Bloggers are powerful. One post, one tweet, from an influential blogger, and it can have a cascade effect. (Check out this recent NYT article about a blogger event gone wrong if you don’t believe me.)
Smart clients appreciate the power of the blog, and in many cases, moms – or parenting bloggers, as we like to call them – are the most persuasive and influential.
Much of our blogger outreach is one-on-one, but an efficient way to reach multiple bloggers is a hosted event. We recently held a very successful blogger soiree timed to the back-do-school season. Though it was scheduled for the dog days of August, the turnout was strong, and the posts have been coming in ever since.
This wasn’t the first such event I helped orchestrate, and it certainly won’t be my last, so here are my “secrets” to hosting a successful blogger event:
Find a cool venue. Bloggers are invited to events every day, so even if your product or news isn’t the hottest, you can make sure the venue is. We’ve had success hosting “drop-in” briefings at our office, but we prefer to invite bloggers to a cool place that’s not ordinary. While store events aren’t usually ideal, our location, the Sleepy’s flagship 5th Avenue store, is more like a showroom than a retail outlet. And it allowed the bloggers to lounge around on beds all night!
Timing. Though August in New York City is reputed to be “dead,” it can be a good idea to plan an event during down time, since there’s far less competition! Given work and family schedules, the best time for a blogger event is usually early evening, but we often conduct a straw poll in advance of nailing down the date and time.
The takeaway. While we don’t always have breaking news to report, a good seasonal hook can go a long way. Our recent event featured a prominent sleep expert and imparted useful information about getting kids back into a healthy sleep schedule. Our attendees thought it was simple, clever, timely and useful.
Swag. Inexpensive and relevant giveaways are always a draw, and as long as you remind your attendees about disclosure rules, it’s a win-win!
Look beyond the moms. Don’t forget the daddy bloggers, and look to travel, food, and home verticals where they fit. And each can be influential. Media outreach doesn’t stop until you know you’ll have a packed house with relevant outlets.
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