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Best Practices: Blogger Relations

It’s safe to say that many of us have reached a point in our lives where we can’t tolerate any more irrelevant telemarketing calls or spam emails.  Why would I need car insurance when I don’t have a car? A discount on restaurants in St. Louis? I don’t live there, so that’s not very helpful.

Although these are general examples, imagine how bloggers feel when they get pitches from PR professionals that have no relevance to their outlet or beat.  We as PR professionals must be careful and considerate in the work we do with bloggers on behalf of brands.  Aligning their interests with the interests of our clients should be a way of life.

To ensure we are doing our very best to build fruitful relationships with bloggers instead of pestering them with unrelated materials, here are some best practices to consider:

Do Your Homework

  • Kids, this isn’t just skimming a blog.  Read individual posts, pick up on the themes and topics they repeatedly cover and get a sense of their tone.  Pay attention to likes and dislikes.  Remember that many bloggers have beats, just like journalists.
    • Additionally, make sure that the blogger or bloggers you are targeting are amenable to working with brands.  Not everyone is, and that’s their prerogative.  Pitching a food blogger fashion tips is about as effective as pitching a goldfish pants.

Don’t You Dare Generalize

  • Not all female bloggers want to sample makeup.  Not all daddy bloggers are interested in cars.  Like doing your homework, understanding your audience (in this case the individual bloggers) is crucial. Stereotyping bloggers because of age, gender or other demographic factor is a terrible idea.  It is such a bad idea that some companies are even capitalizing on the hatred of stereotypes by using ads making fun of them.  Focus on individual interests and preferences instead.

Be Human

  • Step away from the mail merge!  Part of respecting a blogger’s integrity is showing them that you are aware their time is valuable.  It is fine for a pitch to be brief – just be sure that it is evident that you understand their work.  Do they cover interior design and you’re a fanatic? Are you also obsessed with gadgets? That is okay to mention!  It adds a human element to your interaction with them.

As the role of bloggers in the media landscape continues to evolve, the way PR professionals interact with them will adapt.  For now, proper research, respecting for the individual and interacting on a human level can help.

Are you looking for specific tips on a genre of blogs? Check out this guest post about mommy bloggers from Appinion’s Nyerr Parham.

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