Lindsay Robertson, a freelance writer in New York, published an excellent list for publicists who want to connect with bloggers: “The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Publicity, For Some Reason.” It’s well worth reading and following this entire list of tips.
So often we emphasize what not to do when connecting with bloggers, so I love that this post highlights several things to be sure to do. If you were to do them, you’d have almost no chance of committing any of the Don’ts on the list.
Two in particular cover the majority of the advice:
Do’s #2. Pick Eight Blogs: Rather than reaching out haphazardly and trying to superficially connect with bloggers, choose eight blogs that cover your subject area and that you like personally, and actually read them consistently and become part of their community. (This is much easier to follow if you like the blogs in question. Also, eight is a random choice; I suspect that with more than 12 blogs you’ll have trouble keeping up if you represent more than a single client.)
Do’s #4. Build Relationships and Help the Blogger: (I’ve retitled this one to make it, I think, a little clearer.) Help the blogger and the blogger will help you.
A publicist should ask him or herself not “How can I get my news/content on a blog?” but “What news/content do I have that this blogger will want, but doesn’t even know it yet? And especially: what do I have that’s better than what this blogger has already found on his or her own?” To paraphrase the famous Dale Carnegie quote: when you go fishing, you don’t put what you want (strawberries) on the line, you dangle what the fish wants (worms).
This advice is easiest to follow if you employ Do #2 above. If you read the blogs consistently, you’ll know what each blogger wants to know, and what they have already discovered or haven’t yet heard about.
Cultivate a few relationships with a few key bloggers, and be sincere in the process. Everyone will win — you, the bloggers, and their readers.
Photo credit: “065/365: Show us your smile!” by dotbenjamin