Straight from the Source - Do's and Do Not Do's of Blogger Relations
You're planning your product launch. You've got a kick-ass product. You've read all the latest "Top 10" promotion techniques. You've been scouring One Degree for all the tips you can find on WoM, PR and viral marketing. You're ready... or are you?
Have you considered the humble blogger? I'm not talking the high profile, A-listers with thousands of daily readers. I'm talking about those of us who blog for passion - food bloggers, mommy bloggers, metrobloggers, shopping bloggers & photobloggers.
We're out there sharing our impressions of upcoming events, cool new products and great promotions with our readerships who listen when we talk.
The question is: when we want to talk about you, are you prepared to help us enthuse or are you pissing us off without even knowing it?
Bloggers want information without having to ask for it. We aren't professional journalists, we aren't going to push people out of the way to get a pithy quote or your head of development's name. Hey, some of us even have straight jobs and can't go to your product launch or press conference. Make it possible for us to write about you anyway. Put this stuff online and make it easy to get to. In the last month, I've dug for and had to do without - FAQ sheets, usable logos and icons, product photos and speaker's names. I'll leave out a great quote if I can't tell people who said it.
Bloggers want hands on experiences. Sure the free lunch will get us out to your demo, but if you want us to write about your new product, site or great idea give us something to play with. I know you can't give your product away to everyone, but remember sometimes it's cheaper to give someone product than a bag filled with branded swag. Besides, bloggers care about your product and how it works more than traditional media, and we're less likely to write about something we haven't actually used ourselves. Let us try it out!
Bloggers aren't writing to pad the headline. We generally aren't generalists and actually want to know more than what you're including in your 3 paragraph press release. Give us meat, information, quotes, specs. We aren't going to call and ask. Tell us up front. Spend a little time and write 2 or 3 press releases focused on your different audiences... Eg. foodies, neighbourhood promoters, arts community. If I get another press release saying "a wide range of international cuisines will be served" I will scream! Tell me who's serving what!
Bloggers love the swag. Teeshirts, coffee mugs, laptop bags, key fobs... this lets bloggers share their love of your product in any way they want using the vehicle of their choice. Of course there is a limit, and quality matters, but even the most jaded blogger can be turned with a piece of smart branded swag. Besides, swag creates the opportunity for excellent user-generated product placement shots don't you think? In summary, if I can't find it in under 5 minutes, it's not going in the post. [Photo courtesy of Mondo Lulu]