The Blogger Approachability Conundrum

To me, bloggers are like pit bulls (I love pit bulls). Most of them are nice, loyal and even affectionate. But some really aggressive ones have given the whole species a bad name.

Because some bloggers have replied with grumpy emails or have even publicly criticized brands who try to approach them, many PR pros and marketers are stumped when it comes to choosing which bloggers to contact about potentially representing their brand.

When it comes to bloggers, their approachability levels are all over the board. Some blog out of passion and want to write about their experience and never work with brands. Others want compensation so that they continue with the time and upkeep that a blog requires which means they love to be contacted by brands that are a good fit with their blogs.

Some bloggers fall in the middle. They work with brands once in a while or mention brands that they are moved to mention as a result of a no-strings-attached product or service a brand sent.

The key to filtering out “unapproachable bloggers” is being able to narrow down and filter out bloggers who not only fit in to your brand’s niche but want to work with your brand. Luckily there are clues and tools that can help you with this so that you uncover bloggers who love your brand, fit perfectly contextually, and are open to working with brands.

Non Approachable or Are You Poking Them in the Eye?

Before I dive in to uncovering the bloggers who are approachable, I need to touch on a crucial problem in the blogger outreach world.

Some people dive in to blogger outreach without a foundation and pitch bloggers in a manner that offends them.

Then, when the blogger calls the brand out on this bad pitch or responds “crossly,” the blogger gets labeled as “unapproachable.” In reality they just were approached by someone who doesn’t know how to correctly pitch. It’s like when parents get mad at a dog because their kid poked their finger in the dog’s eye and the dog reacted. The kid’s conduct provoked that kind of response…

If you are concerned that you are one of these people who is sending poor pitches or poking the dog in the eye, take a break from this post, don’t fret, just check out these three links and join me back on this post.

Blogger Outreach is the Sexy Name For What PR PROs Have Been Doing On Social Media Today
The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media on Spin Sucks
8 Tips for Successfully Pitching to Bloggers on PRNewswer

Find Bloggers Who Want to Be Contacted

The easiest way to tell if a blogger is approachable is actually quite easy but often overlooked. Look at the blog and see if the blogger has previously taken part in the tactic, whether that’s sponsored posts, product reviews, giveaways, guest posts, etc., you’re most interested in.

If you’re a GroupHigh user, you can filter your search results from the very beginning by bloggers who are receptive to the tactic you want to use for your campaign so that you can be assured that you’re only reaching out to bloggers who will not bite unless you pitch them offensively.

If an outreach tool isn’t in your budget, you can read through the blog and see how the bloggers are marking their posts. Are there many authors? Then they probably take guest posts. If you want to do a sponsored post or product review, bloggers are legally obligated to disclose that information so the post should have that clearly marked somewhere.

What are your thoughts? From sharing an experience with a non-approachable blogger to advice on a tactic you use to find approachable bloggers, I’d love to get a discussion on this topic going in the comments below. Cheers to good input!

Author Bio: Kristen Matthews is the marketing and community manager for GroupHigh in Boulder Colorado. She loves the collaborative elements of modern marketing so feel free to contact her for anything at and follow her on Twitter @Kristenwords and @GroupHigh!

Image courtesy flickr user Tom Newby