In the digital age where bloggers (and vloggers) can have more influence than celebrities (or become celebrities in their own right), brands are tapping into this potentially lucrative resource – and rightly so.
Whether it’s sending out product samples or inviting bloggers to events, brands can reap big benefits as a result of social media influencers posting about their products or services.
As such, PR professionals are increasingly reaching out to bloggers to strike up relationships with the hope of seeing their brands shared with hundreds of thousands of potential customers.
However, as with any type of PR, it’s important to remember that engaging with bloggers requires a different approach to that which we use to pitch to journalists.
Journalists deal with facts and must be impartial in their reporting. But bloggers engage with their audiences on a far more personal level. They share the reality of their lives and experiences through their social media channels. Their posts are based on their own opinions – they’re honest and open, and they communicate in a much more ‘no-nonsense’ way with their audiences.
This is why when approaching bloggers, it’s important to adopt an equally personal tone when attempting to forge a relationship.
A very well-known parenting blogger, who is fabulously honest about the struggles of parenthood and manages to be incredibly funny throughout all the ups and downs, recently shared a story of a PR who emailed her with a list of “unique” reasons why they wanted to work with her, but had failed to remove the names of another blogger’s children from the email.
In the fast-paced world of PR it can be tempting to do a copy and paste job when reaching out to a long list of bloggers, but sometimes cutting corners just isn’t worth the potential losses.
It’s our responsibility as PR professionals to research bloggers, their audience, their style and tone of voice.
Not only to ensure there is a synergy with the blogger, but so we can demonstrate to the blogger that we understand what they stand for and what their followers stand for too.
It’s important to remember that behind each blog is a person who is passionate about a particular subject – whether it’s parenting, fashion, food or travel. They believe in what they do and they want to align themselves with people who believe in similar things.
If your brand does appear to fit with a particular blogger’s ethos, then try and take the time to write a personal email. If you have done your research, you should know enough about them to eloquently and concisely present how working together could be beneficial to both sides.
Yes, they will want information and facts about the brand, but they will also want to know that you understand what and who they represent through their social channels on a day-to-day basis.
Resist the temptation to cut corners, put in the time and effort and you will dramatically increase your chances of striking up a relationship that could help you to reach, and influence, your target audience.