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The New Media Mix Q&A

Last week, I presented The New Media Mix, a free Cision webisocial-media-q-and-anar, with Director of Media Research Valerie Lopez. The webinar examined how to manage traditional and social media relations in this rapidly evolving media climate. As always, we received a lot of great questions, some of which we didn’t get a chance to answer during the presentation. We’ve tackled a couple of them here instead.

Tracy: ­How do you evaluate the legitimacy or influence of bloggers that you may want to form relationships with?­

Val: There are a couple things you can look at to determine the influence of a blogger. One of the best metrics for determining the impact of a particular blog is inbound links. What are inbound links? They are basically different blogs/sites linking back to a particular blog. Inbound links can bring new users to a blog.

You can also look at a blogs comments.  The number of comments a blog gets is great but you also want to look at the content of the comments as well. It’s an initial indicator that the blog has a lot of followers but at the same time you want to look at whether those commenters are conversing with each other.

Does it matter how frequently a blogger posts? Kind of. You don’t want to invest time reaching out to bloggers who don’t post at least once or twice a week. They generally don’t have the communities that thrive. Frequency is considered a secondary metric. Someone can post 10 times per day but not have much of an audience. That’s why you want to look at social metrics like inbound links and comments first.

Stacey: Are reporters looking at your company’s twitter sites to find story leads?

Heidi: I’m sure that some reporters are looking at company Twitter sites to find story leads, however, I think the larger trend is that journalists are looking for sources through Twitter… both by posting to their own following or by using Twitter Search to see who is talking about a particular topic. There’s an interesting discussion happening on a Cision Blog post from last week around this topic – some argue that journalists are sacrificing integrity by finding sources on Twitter; others find these journalists resourceful and forward-thinking. What’s your take?

Susan: ­Where is the best place or one of the best places to search for blogs in your industry or related to your topic besides Technorati?­

Val: Doing initial research using free search tools is the best place to start. As a former Internet Media Researcher at Cision, I can tell you Google search never fails. You can find industry specific blogs by simply typing in “Top XXXX” in the search field. For example, “Top Scrapbooking Blogs” yields the following results (http://bit.ly/7sL0rn).

Blog search engine’s such as Technorati.com and Google Blog Search  are also great tools to use when searching for niche blogs. Technorati.com offers industry specific channels (Technology, Business, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Sports and Politics). Google Blog Search offers an advanced search feature that is great for searching for blog posts written between specific dates.

Last, but certainly not least are blogrolls. Blogrolls are a list of links that a blogger follows or recommends. They can usually be found on the far right side of a blog page. Typically a blogroll consists of blogs that cover the same topics as the blogger. Cision Blog features a blogroll. If you’re able to find one good niche blog, you should be on the lookout for blogrolls.

About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.

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