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Transparency must accompany authenticity when approaching bloggers

June 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I’ve had several meetings over the past few months with PR execs who have asked about blog promotion campaigns and what my thoughts were on hiring companies who pay people to blog about an issue or product or who pay agencies to flood the blogosphere with positive messages about their clients.  My unequivocal answer is, “ONLY if the hired publicists are transparent and announce their agenda in the first sentence of their post or email to bloggers AND ONLY if the the hired publicists are knowledgeable and passionate about what they’re being paid to represent.”

Most bloggers (with only a few exceptions) are accepting of promotional messages if they are relevant to the audiences they serve and if the person delivering the promotional message is authentic in their knowledge of the topic and the content AND context of the blog and why the blog’s readers would be interested in the message.  In other words, just like a publicist who pitches a reporter, they’d better know the reporter’s beat and why their story is interesting to the reporter’s readers.  There is no short cut to successful promotion in the blogosphere and you MUST spend the time and energy to assure synergy between your message and a blog’s readership BEFORE engaging in promotional activities. 

How do you do this?  Research, research and then…more research.  My team spends hours researching each and every blog before we attempt to connect with any of them on behalf of our clients.  And when we do finally reach out to them, we have relevant, valuable and authentic messages to share that are customized to each blogger we contact.  I truly hope that as the PR industry rightfully claims social marketing, it never loses sight of its obligation to transparency, truthfulness and authenticity.

Tags: Authenticity · blog promotions · Digital Media · Public Relations and Communications · Social Media

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sara // Jun 25, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    great post, Ed. I’m the blog research queen at our firm, but am still working out the balance of taking the time needed to do good research, while still having time to get out there and produce results!

  • 2 Webcasting on a shoestring (or how to broadcast on the cheap) « Technical Faults // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    […] them of course but if you are making a new contact, I’d suggest you take a very personal, honest and well-researched approach, rather than the hamfisted approach I have seen some examples of: bloggers are not […]

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