a way to develop a relationships.
If you are a PR pro…are you willing to roll-up our sleeves and build relationships first? And are you willing to tell your employee or client that blogger relations take time and it could take several months before they get blog ink?
If you are a pro at blogger relations, what has worked for you?
If you are a blogger, what would you add to the list?