There may be as many as 200 million blogs out there. Obviously PR pros can’t work with all of them, but there are some effective ways to work with top-tier bloggers, as well as practices to avoid in order to build better relationships. We asked Melissa Chapman about it. She wears a few journalistic hats, including penning her family and relationship blog, marriedmysugardaddy, writing for Staten Island Family, and contributing to Huffington Post. We posed three questions to Melissa and her enlightening answers are below:
The most important thing to remember when pitching a blogger is That you have read their blog posts. That you understand the content they deliver and their style. Also PR people need to understand that blogging is evolving into more of a content platform. So, for instance, just as a print magazine would do an advertorial type of post- that is a common practice for bloggers as well. And PLEASE don’t ever say the phrase PAY TO PLAY. Because it is NOT pay to play, being a blogger is a business and therefore business standards and rates should apply.
I automatically hit delete if I see Dear XX. That actually happens, and it would be inexcusable under any circumstances! A form letter is not professional. Don’t be so quick to hit send to 50 bloggers; take the time to make sure your pitch works and that you are addressing the right person. If the PR person didn’t even take the time to fill my name in the requisite slot- then that very same PR person did not take the time to evaluate if their pitch will work for my audience.
Can PR people help you increase UVM and other SM analytics and if so, how? I really am passionate about PR people finding bloggers who are true advocates for their clients and brands and working over the long haul developing meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. By getting a blogger and brand to work in tandem with one another, incorporating social media as well- everyone’s bottom line and stats will do better.