Let’s just say, not everybody reads. Even more so, even less care to read.
Alternatively, let’s also say, a lot of people read. And even more so, when it’s well written.
What then, differentiates the two and assimilates the good qualities of an attentive reader who takes notice and automatically filters the audience to a perceptive one having a wide outreach. Today PR has transformed to an extent that the good, bad, and ugly are all and the same, depending entirely on how they manage to influence the public. The devil is in the details. What you choose to sell, will eventually start selling itself. How? People. The public or consumers are the biggest assets a company can ask for. Speaking of people, Bloggers are a breed of influencers whose neutrality is a boon in the age of paid media. Everything from image building, brand advertising, opinion generation to feedback, bloggers rule social media and actually possess the power to extract extreme responses from the people. PR representatives are on a constant lookout for such penmanship having celebrity status in social media circles. There are however several do’s and don’ts that accompany the headhunt, and they are pretty straight forward.
1. Blogging is about an active online presence. Targeting or pitching dormant bloggers or ones with a completely different subject matter, would put off the blogger, resulting in loss of time, resources and will never produce the optimum results of the standards first expected. A food blogger will never have an interest or specialty in politics or technology.
2. Bloggers are not journalists. They don’t report. They say it how they see it and influence opinion accordingly. Of course, it’s a healthy gamble and can garner massive results, or go the other way. Nothing is stronger than public support or dissention in a democracy, especially in open media. Lack of customization or mass emails to any and every blogger is usually ignored or sent straight to the spam folder. That is shoddy work. Do your research and give them an idea of what you’re looking for.
1. Establish a system. Every agency reaching out to bloggers must do their homework. This is normally an extensive study of the quality of blogs, the number of blogs, the frequency of posts, and especially the subject matter preferred by the blogger. They usually revolve around a particular theme. Before pitching them via the outreach program an informal Q n A about the blogger’s objectives should be part of the research, to help in the sorting later on.
2. Engage bloggers. Often blogging is not a full-time activity, since bloggers might also have lives outside. Hosting events for them, allows them to have a first-hand experience of the company and the product or service. Also, they feel more involved and gives them an opportunity to see the company’s structure more transparently. In short, it’s an opportunity to create an impression.
3. Send free products. Free merchandise is like a gift, for goodwill. Allowing them to experience the product leads to better reception and in the future leads to more honorable and sincere mentions.
In the end, people have the power. The common man has come a long way since the olden days and everyone has a voice. Popular bloggers influence brand reputation and purchase decisions. As a bonus, PR reps who get hold of such bloggers through the outreach program, get more recognition within the company, creating incentives for others. So, go ahead…Blog, bold, and beautiful.