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Effective Blogger Relations: Debunking Myths, Discovering Reality


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Delivered to Central Ohio PRSA's blogger relations conference, this presentation is designed to help PR pros understand the realities of blogger relations and the value of incorporating blogger outreach into PR strategies.

Published in: Business

Effective Blogger Relations: 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 tweetable tip: 89% of journs conduct research on blogs #COPRSA
  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 tweetable tip: With bloggers, solid pitches trump lukewarm relationships #COPRSA
  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 tweetable tip: Blogs aren’t newspapers. Treat content creators differently #COPRSA
  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 tweetable tip: When pitching bloggers, know the difference btwn editorial, promotion, news & cmty access #COPRSA
  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?) tweetable tip: 5 Cs of blogger outreach: Cultivation, Collaboration, Content, Community & Communication #CORPSA
  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.