There was once a time in which many derided blogging as merely the uglier younger cousin of journalism; an admirable, yet fairly inconsequential pursuit not worth the time of public relations agencies or campaigns in the same way that the more traditional media formats were. By 2014, the media landscape has changed dramatically, and so has the importance of blogs. In a world in which TMZ are breaking some of the biggest stories on the planet before the New York Times, leading fashion bloggers sit in front row seats at London Fashion Week and the Huffington Post can be purchased by AOL for a sum of $315 million, any PR agency that neglects engaging with the blogosphere as part of their media relations campaigns does so at their own peril. When dealing with a sector specific campaign, such as fashion, food and drink, arts and culture, film and media and luxury PR, engaging with as many of the leading bloggers in this field as possible is especially important.
Finding the best way to engage with these bloggers, however, is a more difficult task. Unlike traditional media, blogs have little in the way of an ordered hierarchy. One cannot simply go to local news agents in order to look on the shelves and see what the main blogs are, nor is it a simple process to ascertain which blogs are worth the effort of trying to liaise with for coverage. The following guide is aimed to shed some light on what we have found from our experience to be the best way to engage with bloggers.
Step 1 – Finding The Blog
The first step to liaising with blogs is finding them and there a few different methods you can use to go about this.
1) Google Search
A crude and simplistic method that can still be relatively effective. It is most likely that the blogs that appear highest in google rankings will have a significant amount of clout, even if some SEO tinkering may give them a leg up. Such searches are also useful for coming up with articles that contain lists of the top 10 or 20 blogs in any given field.
Alltop is a website that imports the stories from the top websites and blogs for any given topic and displays the headlines of the five most recent stories. By typing in similar terms as listed above for the google search, this website can help provide us with a more targeted pool of the top food blogs and websites.
Step 2 – Researching The Blogs
Once you have found a blog that could provide coverage of your client, it’s important to find out more information about them in order to ensure whether or not the blog is worth your time.
1) Web Traffic
Because gaining coverage on a WordPress blog that garners around 20 views per post is unlikely to make much of an impact or impress a client, it is important to ensure that any blogs liaised with have a decent amount of web traffic. This is important as not only does it mean more people are likely to read the coverage, but healthy traffic is a good indicator of credibility.
Many of the more high profile blogs may have statistics related to their web traffic listed in their “About” sections. Such statistics are usually displayed to attract advertisers and so should be taken with a grain of salt and verified on sites such as alexa.com. Alexa is also useful because it can be used to check a website’s ranking. Also our SEO team analyses the websites from both a technical and semantic dimension.
2) Social Media Following
On occasions where web traffic cannot be easily accessed and even when it can be, looking at a blog’s social media following is an excellent way to gauge its reach. The majority of blogs will share all their new content through their social media channels and a blog with a larger social media following is likely to make for more impressive coverage.
Step 3 – Initial Engagement
Establishing an initial engagement with the blogs, whether through liking and commenting on their posts on social media or simply taking the time to read one or two of their blog posts can be an excellent way of building a rapport with the blog and gaining a better insight into the particular character of each blog, something that will come in handy when it comes to pitching.
Step 4 – Pitching
Once an initial engagement has been established with these bloggers the next step would be to email them with pitches for reviews or blogs related to your clients or their products. It would probably be beneficial to tailor these pitches to each specific blogger to increase their chance of success.
Originally posted by Curzon PR