Yes, it’s Facebook question of the week time, but all you people have failed me. Minus Ryan Cox’s 20,000 questions, not one of you has asked a single question.
Do you feel guilty yet?
Good! Head over there and post a question on our wall. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Awesome! Thank you!
A few weeks ago, I spoke at the Vocus User’s Conference about the PR pro and blogger relationship. Because I sit on both sides of that relationship, it’s pretty easy to say what works and what doesn’t work.
Following is an intro I did about the topic (if you can’t see it in your Reader, click here and it’ll magically appear).
So here you go (as a return favor for posting a question on our Facebook wall)!
The PR Pro and Blogger Manifesto
- Understand the blogger’s goals. I know we’re all busy and that takes time, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. If you understand what they’re trying to achieve by keeping a blog, the better success you’ll have in working with them.
- Understand how PR reports to internal or external clients. Typically they’re given a set of criteria, including how many readers, pageviews, or even what your bounce rate is that they have to report up the chain. If the PR pro asks you for those stats and you don’t want to give them, understand you may be walking away from the opportunity of a freebie (or whatever the PR pro is offering).
- Research, research, and research some more. You can start by using Vocus, Burrelles, or Cision to create your database, but PLEASE do not send a mass email and use the unsubscribes to whittle down your list. That is called spam. Use the tools to build your database and then READ the blogs. READ the about pages. READ the comments. You’ll have a better understanding of who or what you’re pitching.
- Learn how to say no. If a PR pro approaches you with something you find interesting, but it really won’t fit with your blog, say NO. For heaven’s sakes, you can’t please everyone.
- Spam sucks and so do mass emails. I swear if I get one more freaking emailed news release with a note that says, “If you’d like to send a reporter or run this in your events section,” I’ll send flaming bags of poo to that PR pro’s home.
- Please understand PR does not control the story; the blogger does. This hasn’t changed, well, ever. You can do everything in your ability to build a relationship with the blogger so they’re more inclined to take your advice, but THEY are in control of the story. Do not rewrite their interview questions, get angry if they don’t like your product, or ask them to take down a blog post or rewrite it just because you don’t like it (unless it’s not factually correct).
- PR pro and bloggers, alike, are passionate about their work. Take that into account when you’ve entered a relationship with one another.
- Be yourself. No one likes a hand puppet from corporate. Just be yourself. Build a relationship. I know that takes time, but I promise it’s worth it.
I know there are PR pros and bloggers, alike, who read Spin Sucks. What would you add to the manifesto?
Special thanks to Lisa Gerber for her help with the manifesto…it was her idea to begin with.