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#VocusChat Recap: Gini Dietrich on Blogger Relations

This edition of #VocusChat invited Gini Dietrich to talk about blogger relations and how PR pros are finding the playing field bit different.Here are the best tips we got from Gini and #VocusChat participants:

How is pitching a blogger different from pitching more traditional media outlets?

Gini: I don’t think pitching bloggers IS different than pitching traditional media. It’s all about the relationships. People are people.

It may be less formal—it does feel more casual, but you should always be professional. It’s a matter of adjusting your tone. Traditional media are professionals, while bloggers tend to be more conversational.

When developing a blogger outreach strategy, what are some top things to consider?

Gini: Read the blogger’s blog – consistently. Comment, comment, comment.

Follow/get to know them on other platforms. Help before being helped. It’s important to show bloggers that you respect their work and perhaps offer an incentive (a small token of appreciation). Easy examples of small tokens of appreciation include tweeting a link to their news story, recommending that your friends follow them, or offering comments on their story that are helpful, thought-provoking and provide extra information.

Some PR pros like to focus solely on pitching A-list bloggers. Good or bad thing?

Gini: If A-List bloggers fit your goals, go for it! But there are likely smaller bloggers who have as much, if not more, influence.

A-listers are great, but why limit yourself? You could be missing out on an audience you didn’t know about—so it’s better to spread the love. Remember that it isn’t always about quantity, it’s about quality: it’s better to have a small network of bloggers who love your brand and engage with it than a gigantic network of “influencers” or “A-listers” who barely pay attention to you. What about the up-and-comers? Moral of the story: don’t ignore the small blogs!

How do you target the right bloggers and build a strong blogger outreach list?

Gini: Well, start with Vocus!  Then start to build relationships as we discussed in A2.

A little research goes a long way! And the communities out there are such a great organic tool to tap into. Research, research, research! Get to know your industry, find out who the influencers are. Check top lists and blogrolls to find blogs that can spread your info as much as possible.

Once you have your list of bloggers you want to target, how do you start building a relationship with them?

Gini: The best way to build blogger relationships is to read their blog posts and comment consistently.

Our job as PR pros is to talk. Do just that J Conversations are what builds relationships. Don’t forget to also follow them on twitter, subscribe to their newsletters or RSS feeds. Add a share/retweet to your comment too – not only did you like the blog comment, but you liked it enough to share. Make comments relevant and smart – stroke their egos. Pros always focus on the ROI (return on investment), but it’s better to focus on the ROR (return on relationship).

When it is time to pitch, what are some creative ways to grab the attention of the blogger?

Gini: Creative ways to pitch? I’d laugh my butt off if someone sent me a video pitch and it was useful.

It’s different for every pitch and blogger. Say what you mean and a bit of humor never hurts. Trackbacks to journalists’ posts from your own content are a great way of showing how much you value them. Multimedia and social media pitches perform well too. Include links or images that are relevant to your client or media outlet.

#VocusChat is a bi-weekly Twitter chat that takes place every other Wednesday at 1pm EST. Join in on the conversation by following @Vocus on Twitter and hashtag #VocusChat.

To find out more about the Vocus media database of journalists, bloggers and social media influencers, click here.

About Cision Contributor

This post was written by a guest Cision contributor.

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