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Blogger Relations, Two Tips

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Okay, this one gets filed under no-brainer new media tactics, but I’m going to post something on it anyway.

Assuming for a minute you’ve done some research and homework, you’ve identified who you consider to be the influencers, err bloggers, in your market and now you’re preparing to contact, err pitch, them with your news, err announcement. Before you click send, pause and ask yourself this:

Does this person know me? Have we corresponded in the past?

If yes, game on. If no, game over.

Alright, that’s a bit extreme, it’s not game over, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot by missing a critical first step — introduce yourself. And I don’t mean “Hi, may name’s dick, I work for acme, I wanted to tell you about blah, blah, blah.” Take the time to make a genuine introduction *outside* the context of your announcement. That’s how relationships start. It’s also how trust forms. Anything short of this and you’re treating people as a means to an end, don’t kid yourself into thinking otherwise. I’ll leave it at that.

Also, offer the bloggers you’re approaching the choice to simply opt-out. This is important.

You could argue that 99% of blog pitches gone bad are because too many PR people subscribe to the universal opt-in philosophy, where the audience is presumed interested until they state otherwise.

By making a genuine effort to introduce yourself first and offering your audience the chance to opt-out of hearing more about “what acme has cooking” you demonstrate some tact and respect for those you’re approaching, plus it dramatically improves and informs your future outreach efforts. A big payoff for a little extra legwork.

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Mike Manuel is the founder of the award winning Media Guerrilla blog. Media Guerrilla is an insiders take on the practice of technology public relations with a focus on the issues, tactics and trends that are specific to the tech industry.

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Blogger Relations, Two Tips
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