Engaging bloggers for PR activities

Along with traditional media channels many organizations and rightly so have started to engage bloggers for their PR events that cover product or service launches.  But unfortunately not many PR agencies and organizations completely understand the needs of bloggers and that they behave very differently from traditional media. One of the most common approaches of engagement used currently is blogger meets where presentation and handouts are given out to influential bloggers. But if you notice closely you will see that the information handed is not very different in terms of content and format from what they do with traditional media. More thought needs to be put in when designing the Blogger PR kit and organizing the Blogger event. This form of media definitely needs more hand holding then managing traditional media.

Here is my list of ‘must have’ ingredients to any successful blogger evangelist campaign.

Blogger PR kit

Many PR agencies get this basic step wrong. Bloggers are always hungry for information and are looking for different angles to the story. Unlike their traditional media counterparts they are just a one person operation and with limited information resources. Both from a time and resource perspective they need more effort to research a story. So the more information you give them the easier it is for them to publish a meaty story.

An ideal blogger kit should have following components. This should be made available to bloggers on a CD or memory stick and even made available online.

–          The PR copy should be made available as multiple post options with each post having emphasis on different angles to the story. For example a product launch can have multiple story points – a technical angle, a business angle or a consumer angle. Then depending on what the bloggers focus area is, he picks up the relevant content and adds his thoughts and flavor to it before publishing it.

–          Bloggers love to add visuals & video to their posts. So make sure they are given many visual and video options to choose from. Make sure that format of the videos is easily shareable so that they have a potential to picked up by other bloggers and have a viral effect.

–          Special launch widgets and badges can also be designed for bloggers where they can pick the code and embed it into their blogs.

Blogger event

–          Try and make the event exclusive to the top bloggers in that city or community. More is not necessarily a good thing. If you can get the right set of bloggers who are the influencers then getting more bloggers to write about it would be easy.

–          Presentations made during blogger event should be ‘Sociable’ which means use sentences or bullets in your presentation that can be instantly tweeted and shared by bloggers present.