Friday, September 14, 2007

Reaching Bloggers

My mate Ben Koe wrote a story recently for Marketing Magazine about how public relations practitioners should reach out to bloggers. From The eOK .network:
To begin, it is important to get personal with bloggers. By personal I don't only mean get to know them as friends (yes that's well and good), but getting to know what they want is paramount. What they are interested in, what they like to do with their time, what they like to eat, etc. Sending a press release that's unrelated to a journalist's beat can be ignored as "business", sending an irrelevant one to a blogger is just spam.

It is also fundamentally wrong to think of bloggers as journalists. Blogs are not publications but conversations. Unlike journalists, bloggers have no interest in filling space to complete a media product. The mainstream media has deadlines to meet, pages to fill, and programme timing to follow--bloggers don't. What a blogger would write and talk about has little to do with editorial calendars and plans and a lot to do with interest and passion.

Most shy young practitioners who first join the PR trade are often instructed by their seniors to "pick up the phone and pitch!" When it comes to bloggers, throw that out and try email, IM, and other online communication. Most bloggers don't blog for a living and would not appreciate being interrupted during office hours by PR pitches. Follow up is equally important with bloggers, as it is with journalists, and nothing would please a blogger more than having their readers leaving a permanent remark on their blog in the comments. But do mean what you write because generic comments and useless information are often regarded as spam and discarded.

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