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Insights

Blogger relations: what's the secret?

22 July, 2010 - Source: Kindred

Recently there’s been lots of talk about how PRs will make the transition from traditional media relations to blogger engagement, not simply from the PRs’ perspective but from bloggers, inundated with emails, stating ‘this is how we want to be approached!’  The good news is it really isn’t that difficult.  Both require the same skills; it’s just about adapting them for a new medium.  

Although there is a definite shift away from issuing a press release (but let’s be honest, the significance of the humble press release was beginning to wane with the growing fragmentation of media channels) one fundamental similarly still exists – a good PR knows how to build a strong, multi-beneficial relationship. The way you go about forging that relationship may differ but the ability to build a quick rapport and get your message across succinctly, hasn’t changed.

When targeting bloggers think about adopting a three step approach:

1) Research

2) Engagement

3) Nurture

 

 

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1)  Research : As they say the devil is in the detail – so do your research. Identify who is most relevant to you story, understand the type and tone of content they write and also consider their digital footprint - do they have an associated Facebook page or Twitter feed? There could be potentially hundreds of bloggers that cover the interest area you are wishing to target but be selective, think about reach and who will be most interested in what you have to say. 

Bespoke communications takes time, and this is often the longest and most painstaking part of blogger relations.  However, if executed well you should reap the rewards in the long term with endorsements from influential opinion formers.  

Remember: Bloggers won’t take kindly to a mass round-robin email as this shows little appreciation of the content they write and a subject area they are passionate about. If bloggers are unhappy with how they have been approached by PRs on behalf of brands, they are not shy in saying so - a sometimes cruel but valid lesson.  

 

2)  Engagement : Put yourself in the bloggers shoes and think how you’d like to be approached.  Introductions are key – who are you and

where are you from? Why are you relevant to them and the content they write about? Then quickly get to the point of what you are offering. Is

it a sample for trial and review, or a blogger experience, away day or event?

 

3)  Nurture: Now like any successful relationship you need to put the effort in to make in mutually beneficial in the long term.  All relationships

need nurturing and blogger relations are no different.  Once you’ve secured that first bit of coverage, it’s then about maintaining that momentum.

Keep in touch on Twitter.  Re-tweet their articles and invite them to work with you on future projects if deemed relevant for both parties. Send them ideas and news they might like.  Continue to monitor their blog and make links where you can.  But refrain from being suffocating and annoying.  It’s all about the balance just like with traditional media relations.

So, all is not lost for us PRs.  We’ve already got the skills and it is now about tailoring them in the right way.  Although the tactics may differ slightly, it’s good to start thinking like a blogger – how can you offer them something useful, that instantly engages them and creates the solid foundations for a (hopefully) long term relationship.  

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