The allure is understandable, though. This blog post will not be one dismissing the appeal of blogs - imagine the irony! On the contrary, a blogger strategy is a key component to any successful media campaign. But before we dive into the best way to pitch bloggers, let's quickly reiterate why bloggers are so important.
According to Technorati, about 100,000 blogs are created every 24 hours. Now, most of those blogs will be about people's cats. But, a fair share of those will influence the conversation about brands. For example, there are more than 4 million mommy bloggers. About 80% will blog about a brand they like. But, 15% will blog about a brand they don't like. So, again, knowing how to “speak blogger” is kind of important.
So what's the best way to curry favor with this growing group of self-publishers?
Well, for one, be helpful. That's probably good advice across all social media. It's probably also good advice across all of life. If you want to be successful, be helpful. It's OK to pitch bloggers. Bloggers need copy. They need things to write about. Don't be afraid to provide them with content to blog about...provided it's helpful, of course.
Second, do your research. This sounds so simple, but read the blogs you're pitching. For example, if a blog is called The No Meat Athlete, don't pitch chicken and salmon recipes. You won't get pick-up, and worse, you'll look like an idiot. By the way, that's not a hypothetical. There really is a blogger named The No Meat Athlete. And he really does get pitches on salmon and chicken recipes. In what universe does that make sense?
Third, don't be afraid to have a conversation. Sending a press release can be a totally appropriate thing to do, but bear in mind, a journalism degree isn't required to start a blog. That is to say, bloggers may not be familiar with traditional press-release outreach and they may not know how best to respond to it. Don't be afraid to send an email, or even a tweet.
These techniques are hardly groundbreaking. Being helpful, thoughtful, polite, and relevant are good strategies in any industry, and will certainly translate well into an effective blogger outreach strategy.
Thomas Hynes is manager of blogger relations at PR Newswire. You can find him on Twitter at @thomashynes.