Building quality relationships was the emphasis of the Oct. 26 Get PR Smart “Master Blogger Relations” panel featuring Sean Hackbarth, a blogger for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as communication strategists Taylor Bennett and Norah Heintz of Adfero Group.
Blogger relations can feel like a different beast than traditional media relations, but the online community of writers has become just as influential, and in some instances even more influential, than traditional media. The panelists’ perspectives from both the blogger and public relations sides of the outreach offered an inside look at how best to approach blogger outreach.
Bennett kicked off the event by explaining the value of blogger outreach – his advice is a message will resonate better from a real person than from a brand. Respected bloggers attract large readerships that listen to what they have to say. Bloggers often write about niche subjects, so their readerships are finely targeted to a specific issue.
Doing your homework is the first step to successful pitching. Hackbarth explained that as a blogger, he gets overloaded with pitches that have nothing to do with what he blogs about. The best way to start outreach is with a firm grasp on which bloggers write about the specific issue you will be pitching. Hackbarth suggests you “prep the battle space” by following relevant blogs and engaging these bloggers before you need them.
When engaging in blogger outreach, forming connections is an important step in achieving results. Heintz suggested the book, Never Eat Alone, as a primer on building relationships with bloggers. She mentioned that focusing on what you can offer bloggers and not what you can gain from them will help cultivate those relationships.
One of my favorite and actionable pieces of advice is to remember that bloggers are people too – developing working relationships with them will ultimately benefit both of you. With careful research and targeted, personalized pitching, outreach can be painless and well worth your time.
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