Reaching Out to Bloggers

It has been argued that the mainstream media - the traditional gatekeepers of news - are becoming less important. So too, then, is the worth of the advertising slots they sell, and therefore so are the paid-for, hard-sell campaigns that the advertisers and marketers create to fill said slots.

Meanwhile social networking, with its abundance of bloggers, Facebookers and tweeters, is becoming more influential. It can also be confusing and hard to control. The age-old maxim about the public needing trusted “influencers” to tell them what to buy and think is therefore closer to fruition than ever before.

Although blogs are now a fixture of the media landscape, the PR industry still doesn’t successfully utilise them. PROs are either afraid of blogs, ambivalent towards them, or they treat them like a school newsletter. Yet the beauty of blogs is the viral nature of them, which means that bloggers can do the PR work for you.

Last week, joined by @hughforth from @theinkybee and @forthmetrics, #CommsChat explored the wide world of blogs. Blogging, it seems, has a variety of manifestations and can benefit a business in intriguing ways. Check out some of the highlighted tweets from the hour:

  • hughforth 2 Earned media = Trust. Blogs have become a key consumer point of research for independent, trusted views
  • hughforth Then there is the big #seo angle. Google’s Panda/Penguin updates mean blogs have become crucial places for SEO friendly content
  • RichLeighPR agree w @hughforth, bloggers more likely to be experts. Usually passionate, but importantly, have niche audiences
  • Maxim_PR Actually, sometimes a little frightening how much influence bloggers have when they don’t subscribe to same rules as trad media
  • SiegelGale Building relationships with other bloggers and proving the value of your content.

Bloggers are like journalists in many ways, and one thing they have in common is that they don’t like being blanket generic press releases via email. And although traditional media websites are integrating video, pictures, and other multimedia content more and more frequently, they’re still well behind bloggers. The web-only platform of a blog gives bloggers ample opportunity to integrate public relations content into their stories.

So it’s absolutely time to start reaching out to bloggers.

And how ironic that I say so, on a blog!