Last Monday I was the guest on #AtomicChat, a Twitter chat sponsored by Atomic Reach. Our topic — blogger relations. I’m not sure of the backgrounds of those attending that chat, but my hunch was many blogged regularly. Fact is, some of them I could tell by their comments were bloggers who had been approached at some point by corporations or the media.
Blogger relations is hard work because it’s about building relationships with people. And building relationships, in general, isn’t an easy thing to do. But, we do it. From the chat, these are the points I added. If you missed the chat for some reason, I’m compiling the insight gleaned from out conversation here:
- Why is it important for brands to create blogger relations? Blogger relations helps them build backlinks, which is important for ranking in search & it helps brands connect with influencers. By connecting with this influencers, a brand opens the door to building more trust with prospects & customers. After a strong relationship is built, bloggers can energize their audiences to support your brand. This support can be handy during a crisis or to get people involved with an issue. Say an elections topic, for example.
- Build relationships with bloggers before you pitch them, but how much time does it take? It depends on the industry. You must start by commenting & engaging though. Help them first. Then they may help you. For example, building relations with bloggers in publishing has been easy. In pharma it was very hard; distrust existed.If your industry already has a bad rep, then relationship building can take longer. First you must build trust.
- What are top 3 tips for building blogger outreach lists? Use excel to keep track of emails, URLs and blogger’s name. Use a news aggregator like Google Reader to organize content. Categorize by folder. Keep things organized.
- What does an ideal blogger pitch look like? “Hi I see you write about marriage too. I’m a psychologist a family counselor. Would you like to interview about this: [include link to blog].” You want to connect with a blogger on a personal level. In my tweet both are family therapists.
- What are top 3 no-no’s when pitching to bloggers? Don’t ever pitch them irrelevant stuff. It can draw their ire quickly. Don’t ask bloggers to do something that requires much effort, unless you have that relationship built. Don’t underestimate them ever! And don’t leave them in the dark about what your brand is doing or plans to do.
- What are your top 3 tips for pitching to bloggers? Be relevant. Be timely. Be personal and know the blogger’s audience. Consumer a daily diet of your blogger’s content. Try to pitch via email. You get more than 140 characters there if you need them.
There we also some great out takes from bloggers joining in the conversation. These are nuggets of wisdom for any public relations professional, chief marketing officer, or chief executive.
- Asking an apple blogger to start pitching oranges is a no no.
- Bloggers are a tight crew and we support each other fiercely…great for brands! @SettingforFour
- Owning a mistake is the best mark of a true professional.
@BrandieNic: @bennettdoneit @jewelfry
- A brand has to be familiar with me, too, know the kind of things I like.
- Mistakes happen, but the care to double check so pitch isn’t full of grammar errors & spelling before eagerly hitting send. @simplemums
- Tell me how the brand can add value to my readers’ interests ..as a blogger I really want to know! @settingoffour
- If someone makes a comment on my blog as well as my FB and/or twitter then I feel very connected to them. @lifeonthedivide
- Know to who you are pitching, remember bloggers are people, keep communication open and timely. @Atomic_reach
Every company, non-profit, government organization, special interest group — even the mafia — should be building relationships with bloggers. Maybe I exaggerate mentioning the mafia, but you get the idea. It should be part of a public relations plan.