Tips for building online relationships: Know thy blogger!

It amazes me some PR pros (still) don’t take time to read a blogger’s actual blog before pitching to them. Instead, they take their search terms to some PR software program, and salivate over all those names that come up. Then, before you know it – POOF! – they’re added to the media list.

Wrong move. Those fancy PR softwares don’t always accurately convey blogger “beats.” Sometimes, they’re even inputted wrong by those magicians at PR media database companies. OMG!

That brings me to tip time!

1. Follow-up on your research Yes, you’re super busy and on deadline. Yadda yadda, whatever. Even though the majority of bloggers welcome PR pitches (even bloggers run out of things to blog about) make sure you take time to peruse the blogger’s “About me” section – they’ll include what they focus on and what interests them. This way, if you discover your pitch isn’t pertinent enough, you save the blogger – and yourself, a lot of time.

2. Comment on their posts: This is a no-brainer. Building relationships with bloggers is just as important as building connections with journalists. And you’ll really grab a blogger’s eye if you’ve read something they wrote. So become actively involved in their blog’s comment feeds or discussion forums before you push a possible placement. These actions show you enjoy their content, appreciate their talents, and most importantly, demonstrate your desire to build a relationship with them.

3. Greet them individually: Oh yes, a biggie! I know automated e-mails are faster, but don’t do this. Address each blogger by their name, not “Dear Blogger” or “Greetings.” Ugh, really? Bloggers get a bazillion of pitches in their e-mail boxes, too.  So take the time to ask them how they’re doing, .

Why I love bloggers (and why clients do, too!)

Well known blogs receive enormous amounts of traffic (some have tens of thousands of hits per day!) and some authors have existing relationships with other media outlets, or better, write for an outlet themselves! What PR person wouldn’t want to capture that coverage power? (Another tip: Don’t rush them. They generally don’t blog for a living, but to provide a service and increase their blog’s audience, too.)

I once researched up the wing-wong for the right bloggers for a former client, and through research, eventually landed them on a terrific journalist’s personal blog and in her newspaper, too. WINNING!

Anyway, that one blog placement ultimately landed in her blog, plus an additional eight outlets (print/online) resulting in over 450K impressions. (The client liked that one.) Plus, she came back to me for future stories.

Moral? As with any media contact: research, discover and complement a blogger’s work. Blog placements make for great online coverage and open the doors to so many future opportunities!

Share your experience and tips with me below!

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