PR 101- Reaching Out to Bloggers – Janet Fouts

PR 101- Reaching Out to Bloggers

If you’ve got a great story it seems only natural for PR to reach out to bloggers in your space and get them to write about you right? Yeah…. well that seems to be the latest problem for bloggers who get tons of emails and press releases every day trying to get them to write about whatever product or service. So if you really want to connect with bloggers you need to read these best practices first. At least it might get you in the door, and maybe you won’t end up on the Bad Pitch Blog.

Create relationships before you need them
Take the time to get to know the bloggers in your area of interest. Comment when it’s relevant, re-tweet them on Twitter and share links you think they will find useful. I’m a lot more likely to write about your product if I already know you and we’ve been in conversation already. Besides befriending a particular blogger, get to know their network. Having a natural conversation among friends is a good way to share your latest information and you may find more than one in the group who will help get the word out.

Read their blog!
Know your audience seems like a basic idea but you’d be amazed how often it happens that bloggers see mass emails that have no interest for them at all. Resist the urge to broadcast send to nay and all in hopes of landing quality bloggers who are interested in you. Read the blog and see if it is a good fit. When you reach out, do so in the language of the blogger not press release sound bytes. Find out how they want to be contacted, if the blogger is the first point of contact great, but if they have an agent or virtual admin show some respect for their process.

Make it short and rich
Nobody reads press releases. Really, they don’t. Well maybe some read the PitchEngine releases, but bloggers? Not so much. It’s better to write a custom email with some quotable information and links to a video, images or PDF they can use for the story and distribute to their readership. Make it short and to the point and then tell them you’re happy to give them more info and your contact phone, email, twitter or whatever works best for you both.

Make it personal
Make sure you make it personal, comment on a previous post that relates to the topic at hand or you enjoyed. Tell them why their readers need to know about this and how it will add value to the blog and it’s readership.

Share the love
If a blogger writes about you make sure you share the link love with your network. That’s only a part of it though. Share links to great posts they’ve written without respect to your own gain. Be an honest supporter of smart bloggers and they may support you back.

Got a cause?
The Blog Action Day event is a huge success year after year. Why? Because they tell bloggers right up front that they are the center of the event. 13,606 blogs from 156 countries with more than 18 million readers responded with one or more posts and badges on their sites proclaiming their participation. You can’t beat return like that. Look carefully at what they’ve done and if it’s a good fit for you or not.

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Ali Kim

Interesting read. I find this very similar to relationship building in Asia. Terms like ‘guanxi’ are used to refer to the type of relationships built among the Chinese, but it seems like it’s no exception in Western countries, particularly online among bloggers and marketers.

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