Blogger Relations and PR: Debunking Myths, Discovering Reality


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Presentation by Heather Whaling, Geben Communications (PRtini) on the art of blogger relations. This presentation was given as the morning speech at a Central Ohio PRSA blogger relations event on Sept 19, 2010.

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Blogger Relations and PR: Debunking Myths, Discovering Reality

  1. 1. Blogger Relations & PR Debunking Myths … Discovering Reality #COPRSA Heather Whaling
  2. 2. Why Blogger Relations? • 77% of Internet users read blogs • 89% of journalists conduct research on blogs • 72% of bloggers blog to share expertise • 61% of bloggers supplement their income by blogging 89% of journs conduct research on blogs #COPRSA tweetable tip:
  3. 3. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
  4. 4. “Blogger outreach has proliferated in the last year as firms and clients … see the value of exposing bloggers and their audiences to new campaigns and products … As you might have guessed, the big dogs … are getting solicited by agencies again and again and again and again and again and again.” -- Ogilvy PR
  5. 5. “The bottom line is, we’re tired of being marketed to; we just want to have a conversation.” -- Scott Monty
  6. 6. “At every one of my speeches, I say PR people are spammers. That gets everyone's attention so I have an opportunity to explain what I mean … I get several hundred unsolicited press releases and PR pitches every week. Well over 99% of them are not targeted to me, instead they are sent to me because I am on various PR people’s lists …” -- David Meerman Scott
  7. 7. (history repeats itself) 2007
  8. 8. Photo credit
  9. 9. The Realities of Blogger Outreach
  10. 10. Myth #1: Pre-existing relationships • Develop personal relationships with bloggers before making the pitch • “Cold-pitching” is forbidden
  11. 11. Reality: Be Smarter. • Relationships help, but aren’t required. • A solid pitch trumps a lukewarm relationship. • Personalization is the key to effective blogger outreach. • Help bloggers cut through the clutter With bloggers, solid pitches trump lukewarm relationships #COPRSA tweetable tip:
  12. 12. Myth #2: Bloggers = Media Photo credit
  13. 13. Reality: Blogger Relations = Media Relations • Most bloggers: – Aren’t breaking news – Answer to communities, not editors – Haven’t graduated from journalism school – Don’t want your press releases • Blogs aren’t newspapers or magazines, so don’t treat the content creators the same Blogs aren’t newspapers. Treat content creators differently #COPRSA tweetable tip:
  14. 14. Myth #3: Pay-to-Play, Swag & Ads Photo credit
  15. 15. Reality: Ethics, FTC Say “No Payola” • FTC requires disclosure from bloggers who receive cash or in-kind payments • Fake reviews do a disservice to a blogger’s community • Understand the difference between editorial, promotion, news, community access/integration When pitching bloggers, know the difference btwn editorial, promotion, news & cmty access #COPRSA tweetable tip:
  16. 16. “We believe we should be fairly compensated for promotional work, for providing material to be sold by a third party, for sharing our knowledge to companies who will profit from that said knowledge.” -- Independent Fashion Bloggers “Fair Compensation Manifesto”
  17. 17. Myth #4: Content is King
  18. 18. Reality: … Not So Fast • 5 C’s of Blogger Relations: – Cultivation – Collaboration – Content – Community – Communication (what’s the ask?) 5 Cs of blogger outreach: Cultivation, Collaboration, Content, Community & Communication #CORPSA tweetable tip:
  19. 19. Bad Blogger Relations Matrix courtesy of The Future Buzz (
  20. 20. Good Blogger Relations Matrix courtesy of The Future Buzz (
  21. 21. Heather Whaling @prTini for slides & resources: subscribe to my blog: Collaboration. Integration. Social Good.