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There are many articles out there on how PR professionals should seek, contact and engage with bloggers. We are focused on building a relationship with bloggers and converting them into brand ambassadors for our client. We hope that they will write amazing posts about our clients and it will spread through the blogger world like wildfire.
But as PR pros have we stopped to think about what the bloggers want from us?
I am a mom blogger, crawfishtales.com, and I have had the opportunity to be on both sides of the pitch. This has given me insight that I have used to mold the way that I, as a PR pro, engage bloggers. I constantly remind myself that bloggers are receiving multiple pitches just like a reporter and that I need to make my pitch stand out from the others. The best pitches are the ones that are thorough and have thought through the pitch from the bloggers prospective.
Here are a few things that bloggers want when working with a PR pro or brand:
• The specifics up front. In your pitch includes the due date, what to post about, the links and how many words you are requesting. This helps a blogger to determine realistic expectations and if they can fit it in.
• Compensation. While in a perfect world we would all love to compensate a blogger for their time and effort but often times there is no budget. There are other things you do have of value that can be used as give-a-ways which are a tool that bloggers love to offer to their audience. PR pros need to understand it is not always about money, it is about why a blogger should do free promotion of your brand to their audience.
• Provide resources but not tone. Arm bloggers with information such as background information on the company or product, FAQs, pictures and social media handles. The blogger will take it from there and craft what you have provided to reflect the tone and voice that matches the blog. Don’t force prewritten language on the blogger.
• Promote their work. While you are looking for the promotion from a blogger to expose your brand, the blogger also is looking to you for exposure to your audience. Remember to tweet a link to their post or give them a shout out with the link to their blog on Facebook.
• Remember it is not about the numbers. Sometimes the data on blogs is tricky. Working with a blogger is more about the exposure and influence that the blogger has and less about the exact page views. Don’t beat down a blogger on exact numbers focus on the reach.
• Keep in touch. Bloggers want to be your friend. Bloggers want to keep the lines of communication open to develop a relationship. The more you stay in touch the more likely the blogger is to develop fun ways to work together and the more exposure your brand gets.
Focus your blogger relations on a specific blogger list and then develop a plan for how you can work with that list ongoing. By developing a relationship with a group of bloggers that you can call upon frequently, you are making your job easier and empowering them as brand ambassadors.
Sometimes it is about the quality of the blogger relationships and not the quantity. Whirlpool, Disney and Lifetime have blog programs that you can refer to as an example of how you can customize a blogger program to fit your brand, company size and market.
Thanks to Lisa Concepcion of LisaTakesMiami.com and Daisy Teh of TheItMom.com for providing insight to what it is that bloggers really want.