Blogger outreach might seem like PR 101 but there’s been a recent wave of criticism about PR people happening across the blogosphere – from receiving mass emails to misleading pitches – bloggers are reaching their breaking point.
So before you hit ‘send’ on your next pitch, check out these 5 tips for blogger engagement and start building long-lasting relationships; while staying off of sites like Bad Pitch Blog and Gawker PR for Dummies.
5 Tips for Blogger Engagement
- Do Your Homework– Take the time to research and identify a targeted group of bloggers to connect with about your client’s initiative. This means actually scanning recent posts to better understand what their interests are and checking out their presence across all social channels.
- Get Their Name Right – As simple as this may seem, the reality is sometimes bloggers get emails that start with ‘Hey There,’ ‘Insert Name Here’ and ‘Dear XXX.’ On a related topic, even common names like Kelly or Mike can be spelled not so commonly such as Kelley or Myke, so make sure that you have the proper greeting and spelling before reaching out.
- Be Relevant – Remember that each of you have a responsibility – you to secure client coverage and the blogger to provide interesting content to their readers. Before reaching out, make sure your client and/or the content makes sense for the blogger’s audience (this is also part of doing your homework). And when it’s a natural fit, connect your pitch to a related post that the blogger has written, a re-occurring theme that you uncover on their blog or a recent trend… just don’t force the connection.
- Have Assets to Share – Giving bloggers the right assets to enhance their understanding of your client’s product/service goes a long way. Think about what you can provide each blogger to further engage and spark their interest. This could range from giving the blogger exclusive content, to sharing product for review, or providing multiple products for reader giveaways.
- Understand the Meaning of ‘Partnership’ – A true blogger partnership is a relationship that extends beyond coverage and is mutually-beneficial. These days, many formalized blogger partnerships involve a payment of some sort – but outside of the financials, engaging ways to activate these partnerships could be offering bloggers the:
- Opportunity to pilot test programs
- Serving as counsel on program development
- Or providing exclusive access to upcoming campaigns or product launches for sharing across their communities
And if you need clarification on what a partnership is not, check out this insightful post from Liz Gumbinner, co-founder of Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech.