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Blogger Relations 101: Five Questions for Blogging Expert Gini Dietrich

Blogger relations expert Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a boutique marketing and PR firm, and the creator of the AdAge Power 150 blog Spin Sucks.

She’ll be the first to tell you: earning coverage on an industry blog can be a boon for your business – tons of potential customers look to them every day for advice and tips. But she’ll also tell you: earning coverage is far from easy.  It takes hard work, relationship building and a whole lot of time and research.

We recently asked her five questions about how businesses like yours can find and win coverage on the right blogs, time and time again.

Vocus: Are bloggers just as influential as journalists?

Gini: Some bloggers really do have a huge level of influence. As PR professionals, we have to be thinking: how do we pitch them? You have to think of them in the same light as journalists because there is a lot of good that bloggers can do for your company.

Vocus: What’s the most important thing to remember when pitching a blogger?

Gini: Research is the most important thing – which is unfortunate, because everyone is so busy. But when pitching, you actually need to read the blogs– or read pitch pages or about me pages – and understand who bloggers are going to be influential with.  You’ll figure out from a traffic, authority and community standpoint who those bloggers are – and the only way to do that is to research and read.

Vocus: Do mass pitches work with bloggers?

Gini: Mass pitches don’t really work no matter who you are dealing with. This is media relations 101 really – it’s just a different audience. Bloggers have opinion-based content instead fact, news-based content – but that doesn’t mean they have less influence. They’re still human beings, they still have audiences, and when they say something, people do read.  So you really can’t mass-pitch it.

Vocus: What’s the best way to start building a relationship with a blogger?

Gini: When I started blogging originally, there were certain bloggers that I wanted to emulate, certain bloggers that I wanted to build relationships with, and there were certain bloggers that I wanted to invite as guest bloggers for us.  So I started reaching out and just commenting on their blog.  You have to realize that people really go through the comments on their blogs and articles and look for really thoughtful and intelligent discussions. Those commenting are the people that bloggers are calling to be sources.  Try this back way of media relations for yourself, where you reach out to them and build a relationship so that in turn the blogger will want to work with you.  And remember, it takes time; you’re building relationships with human beings – and unfortunately, you can’t build a relationship overnight.

Vocus: What do you recommend PR and marketing professionals do before pitching a blogger?

Gini: You should blog – even if it’s just a personal blog – because you really start to understand the other side. You’ll start to understand how PR professionals are pitching. You’ll understand what you like and what you don’t like, and because you’ve figured that out on your own personal blog, you can then translate it to your business life.

You can find out more about blogger relations at Gini’s blog Spin Sucks.

For a really powerful way to identify the bloggers you should be talking to, take a look at Vocus social media monitoring software here.

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