Blogger outreach is now being included in the traditional PR brief. The best way to do this successfully is to really get to know the bloggers you want to work with.
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Want to work with Geoff? Here’s how:
In regards to how best PR companies can work with me it is important to understand how bloggers are different to full-time journalists. One of the big differences are that (most) bloggers make their living from other jobs.
In my case I work five days a week during business hours and am generally hard to get hold of on the phone during those times. I’m also usually unable to leave the office during business hours. So in terms of working with me I prefer email as a form of communication and absolutely love hearing from PR companies.
Whether it is an idea on a story or even just receiving a press release I am always going to open and read an email from you. If I don’t respond it is likely because I am not interested or haven’t had time to read it.Generally, if the story or press release interests me then I will respond with comment/questions/link to my post about it.
As most of my work on the site happens after hours I usually have an overnight turn around of stories which can mean i publish something later than a PR company might hope. To address that I recommend putting me on embargo so I can schedule posts the day before.
How to connect with a blogger
If a blogger is starting out, the biggest thing they are trying to establish is communication with a brand. Receiving a press release from a brand really does please a blogger who is starting out – any response from a PR company is appreciated.
Even today I struggle to sometimes get on a press list for news. I often email PR companies and receive zero response. I understand that my blog isn’t a high priority compared to larger tech sites however it costs nothing to send an email. If a blogger asks for a review unit and you would prefer to assign them to Gizmodo (for example) first then we totally understand! But be open about it.
If I must have a certain amount of unique views before I can receive a review unit then tell us, we understand. I produce a monthly report for PR companies so they can keep up with my growth, if it isnt high enough, tell me so I can hit a target and return to you.
Want to invite Geoff to an event?
When it comes to events, I truly love attending them. It allows me to put faces to names, get real eyes on with a new product and essentially put something far more brilliant together than I can from just a press release.
The downside is that when it is convenient for me to attend an event it is after hours that usually means that I will miss 50% of the events I am invited to. If I accept an event invitation for during the day, it is because I think it is going to be a big deal, big enough that I will sneak out of work for it, or even call in sick! I have also accepted travel for events, just this year was New York, Orlando and Hong Kong for events with a brand. I had to use annual leave to attend that event and as such it is always helpful to receive a minimum of four weeks notice so I can actually attend.
In regards to sponsored posts… I haven’t done one before. Not sure I would even know how to approach a sponsored story opportunity. I much prefer to tell a story and if a brand wanted to get involved financially in telling a story about their product with me on my site then I would much prefer that.
I would rather work with a brand on engaging the audience and having them learn something rather than a long winded advertisement. I genuinely love what I do on the blog, I don’t consider it work and accepting payment for posts feels weird still. Just working with a brand to produce good content pleases me a great deal. The work we (he means me! – Kimberley) did together on the Nokia Lumia 1020 is the best example of that!
Connect with Geoff on Twitter @GQuattromani