In recent years the media has changed dramatically. We no longer rely on our morning newspaper, or breakfast television to tell us what is going on in the world. Never before have we had so many ways in which to hear about the news and information.
Instead, more people than ever are “logging on” to get a live feed of news and views. Social media, news websites and even videocasting are quickly becoming the UK’s most popular way to learn about top headlines and breaking news.
With the surge in social media activity, it is no wonder that we have also seen a global explosion in bloggers. From Perez Hilton to Guido Fawkes, mummy bloggers to food writers, there is something for everyone. it is understandable though that one might be suspicious of the worth of blogs in terms of marketing. What benefit do the opinions of Joe Bloggs give to your campaigns? Surely recognised media outlets are far more influential?
However, times have changed and the role of bloggers has grown in significance. Blogger outreach campaigns are becoming increasingly common, with clients placing more and more emphasis on their engagement.
Here are some tips for how PRs can maximise their relations with key bloggers:
Research your target market
There is no point wasting your time and energy focusing on a blog which attracts only a handful of visitors or that does not communicate with your target audience.
Get to know key bloggers
Familiarising yourself with the people behind the blogs is vital for ensuring you get the best out of them. Maybe they work during the day and a phone call during working hours may be counterproductive, or perhaps they are located in another country and inviting them to a press launch is pointless.
Engage social networks in your communications. It is highly likely that bloggers will be using Twitter to help promote themselves, so make sure you follow and engage with these key players.
Treat them as you would a journalist
It’s important to remember that they may have a greater readership than the traditional media that you target and will receive a huge number of requests from PRs.
There are plenty of people out there who think that setting up a blog will entitle them to free products from willing PRs. Make sure to consider any request carefully and research their blog and social media presence before committing to anything.
Just as you would with a journalist, you must tailor your pitch accordingly. Make sure to pitch in something that is relevant to their blog rather than sending a generic email.
With an increasing number of people heading online for their media fix, it is likely that the blogging community will continue to expand. Ignoring bloggers is not an option for the PR industry, and doing so may well cause you to miss on out exciting opportunities for your clients. However, it is vital that PRs examine each blog carefully – just as you would a trade magazine or newspaper – to ensure that you can maximise efforts and target the right audience.