I nearly missed Charles Arthur’s post yesterday cataloging yet more shameful practices in the PR industry. It’s depressing that after nearly 20 years in the PR industry I still have to read about such shocking levels of incompetence.
I was running an online PR course today and one of the areas we covered was blogger relations – a hideous phrase, but I suppose you’ve got to use some sort of shorthand.
I always struggle with what to say as for me personally doing ‘blogger relations’ isn’t that different to the way you should do media relations. The first step is to learn about the person you want to talk to. In the olden days that meant sitting down with a stack of newspapers and magazines and reading them to find out what sort of things are covered and by who. Search engines and online media can take some of the hassle out of it, but seeing how a magazine or paper actually looks and feels can still give you insights in how to pitch.
So please PR people don’t just rely on your media databases (try looking up Charles Arthur in Vocus and it doesn’t tell you half of what you need to know, and what it does tell you is pretty inaccurate).
Once you’ve done your due diligence it’s then simply a case of working out if you’ve got anything to say that might possibly be genuinely of interest to the journalist/blogger. If you haven’t then don’t say it or pitch it. Don’t be afraid to stand up to your client and/or boss and tell them you don’t think it’s right for that outlet.
Your client/boss is paying for expert counsel, not for a glorified direct mail or telesales operation.