Bloggers on PRs…

I have worked in the digital world of PR for a good couple of years now, and I think I have done pretty damn well. When I first started in this business, I did a lot of research into how to communicate with ‘bloggers’. Previouslyu, I had been warned that they were an ‘impossible group of people who were out to get PRs’. Truth be told, I was scared.

In the back of my mind though, I just kept thinking; ‘hang on – surely they are just people with a passion for writing? That doesn’t sound too scar’. I mean, is anyone really scared of Keats, Rubenfield or Brown? Okay, maybe Brown, but merely due to the atrocious writing.

And, guess what, I was right! I have met and spoken with some lovely people (key word that), and have not regretted one second of changing from offline to online PR.

However, it still surprises me how ridiculous some PR companies can be about this. Many stories have been told of stupid, stupid, stupid PR people contacting bloggers in the most hilarious of ways. So I thought I would collect some insights from the online community and share them with those PRs who are still at a lose end when it comes to communicating with the online world.

1)      Individualism – before you do *anything* else, get to know your blogger. If anything, at least find out there name. Some bloggers prefer to be anonymous, and if this is the case, apologise for the fact you haven’t used their name. Understand their blog, what they write about, what they are passionate about, and most of all, whether they are happy to be contacted by you. Dear Sir/Madam/Blogger – a big no, no.

2)      Simply put – DO NOT ADD BLOGGERS TO A MAILING LIST. Unless of course they have expressly asked you too.

3)      Have a clear insight into why you are contacting said blogger and make it clear to them what exactly you want from the relationship. Do not go into PR jargon, using words such as ‘brand ambassador’, ‘key influencer’ etc. Obviously, many bloggers are aware of these terms, but you shouldn’t assume they do.

4)      Irrelevance. Would you really try and get Country Homes and Interiors to review the Chevrolet Camaro? Of course not. So think about what your blogger is interested in, always a good start.

5)      Find the balance of treating bloggers as your everyday consumer/friend/colleague but with the respect you would show a journalist/media – it can be hard to do, but once you have the balance, it can be fantastic

6)      Enjoy it! I think I have said this many times, but it really is fun, and I do find myself giggling away when I receive an email/tweet/phone call from these guys – they are brilliant.

These tips were amalgamated by me and some of the people I have met online – with special thanks to @JumblyMummy, @CafeBebe, @Caroline_S and the rest of you that preferred not to be mentioned.

P.S. Huge apologies for the reference to ‘bloggers’ and using ‘they’. Hideous of me.

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~ by aaronhuckett on September 18, 2010.

6 Responses to “Bloggers on PRs…”

  1. I’m a PR and a blogger. It’s tricky emailing stuff to bloggers but I desperately understand how rubbish it is getting mass-mailed emails without being asked. To go through my blogger list and send stuff out takes an age but it’s well worth it.

    Just today I’ve read some hilarious, brilliant witty stuff. I find myself reading the blogs rather than sending the emails I should be!

    Great post, really helpful.

  2. I’m a blogger, a parent blogger, book blogger and writing blogger. A bit of everything. I don’t have a great deal of experience with pr people but any I have, have been very helpful. I enjoyed reading your post and find it very interesting.

  3. I’m a fairly new blogger and so far my experience with PR has been a bit disappointing. I was asked to review toys, I was informed my chosen toy was in the post. Nothing arrived and I contacted her, worried I had a dodgy postie and it turns out she had found somebody better and had changed her mind, she just forgot to tell me.
    Are you all that cut throat and unprofessional or was my first go just bad luck?

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