Thursday, November 23, 2006

Color Coding the Blogosphere

Some bloggers are happy to be pitched, some are intrigued, and some are just plain annoyed. By any means, blogging is not a full-time job like reporting or journalism. Thus, to save those bloggers who would rather not spend their time wading through inboxes of press releases and PR pitches, PR solutions is creating color coded logos (red, yellow, green) that can be displayed on their blogsite to clue PR pros in to the blogger's preferences (not interested, marginally interested with some limitations, very interested, respectively).

Avoid the Intimacy Trap

After countless hours of reading and researching a blogger's published history, a PR pro may come to feel like they know the blogger. It's best to keep in mind though, that while you know all about them, the feeling is not reciprocal. It is important to avoid colloquialism and slang in the first pitch/contact in order to establish credibility.

"Push & Pull" PR

"Push" PR tactics (chasing reporters with press releases and product leads) is giving way to "Pull" tactics. Blog pitching is one such tactic. By getting your product online, visibility you make the information accessible and available to journalists who are now more than ever turning to the internet for their leads.

Taking the PR World by Storm

In the not so distant past, PR pros were running around trying to make as many press contacts as possible because coverage created buzz. But with the rising blogosphere, pros are working to establish blogger contacts because blog coverage creates buzz, which creates press coverage.

Feedback is Feedback

Feedback whether positive or negative, boosts a company's onlinge presence. It can engage bloggers in debate and discussion, raising product awareness often in a niche market that otherwise might have gone untouched.

Great Expectations?

When PR blog pitchers are seeking online visibility in the blogosphere, they need to know what their clients' expectations are. Do they require positive reviews, or are they confident enough in their service that they are willing to take the chance if favorable feedback is not guaranteed.

Blogger Search Engines

For the do-it-yourself PR pro, thousands of search engines exist for identifying and compiling target blogger lists; Technorati, Google, and Sphere to name a few. They can also check the ranking of the blog sites on their list at Alexa's traffic rankings services.

Blogger News Wire

Weblogfire is the newest attempt at connecting PR companies and their clients to the blogosphere and niche market they provide. Its multimedia format helps companies identify and target key bloggers. It is a complement, not a replacement to traditional wire services.

Can' t Judge a Book by Its Cover

And you can't judge a blog conversation by its title. When searching for blogs that are relevant to your client, be sure to read beyond the blog headings. All the necessary info for a pitch is provided, you just have to read it and apply it logically.

Do Your Homework

Bloggers are very well connected and self-assured group of people. A simple offer to exchange links can be seen as offensive. That is why it's imperative for PR pros to carefully study and understand the blogging culture before pitching.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Commentary Blog Pitching

Usually blog pitches come in the form of emails but some have used the comments as a medium for pitching. The reaction to this largely depends on the blogger, but if you choose this route, do so minimally and be sure that your affiliations are transparent.

The Psychology of Blogger Relations

Do not haphazardly present facts and statistics in blog pitches. Bloggers spend an enormous amount of time creating their site, providing you with the roadmap to their mind, tendencies, and passions. Use it to your advantage.

BR vs PR

Bloggers have the ability to publish easily without editorial control. That is the reason for the initial discussion, and is main difference between blogger relations, public relations and media relations.

Introductions First

Once you've done all the research and homework of identifying your target bloggers, introduce yourself before making any pitches. If you form a relationship first, they won't feel they are being used as a means to end.

So Far, So Good

Some PR pros find that on the whole, bloggers are mores responsive and less cynical than journalists, but they encourage people to keep in mind that this practice is still new.

The Domino Effect

As with most media outlets, more popular blogs are harder to pitch. Since blogs are so interconnected, it is important to become established in a mid-tier blog first. Chances are, the more popular ones will pick up the story before long.

Bloggers Value their Independence

Their skepticism of biased mainstream media is what turned bloggers to blogging the first place. And now we are trying to get product placement in their alternative voice. Can anyone say "irony"?

Blog Pitching is Risky Business

Blog pitches cannot follow the old format of other media because the ease of publication and the lack of editorial control in the blogosphere can lead to your pitch becoming the spotlight instead of your product.

Is Blog Pitching the Answer?!?!

Topic-specific blogs are the PR pros latest answer to their clients' needs for reaching highly targeted audiences. However, they have to take great care to be upfront about their intentions when approaching bloggers.

The Art of Blog Pitches

Blog pitches should be concise, conversational emails that address the blogger by their alias and grab their attention with a unique twist.