Traditional PR and Digital intersect at a road we refer to as Blogger Ave.
Blogger relations prove to be valuable for PR companies and their clients, creating real-life product advocates that consumers trust in their endorsements. Among the hundreds of various blogger niches, one of the most popular remains the almighty “mom blog.”
Introducing a brand campaign to these influential bloggers requires research, respect, communications, and in some cases, cash.
The Abbi Agency compiled a list of questions commonly asked to perfect media communications and sent them via SurveyMonkey to 100 participants with optional anonymity. The responses helped us determine best practices when coordinating efforts with mom bloggers and how to best go about creating mutually beneficial relationships.
Do they even like PR people?
Overall, the response was positive: 93 percent are willing to work with PR people, and they all accept samples. Before you outline send-outs and pitches, please note that 79 percent of the respondents want you to pony up the cash in exchange for a post. That doesn’t mean they disregard honesty and integrity; many provided explanations that we expanded upon in the report .
Product, product, product
Bloggers are real people, communicating with an audience on a very personal and relatable level. Their authenticity means they have to speak the truth; press releases and pitches can’t be pasted and published.
Of the surveyed, almost 78 percent want product for review every time to provide honest and transparent coverage. More than 67 percent want it to give away to their audience, which we’ve found to be highly beneficial. Giveaways often translate into multiple posts, social media interactions and mentions, and increased engagement with your brand.
On the other hand, branded content wasn’t high on the wish list. Image galleries are a must, but bylined columns and top 10 lists often hurt their Google rankings if on multiple blogs and don’t provide a unique experience for them and the brand.
The golden rule applies
Most of the bloggers we surveyed have worked with multiple PR professionals—or at least, multiple PR professionals have tried to work with them.
Mom blogger emphasized that need for respect when approaching them. Their blogs are very important to them, but they are not full-time writers. They do not exist to provide another placement for the log. A few key takeaways:
• Address them by name: No one likes to be called “Dear Blogger.”
The big lesson
• Read their blogs: If you’re pitching cinnamon bread to a gluten-free blogger, you are wasting everyone’s time.
• They have lives: They are not at your beck-and-call and their posts take time just as traditional media placements do. Keep your requests minimal and focused to respect their time.
• Provide a news hook: Mom bloggers are smart. They like to write on trends, so providing a source for them to do so is beneficial.
• Call-to-action: If they don’t know what you want them to do, you are simply wasting their time.
Most mom bloggers are willing to work with PR people. But there are ground rules, and as long as you are mindful of them, you can create a meaningful endeavor and deliver great results to your client.
Each responder was given a comment box to freely contribute tips, insights, and requests for PR people. Here are some of the most common tips, and additional ones are included in the final report :
1. Don't treat them like a number. They all unique and have something to offer from the communities they "represent,” and it’s best to send them pitches with ideas or products that suit those communities.
2. Respond to emails in a timely manner.
3. Recognize bloggers don't exist just to give you free advertising.
4. Promote the blogs’ social networks, share the posting, subscribe to their feeds, etc.
5. Send two samples of items, so they can try one and photograph the other.
6. Send visually pleasing emails and have immediate access to lots of images.
7. Track the different interests and communication styles of individual bloggers.
You can download and read the full report at www.theabbiagency.com/ebook
Abbi Whitaker is the President of The Abbi Agency, a PR and digital communications firm in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada. She has executed mom blogger campaigns for numerous lifestyle, food + beverage, and consumer products. Follow her on Twitter @abbijayne or @theabbiagency.