Often successful PR begins with the perfect pitch idea. It starts by considering all possible channels and the best ways to reach key audiences with your story. Chances are, blogs are high on the list of media targets.
Despite predictions that social networks have surpassed blogs in popularity, blogging isn’t dead. More than 42% of Americans regularly follow at least one blog. The best bloggers have become more sophisticated, and most public relations people spend time nurturing blogger relationships. Here’s why.
Bloggers can offer “tipping point” brand visibility. A good PR campaign seeks to to tell a story to a specific audience or segment, and zeroing in on blogs that do that is job #1. For example, for our client Small Town Brewery and its products, penetrating the beer blogosphere was the best way to reach influencers in the category. There are hundreds of beer bloggers and by reaching out to those with high Alexa ratings, a healthy number of incoming links, Facebook likes and Twitter follows with samples, interviews and images, we’ve seen remarkable results.
Blog storytelling has reach. We know consumers will turn to blogs for product reviews before purchase, but it doesn’t stop there. Blogger commentary extends past its initial online platform. The most prolific bloggers re-purpose their content as part of TV interviews or contributed articles to other media. Here’s a perfect example of how blogger Lauren Greutman did just that for shopping app Retale.
Bloggers can drive a conversation. Despite the strength of social hubs like Facebook, many blogs are a two-way form of communication through robust reader participation. Through social sharing, comments and guest posts, blogs offer a targeted community that PR and Marketing teams can source for helpful real-time customer opinions. This quick and potent feedback can help shape and plan product strategy.
Bloggers build additional buzz. Blog posts can easily be shared on other social media. With newer platforms like Medium offering opportunities to place content, one post can lead many lives. Good blogger relationships encourage sharing and linking, which amplify and extend a blog post’s initial reach. These opportunities mean more readers learn about your product or service.
Blogger relationships can translate to real life. Once the initial relationship is formed with an influential blogger, odds are they will be invested in your brand. We like to find many different ways to nurture and enrich this relationship, including exclusive invitation events, retaining bloggers as paid advisers, and developing authentic relationships where we can pick up the phone (yes!) and share ideas.
For more on dealing with specialist bloggers and the communities they influence, check out Cliff’s tips for talking to top tech bloggers.