Demystifying Blogging for PR

I’m often asked about how and when to blog as well as how and when to pitch bloggers. So, here’s my thinking on the subject:

Pitching Bloggers:

1. Bloggers Are Media. You want to pitch bloggers much in the same way you pitch media. Even if a blog isn’t affiliated in any way with a traditional media channel, bloggers are “the new media.” They interview subjects, conduct research and report stories just like any other journalist. So, the first step is to re-think how you define bloggers.

2. Creating a One-Two Punch. We’ve all seen the media sponsored blogs (Wired blogs, Forbes blogs). But, also keep in mind even if the blog isn’t officially sponsored by a publication, it could be written by a journalist. Or, if it is sponsored by a media outlet, the journalist behind it could be affiliated with another publication. A good example is the Fast Forward blog on CNN Money. It is written by a senior editor at Forbes. Pitching him means you are putting your story in front of two media channels in one.

3. Who Follows Whom? I’m often asked, “should I focus on the traditional media and hope bloggers will pick up the story?” In fact, the opposite is usually true. Independent bloggers don’t have to contend with the traditional hierarchy of reporter-to-editor-to-senior-editor for story approval so they can move much faster. The result is that a lot of traditional media take their cues from top bloggers. I’m not dissing traditional media here — all I’m saying is news moves at the speed of information and a good reporter will rely on every source they can to get the jump on a good story. And, of course, with blogs you have the advantage of one blog being linked to five others, which are each linked to five others…to help perpetuate a story virally. This is the great power of blogs and is precisely why a hit in the right blog can be more powerful than a story in a traditional media channel.

When to Blog:

1. When You Really Have Something To Say. The fact is there are millions of blogs out there and most of them are lucky if they have one or two readers. If you’re going to take the time to blog, make sure you have something to say. The best blogs are either provocative, funny, or educational. If you can’t fit into these three categories, blogging may not help promote your company or product. After all, if a blog is posted online and no one is there to read it … then no one is there to read it.

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