Like it or not, bloggers are a force to be reckoned with in your PR efforts. But these aren’t your father’s journalists; they must be approached in a different way.
With that in mind, the PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin chapter focused its August luncheon on “Blogger Relations for Dummies (and PR Pros).” Blogger panelists Jon Mueller (@jonmueller) of 800CEORead.com, Nick Chipman (@DudeFoods) of dudefoods.com, and Heather Blessington (@mamaVISION) of mamavision.com shared insights from their interactions with PR pros.
To recap, we’ve outlined a few of the key takeaways:
• Research, research, research – Rather than crafting the “perfect” pitch, spend more time researching the blogger(s) you’re targeting. What’s the focus of their blog and who is their audience? Read a few of the posts to get a sense of their writing style, and more importantly, learn about their passion(s).
• Make a real connection – Bloggers have a platform and a passion for what they do, so tap into their interests. Point to a specific post you’ve read. Why did it grab your attention?
• Be selective – Narrow down your list for blogger outreach. Select key bloggers who are influential to your target audience.
• Be generic – Personalize your communication. “Dear Blogger …” doesn’t encourage anyone to learn more about your client or its product/service. Simply put, don’t take a cut-and-paste approach. Would you want to help someone who didn’t take the time to learn your name?
• Beat around the bush – Identify what you’re looking for up front. Plant a seed. Collaborate with bloggers to share your story.
• Use industry jargon – Talk to them like a regular person. For most, blogging isn’t their full-time job; they’re also business savvy and know the usual promotion lingo, so don’t invite them to be a “brand ambassador.” It won’t work.
Want to learn more? A video post is now available on the PRSA SE WI blog at: http://prsawis.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/aug-25-2011-pitching-bloggers-luncheon-recap.
Is blogger outreach part of your media relations program? What advice would you give to fellow professionals?