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How to get a blogger to write about you

Correct:

  1. Get to know them and what they write
  2. Send them a nice note with something interesting

Incorrect:

  1. Send a form letter +
  2. a fake "how are you" and +
  3. a token "I really liked your story about ____" and …
  4. an irrelevant PR pitch

It is OK to hire a PR firm to help you contact bloggers, but be sure you:

  1. Hire a firm with proven, long-term, personal relationships with the bloggers
  2. Supervise them very, very closely
  3. Insist on complete disclosure of the relationship
  4. Do NOT let them delegate the job to a junior account exec
  5. Review every email that is being sent on your behalf

A good rule of thumb: Do not trust someone to pitch a blogger for you who has never eaten food with the blogger.

If your PR firm embarrasses your company, you take the reputation hit forever. They move on to the next client.

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Comments

  1. Stuart Bruce November 16, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    Andy, interesting post. I agree with everything on your Correct and Incorrect but just some of the stuff on hiring a PR firm.
    1) Agree with the first half, but not “the” bloggers. It would be almost impossible for a client to actually find a PR firm that had relationships with the specific bloggers it needs to have a relationship with – even assuming the client knows who the bloggers are. Advising ‘who’ the bloggers are is one of the things a good PR company will do.
    2) Not sure how a client could ‘supervise them very closely’ or indeed the point. The whole point about hiring a consultancy is that they know more about it than you do so most wouldn’t actually know what they were supervising.
    3) Agree totally, although most professional and trade associations have this in their codes of conduct.
    4) Nice idea, but unrealistic as clients might not have the budget to just have senior folk do the work. What you do need to do is assess the calibre of the whole team that will work on your account and look at what training and other quality control processes are in place.
    5) Isn’t this the same/similar to point 2? It’s also not very realistic as the client won’t actually what they are checking the email for.

  2. Bob November 16, 2008 at 5:53 pm #

    Great post! I disagree with Stuart’s comments for the most part. He assumes that clients are all completely clueless and that all agency folk are completely on the ball. People are people and rules get broken, but that isn’t the problem. It is that that some rules are more important than others and more senior people know which corners can be cut. If someone can’t afford a more senior person then they should hire an independent consultant and not an agency. In either case you can’t assume that because someone works for a good agency or that they did once upon a time that they are good. If someone is doing work that impacts your brand you should know who they are and they should be accountable to you.

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