iTiaJones

Blogger Relations: Fostering Positive New Media Partnerships

Posted in Blogger Relations by tiajones on July 18, 2008
Bloggers

Bloggers

A Distinction Between Relationship Building With Bloggers and PR Spam

There was a time not too long ago when people were asking, “What is a blog?” Now blogs have utterly transformed the world of online communication. Blogs are the ultimate bottom up media that can have incredible reach and influence within their audience. Popular blogs have loyal followers and the blogosphere can no longer be ignored.

PR agencies and marketers know how important it is to create positive relationships with bloggers in order to get their message out to the followers of those blogs. But tread lightly when approaching bloggers or you might offend and dash your hopes of developing another channel for expanding your brand.

Creating good relationships with bloggers and developing an outreach program to target specific blogs are essential tools in your new media marketing arsenal. The old saying, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression,” is key here. Firing off an email that comes off as an impersonal form letter to a group of bloggers can be disastrous and ruin your chances to develop a real rapport with them. Follow up efforts are also important and must be handled diplomatically as well.

When you are developing a list of bloggers that you’d like to contact, spend some time actually reading the blogs to get a feel for what would be the best way to approach that blogger.

Tips:

• Choose blogs/ bloggers in your niche/topic/industry with which you’d like to establish a relationship

• Invest the time to establish a relationship

• Communicate in a genuine way–no quid pro quo

• Share opportunities that you become aware of that might benefit them

• Mention them/ their blog on your blog when appropriate

• Be a good neighbor and show that you have manners

Bloggers can be ranked by many different criteria such as:

 Google page rank and Alexa rank
 How many links they have coming to their site
 How much traffic they generate
 Number of subscribers to their RSS feed
 Level of influence in their niche/ industry/ market

In other words, some blogs may rank high on Alexa and Google, but they might not have the same level of juice or influence that a lower ranked blogger might have with their audience or industry. So don’t ignore ‘B list’ bloggers. This is why reading blogs and looking at who is commenting, and who is linking to them can help you to choose bloggers who are influencers and thought leaders.

Remember that bloggers are people–people with a unique viewpoint who represent a segment of your target market that you’d love to create inroads with. Approach with thoughtfulness and respect and pick up on cues as you proceed. Be genuine and transparent and you will have a much easier time developing a rapport when developing relationships with bloggers.

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