Today we are launching a series of articles and eBooks in the field of blogger outreach.
The aim is to educate readers, helping you understand the value of blogger outreach and how to go about it effectively. Our first eBook, “8 Reasons why Blogger Relations are Essential to your PR Strategy” can be downloaded for free at the end of this post.
There is lots more informative material to come, including the results of our survey of 500 PR professionals across the UK.
The communications industry has dramatically changed over the last decade and many are still running to catch up. Traditional forms of media, such as TV or Newspapers, used to be the only major channels available to influence an audience. The rise of blogging and social media has opened up entirely new channels to capitalise on and yet many PR execs are still reluctant to include blogger relations as part of their campaigns.
The PR agencies that have been developing relationships with bloggers are creating brand advocates who are respected opinion leaders within the various topics they write about. Those that haven’t will have to start blogger relations soon or risk losing their clients to someone else. It is 3 years since the Future Buzz said “I would like to think every PR firm gets it by now“, so . . .
Why do we still avoid reaching out to blogs?
With all that can be gained from developing blogger relations it’s hard to believe that people are still resistant to this area of PR. A lack of immediate results or a mixed response to initial attempts to develop a blogger relations strategy discourages people from continuing. Comments such as ‘I sent them a free trial of our product and never heard anything back from them’ are common.
As shameful as it is to admit there is also an element of snobbery toward bloggers. While a lot of journalists write blogs the majority of bloggers are talented amateurs who write in their spare time and as such their work is often less respected. The elitist attitude that a blogger should be thankful that you deemed them worthy of your attention will get your proposals sent straight to the bin. You can’t develop good blogger relations while you look down your nose at it. As Gini Dietrich wrote recently in Spin Sucks, bloggers are sometimes still treated like second-rate media.
Building relationships with bloggers requires different working practices from traditional PR and old habits can be hard to break. The same approach that has worked great with journalists will result in disdain from a blogger; they don’t want a press release, but they do want great stories. Change of any kind is difficult. People resist making changes because they think their working practice is fine as it is, but those that don’t adapt risk being out-manoeuvred by the competition.