Blogger relations – 3 tips from the experts

22Jul08

Recently my inbox has been filled with lots of discussion around blogger relations. The reason why isn’t a great surprise as more and more firms are seeking to get their message across and have finally woken up and realised that people trust the opinions of bloggers far more than they first thought.

Josh Bernoff from Forrester back’s this point up explaining that “83% trust the word of a friend. But perhaps one of the more interesting points is that the number who trust consumer reviews by people they never met on a retailer’s site…is 60%, only slightly lower than “a review by a known expert.” – See link for chart (hat tip to Vero for point to it)

This week it looked as though the PR community had a global epiphany at the same time and conspired to send out enough bad pitches to warrant a host of bloggers to complain whilst begging them to do better. Compiled below is a nice ‘top 3’ summary that I would consider the basic guidelines to follow before commencing on any blogger relations programme.

Rule 1: Disclose who you are – be authentic

Edelman learnt the hard way just how important this is – but the general rule that needs to be followed is:

Every interaction online – whether by e-mail, through a blog comment, or via a Facebook message – must include your name, the fact you work for xxx and the identity of your client. The signature line is not sufficient.

Thanks to Marshall for this advice.

Rule 2: Do not send press releases to bloggers

Doing so makes it tougher for the rest of us to attract coverage and will, eventually, earn a flaming from the blogger that makes us and our client look bad. Require evidence? Check out this hilarious post from Gawker or even the aptly titled Bad Pitch Blog.

Rule 3: Don’t be lazy – be personal

Vero makes the point that emails, when sent, should be personalised. It’s not just about sending it to a person and including their name but also we need to understand what that person has written about in the past and what their views are.

Kara Swisher explains very succinctly (as you have to in Twitter) what her golden pieces of advice are:

Be clear. Be honest. Sure, be loyal to your company, but don’t be stupid

Understand what each of us does. I don’t cover every single thing. We’re more analytical than most other blogs.

I am sure that the amount of traffic going to bloggers will only increase as firms look to influence these influencers. I’d like to leave you with a warning taken from the Bad Pitch Blog:

A good pitch disappears and turns into a story.
A bad pitch becomes the story.



2 Responses to “Blogger relations – 3 tips from the experts”

  1. Hi, Jonny – great post. Thank you for these insights.

    You and your readers may also want to read a post I wrote back in March on this topic:
    “New to ‘Blogger Relations’? Take a Lesson…”

    Here’s the link:
    http://www.newmediawise.com/index.php/blog/comments/blog-new-to-blogger-relations-take-a-lesson/

    cheers,
    Graeme
    http://www.tech-surf-blog.com
    http://www.newmediawise.com

  2. Out of all the crazy sources I trust word-of-mouth most, of course, -friends / family, but over time I#ve noticed that if you get to “know” a blogger over a period (of months or years as a daily/weekly reader, maybe it is a friend of a friend or even your favorite NPR radio host) then the things they voice (i.e. “see this movie”, “this band is amazing!”, “dude, f%&k Bank of America”) tend to have a similar impact- not as strong or direct, but it IS there nevertheless.


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