To blog or not to blog? There is no question! Lately, you hear as much about bloggers as you do about traditional media when it comes to securing publicity to showcase your product or service.And that is with good reason – blogs today are a must-have component of a vital, effective public relations effort.
Almost all major consumer brands have blogger outreach. Lowe’s recently asked 10 top home improvement bloggers to choose a deserving family and give them a backyard makeover. Walgreens recently networked with 30 bloggers who helped them get closer to their target African-American and multi-cultural demographic. And Kraft has discovered that bloggers provide their brand with high value content, access to interested consumers, and an unbeatable channel for distributing coupons.
Companies like World Market, 3M and Walmart take a leading role in blogger conferences. Yes, there are conferences just for bloggers. One of the largest – BlogHer – draws 5,000 plus bloggers. There are even conferences for niche bloggers like Haven, which attracts 400+ decorating and home improvement bloggers.
In fact, even the grande dame herself, Martha Stewart, inadvertently gave bloggers more credibility during a taped interview when she quipped, “Well, bloggers aren’t experts.” (A number of bloggers promptly posted that they would be sending back the free Martha Stewart Craft supplies that her PR minions had sent them to test.)
But are bloggers really all they are blogged up to be? If so, what’s the best way to work with them?
The Calise Partners team of public relations pros work with bloggers on a daily basis, and we’ll tell you that 1) YES, bloggers are a legitimate, valuable outlet for your news and 2) working with them can be a very cost-efficient vehicle if you know what you are doing.
Working with bloggers is not dissimilar to working with traditional journalists. As a matter of fact, in 2014, The Atlantic reported that the US Supreme Court declared bloggers were indeed journalists when it comes to their First Amendment rights.
We take bloggers seriously. Which means we take the time to do the legwork and familiarize ourselves with the blogger before reaching out. That way, when we do contact the blogger, we can immediately let them know why our client’s product is a good fit for them. The more specific we are, the better. And bloggers make it easy to be more specific. Read a little bit of almost any blog, and you can learn all about the blogger’s friends, home life, pets and more!
Just don’t mistake a blogger’s transparency for a lack of professionalism or marketing acumen. Most of them are amazingly hard working and savvy about what they are doing. Their understanding of marketing is fairly sophisticated – many will have a “media kit” on their site. That means they understand that you need metrics to make your decisions, and they are usually happy to provide them.
As with any journalist or media outlet, some bloggers are better than others. And definitely, some blogs reach many, many more people than others. Here’s a snapshot of the Top 15 bloggers by audience size:
1 | Huffington Post | 110,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
2 | TMZ | 30,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
3 | Business Insider | 25,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
4 | Mashable | 24,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
5 | Gizmodo | 23,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
6 | LifeHacker | 23,250,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
7 | Gawker | 22,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
8 | The Daily Beast | 15,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
9 | Tech Crunch | 15,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
10 | Perez Hilton | 14,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
11 | Engadget | 14,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
12 | Cheezburger | 13,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
13 | Jezebel | 12,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
14 | Deadspin | 12,250,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
15 | Kotaku | 10,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
As an added bonus, most bloggers are savvy at promoting their content via social media channels – and if you are part of the content, you go along for the ride.
So we suggest you buckle up, and let the blogging begin!
Check out these guidelines to turn breaking news to your advantage here.
See how we’ve got public relations down to a science, here.