Monday next week I'm to appear on a webinar panel talking about journalist relationships. You can sign up for it here if you’ve always wondered whether I talk in dulcet tones or a high pitch falsetto.
The Econsultancy blog has featured much on blogger relations, this article from Henry Elliss provides a rather good list of outreach don’ts.
However I wanted to write a piece of my own, partly to draw attention to the upcoming webinar hosted by Vocus (let’s not veil the truth) and partly to add an Econsultancy staff blogger’s opinion to the debate.
So what are the best ways for PRs to engage with Econsultancy's writers? I’m going to start with some entertaining flippancy that nevertheless holds more than a grain of truth and then move on to some best practice for PRs.
A lot of these are dos and not don’ts, but to fit the commandment theme I’ve had to use a few double negatives. Forgive me.
One of the most common obstacles to blogging is the feeling that you haven’t got anything to write about.
This prevents new bloggers from getting into the habit, and prevents more seasoned bloggers from keeping it going.
You want to write, but you need something to write about; what’s your subject going to be?
Building relationships with bloggers can be time consuming, but if done with integrity it can bring fantastic success to a brand in the way of genuine advocacy.
Quite simply, if you take the time to engage with bloggers in the correct manner, then bloggers in turn will engage with your brand as part of a mutually beneficial relationship and more often than not, go above and beyond what they’re asked to do.
Recently, the New York Times published a review of the Tesla Model S electric car.
The review, written by a well-known journalist, John Broder, was titled Stalled Out on Tesla's Electric Highway, and as the title suggests, was not favorable to Tesla. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a well-known entrepreneur, Broder's review was, amongst other things, "bogus." Not one to shy away from the spotlight, Musk took to the web to prove he was right.
Martyn Yang is just your average blogger. His hobby: writing about a number of Hasbro product lines, including Nerf.
So it's not all that surprising that Yang, who lives in Australia, was eager to respond to an email he received from a Hasbro employee asking if he'd like to give away a popular Nerf accessory to some of his site's readers.
Last week Sally Whittle wrote about the ‘top 5 amazing PR offers’ sitting in her inbox at the time, taking a comical dig at some bad examples of blogger engagement in the process.
Her advice is valid, and I suggest taking a read, but it’s a shame that it’s usually the poor examples of blogger relations that often inspire such pieces.
It’s really not rocket science. Do your research, read the blog, offer the blogger something that’s interesting or more importantly, relevant - and try not to buy them off in the process. The ‘treating bloggers like people’ stuff also applies, but that’s largely just common decency that should be applied to any communications - so doesn’t classify as a rule of blogger engagement for me.
As such, I’ve put together a selection of examples of great collaborations below.
Stats should, as always, be taken with a pinch of salt – since the real benefit of this kind of activity is usually longer term. But in some cases, there are some figures to back up particular campaigns.
It's official: Apple's attempt to revolutionise the textbook industry has 'succeeded'.
Just three days in, more than 350,000 textbooks have been downloaded via iBookstore - and iBooks Author has been downloaded 90,000 times.
In fact, over the course of a single weekend Apple has established "a very strong following with authors, publishers, faculty and students and may capture 95% of digital textbook market."
In the age of the internet, every individual may have their own personal printing press, but that doesn't mean that the same legal protections afforded to journalists are always available to bloggers.
Something that Crystal Cox, an Oregon-based blogger who is facing a $2.5m judgment for publishing information an investment firm alleged was defamatory, knows all too well.
Businesses are usually at the forefront of online marketing.
But when it comes to utilising social platforms, there's a lot they could learn
from humble bloggers.
In this post, I look at some social promotional tactics that
mega-brands could benefit from, if only they could carry them off.
The cozy relationships brands have forged with bloggers have been
controversial from the start.
Are marketing and PR initiatives that
target bloggers smart strategy, or are they little more than a flawed
"I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" approach to social media?
The concerns over the latter have been so great that government agencies
have scrutinized how brands work with bloggers, and how those bloggers
promote those brands to their readers.