Creating BR (blogger relations) instead of PR is practically a new profession, as more publicity buzz gets started by prominent bloggers. Publicists trying to get media attention for a new product, book, or service are now pitching bloggers in addition to journalists and the press.
But pitching bloggers is vastly different from traditional press relations. New rules apply. If you pitch a blogger the wrong way, you could get written up and publicly slammed by the blogger for everyone on the Internet to see. So how do you go about getting a publicity explosion without it blowing up in your face? Here are a few “do’s” and “don’ts” for getting good blog attention.
1. Don’t leave your pitch in the comments of a blog post. Send a personal email. Leave comments on blog posts, but only to participate in the conversation, not pitch or talk about you and your products, services, or book.
2. Do target your pitch to the interests and niche covered by the blogger. There’s nothing a blogger hates more than receiving pitches completely unrelated to their subject.
3. Don’t send a mass mailing press release.
4. Do personalize any pitch or press release with the blogger’s name, spelled correctly, of course.
5. Don’t ask for links. Invite the blogger to review your material. They’ll do the rest if they think your pitch is right for their audience.
6. Do develop a relationship with bloggers by reading and commenting on their blogs before you ever pitch them. Subscribe to the RSS feed so you’ll stay current on blog posts.
7. Know who else is talking about you. Research your area of expertise through blog searches on Technorati.com, Blogsearch.google.com, and Google alerts.
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8. Offer valuable content. Don’t announce your product, book, or services as if they were the greatest thing to be created. Instead, tell the blogger how you can solve a problem for their readers. Then mention the book, product, or service.
9. Build relationships. Do this over the course of a couple of weeks by participating in the conversations on the bloggers’ blogs.
10. Have your own blog to show bloggers you “get it.” And use trackbacks so they know you’re commenting about them on your own blog before you pitch them. (Trackbacks are an automated blogging feature that notifies a blog when another blog talks about them.)
11. Don’t waste bloggers’ time on something that isn’t relevant to their blog.
12. Don’t use crude language or four-letter words. We see this a lot in blogs written by professionals who would never dream of using this same language in their clients’ offices.
13. Remember that journalists might see anything you say to a blogger because many journalists read blogs on topics they cover.
14. Certainly, never chastise a blogger for not accepting comments at their blog. Contact them by email if you have comments, feedback, or praise about their content.
15. Don’t point out typos on a blogger’s blog. When we find our own typos, we sometimes don’t bother correcting them because they would go out in to the RSS feed again.