SES NY: Do’s And Dont’s Of Media And Blogger Relations

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On Thursday I’ll be presenting on a panel, “Beyond Linkbat: Getting Authoritative Mentions Online” with Chris Boggs and Sally Falkow. Sage Lewis will be moderating. I think this type of session is very timely as search engines begin to put more and more emphasis on higher quality and editorial link sources and less on sources that are easier to manipulate. Increasing competition online also means online branding and influence increase in their importance.

Online PR is a perfect solution for a topic that shines less light on tactics du jour, althought linkbaiting still works well, and more on leveraging the media and centers of influence online. I’ve written about how SEO and Online PR can work together in the past, but in this presentation I’ll be focusing on the Do’s and Don’ts of media relations and blogger relations.

Here’s a highlight to give you a taste of what I’ll be talking about and may be helpful as an outline for any bloggers that might be covering the session.

When working with online public relations programs, we typically distinguish PR activities into “push” tactics, which are methods of reaching out such as by sending out press released through a wire service, pitching journalists and bloggers via email and phone, distributing news information through RSS and a few clever uses of PPC. Alternatively, “pull” tactics are centered around optimizing content so it is easy for journalists and bloggers doing research to find.

The fundamentals that make blogger relations and media relations efforts successful center on relevance and relationships. One of the biggest complaints both journalists and bloggers have in regard to news stories that are pitched to them is that the stories are simply not relevant. More on how to fix that in a bit.

The other fundamental, relationships, is very key because credible, trustworthy and sound-bite savvy expers and resources are good/difficult to come by. Too many SEOs trying to pitch blogs or even mainstream media approach it like typical link building – a one time event. The reality is, that publication or blog would love to find a great resource they can cite and link to over and over again. While the SEO value of links from the same domain name diminishes with frequency, they are still traffic driving opportunities.

Here is a summary of the DO’s:

  • Do your homework
  • Be relevant
  • Understand the difference: journalists vs bloggers
  • Make it easy
  • Publicize your publicity

And here are the DON’Ts:

  • Don’t be sloppy or spammy
  • Don’t be a one trick pony
  • Don’t be arrogant
  • Don’t ignore multiple promotion channels
  • Don’t forget to say thank you

There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity for companies to develop win-win-win relationships with the media and bloggers. The readership of those web sites get useful content. Bloggers and journalists develop a relationship with a credible source that will help them write better stories and blog posts. The company wins by being mentioned authoritatively on a regular basis.

Key points: Do your homework, be personal and relevant in your pitching. Make it easy for the journalist or blogger to use you as an expert or content source and by all means, develop a relationship that results in a win for everyone involved.

The “Beyond Linkbait: Getting Authoritative Mentions Online” session is this Thursday 3/20 at the NY Hilton, Sutton South room at 11:15 am. The panel and I hope to see you there!


SES NY: Do’s And Dont’s Of Media And Blogger Relations
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About Lee Odden
Lee Odden is CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and public relations firm in Minnesota that specializes in search, social and online PR consulting and training for companies worldwide. Odden has been cited for his internet marketing expertise over the past 10 years by the Economist, Forbes and U.S. News and contributed a chapter to the book, "Online Marketing Heroes" published by Wiley. For the past 5 years he has also been the editor of TopRank's Online Marketing Blog, a Technorati 100 favorite blog and one of the top marketing blogs according to Advertising Age. WebProNews Writer
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