Why bloggers are important to Public Relations

They say bloggers have the coolest jobs. Getting to attend product launches, sit out front rows at fashion weeks, receive Jimmy Choo bags to review. Over the last few years, blogging has attained unmatched stardom and popularity with the most-viewed websites bagging millions of hits. Understandably, bloggers have become and influential lot.

Blogs are currently the third-most influential digital resources, after retail and brand portals. This only proves that consumers nowadays are not just reading blogs but also listening to what a blogger feels about a product/service before deciding to make a purchase.

For PR professionals working in the fast-paced industry is not an easy task. Maintaining cordial working relations with bloggers needs to be an integral part of their routine work. It’s true that PR is increasingly becoming competitive in nature and the ability to build long-term relations with the bloggers is as important as maintaining relations with the media.

Convincing a blogger on why he/she should feature your client can be a time-consuming affair. After all, they are not full-time writers and their efforts are out of their own will and that exta they put in. Here are some key tips PR agencies should consider using to up their engagement with the blogger community.

  • Identify the right bloggers

When a PR agency decides to collaborate with a blogger to enhance outreach, it is crucial to find out about online influences.

With the number of bloggers growing regularly, it is necessary for a PR firm to be able to match blogs with their client requirements. Some of the other important factors that should be taken into account while reaching out to bloggers are a) readership; b), stronghold, that is, if a blogger features in prominent publications; c) the regularity with which a blog is updated. Based on these findings, relevant and potential blogger lists should be drawn up.

  • Focus upon relationship building

Bloggers are a passionate lot. Most of them blog during their spare time, an additional task they undertake apart from their regular employment/profession. Many of them work in the day and populate their blogs with content created/culled/extract at all odd hours. PR agencies should aim to foster stronger ties with them to maximize profit for clients. Spend time to read their posts, find out about their likes and dislikes to create interesting pitches. Uniqueness is key while pitching to bloggers.

The logic is simple. As you spend time to build relationships with media agencies, so should you look at the establishing relationship with bloggers for a long haul. Use Twitter to let them know that you appreciate their efforts. If you like their recent posts, re-tweet them or simply catch up to discuss opportunities.

  • Tailored/customized approach

Sending out a mass email (for example, a product launch press release) to all bloggers is one of the common mistakes committed by PR professionals. Instead of spamming their inbox with ‘copy-and-paste’ content, follow them on social media. Before making a pitch, it is better to initiate conversations through social channels to ensure success.

To enhance outreach, you can invite bloggers to events of their interest and then discuss your client’s products/services. When you focus upon building a personal connection and invest time to know them, chances of success improve.

Bottom Line

In the digital domain, creating a winning media relations strategy is dependent on reaching the influences bloggers.

With shrinking opportunities for PR professionals to feature clients in conventional media, blogs are now projected as an influential new media outlet. While journalists usually prefer to adopt a neutral position on brands, bloggers enact the role of brand advocates.

Consumers nowadays trust human-eccentric third-party blog posts compared to the company statements. Similar to media placements, blog posts help to create brand awareness and boost positioning.  Bloggers’ outreach programmed have proven to be more efficient in comparison to traditional media relations. Since bloggers focus upon particular topics, it helps a brand to target precise demographic groups.

In simple words, blogger outreach is equally important as conventional media relations. In today’s fragmented media environment, every brand is eyeing to reach specific demographic groups and nobody can do it better than the bloggers.