Blogging has no doubt taken a turn for the better these last few years, and for this reason other industries want in on the action. Many journalists and PR (press release) professionals have begun their own blogs and have attempted to utilize bloggers to help promote current stories, projects, and events. If you are a blogger and have not yet been contacted by someone who wants your help, you soon will be (there are a few stragglers out there who are just now getting the memo). Whether you realize it or not, blogs now have the potential to be extremely powerful marketing tools for a few reasons:
- Search engines—People are finding that some popular blogs are becoming more visible than big time newspapers on major search engines.
- Networking—Bloggers often have a large following of consumers on their social networking accounts, so this makes them an appealing way to reach a lot of people fast.
- Time and Price—Working with bloggers is usually a hassle-free and inexpensive way to get some extra marketing on the web.
As you know, running a blog and working to get that blog ranked highly on major search engines is a full-time job; therefore PR agencies (and a few journalists) see creating a partnership as the simplest solution to get involved. For this reason, many bloggers are bombarded with emails from outside industries hoping for some free (or inexpensive) exposure.
Why the Coordination Isn’t Quite Right
Unfortunately, the relationship between bloggers and many PR agencies has a ways to go. Many bloggers find themselves annoyed with PR workers because some of them don’t seem to understand what the job of a blogger entails. You will find, if you haven’t already, that people want to use you and your site. Those who are a bit unfamiliar with the world of blogging sometimes assume that bloggers exist to market and promote ideas, opinions, and their events. As a blogger, you understand that blogging is about creating relationships, sharing ideas and opinions (not promoting them), and helping to inform the public. Therefore, emails that ask you to do something or consist of a random press release are annoying. While there are certainly things that PR firms need to change about the way they approach a blogger, there are ways you the blogger can also help create an understanding between the two industries.
Three Ways Bloggers Can Help PR Agencies Get It Right
I will add that many PR agencies and outside industries have done a great job with blogger outreach. As with everything, there is never an absolute; therefore, some bloggers are not as lucky to work with an agency who understands blogging. If this describes your blogging experience, consider a few of the ways to help the situation:
Pitching Tab – Most bloggers call this an “about” section, but this section should be about more than just your personal history and how the blog came to life. Create a list of requirements you ask for if an outside company wants your help in marketing (description of the help needed, how it will help you, etc.). Also be sure that this section details what your blog’s purpose is on the Web. This will help those wanting to contact you understand your goals, which should help them generate a solid pitch.
Reach Out – Bloggers certainly want outside stories, but they have to be relevant to the specific blog. If you are not getting any stories that you want to post on your blog, consider reaching out to PR agencies. They will most likely be thrilled to have your help, and this puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes time to start the relationship.
Be Outspoken – As a blogger, you have the luxury of being able to voice your opinions. If you are continually getting spam emails from PR firms, don’t be afraid to discuss the issue on your blog (and be sure the PR firm is looped in on the action). Be kind first, but if the persistence continues, don’t be afraid to say no.
Fortunately, both bloggers and PR professionals have made it known that they want to improve the relationship. Although it is sometimes easier to simply click “delete” when you get one of those automated messages, it may be worth your time to stop and explain to the agency what it is you’re looking for in a partnership. As a blogger, you deserve a relationship and a benefit from anything you post on your blog. Does anyone else have any other internet marketing resource ideas for bloggers trying to work with other industries?
Photo Credit: drewlucero.wordpress.com