quoted verbatim from a comment by MC Milker
1. Please treat me, as a blogger as you would any member of the mainstream media – who knows, my audience someday may rival one of theirs.
2. If I am a popular blogger, I may be bombarded by e-mails requesting that I consider writing on a topic for you or your clients. Make your e-mail stand out and I’m more likely to respond to you. Most of us have broadband access, a well placed graphic is not out of the questions.
3. Read my blog, please – not just my “about me”. I recently received a pitch from Hasbro and was sent some handheld video games…even though I rail against them on my blog on a regular basis.
4. Don’t expect something for nothing. In the early days of blogging, bloggers were so thrilled to receive an email from a large company to that they were happy to write a review. Now, as blogs gain more influence, bloggers are bombarded with requests. Send me the product you wish me to review. At least I receive a free sample.
5. Make it clear that this is a publicity effort. Many bloggers don’t really understand the PR process. Explain who you are and why you are doing this. Explain that you are reaching out to many bloggers. In fact, keep us informed on positive posts – we may want to link our reviews- more publicity for you, more exposure for us!
6. Like those in the mainstream media, bloggers evaluate publicity for its news value. Does it fit in with their audience’s interests? Can they find an angle? Would they like to try it? Is it timely? Does it seem truthful and accurate? Though most bloggers are not as sophisticated as jaded editors at major publications, they CAN see through a blatant attempt at being used. In other words – will reviewing your product gain me more readers or increase the amount of time current readers spend on my site?
7. Unlike PR folks, bloggers don’t necessarily differentiate between advertising and promotion. Yes, you’re doing a PR campaign. Under that definition, you’re purview is to “get news” not buy ads. Little old blogger me, though is sitting here writing away for peanuts, if not peanut shells. Toss some money my way. If I’m willing to let you buy a simple brand ad on my site, I’m probably going to give you good review. It’s an obtuse media consumer who doesn’t know that companies both buy ads in publications and send them PR packets hoping for an editorial review. The Chinese wall exists only in theory.
8. Know my audience. Actually, since demographics aren’t usually available, I’m not sure I even know my audience – many bloggers now though make some attempt to define their audience and may, with a politely worded request, let you in on their knowledge.
9. Respond to or engage me. You can comment on my blog – you can. Jump in any conversation that seems to fit with your client’s marketing message. Unlike in the mainstream media where you play a background role, you can respond to my commenters’ questions or ones I raise myself. Come on, Mattel, get out there and tell us what you’re doing about the recall. Don’t you have a crisis plan in place for the blogsphere?
10.Follow up. Not with me. Don’t ask me to send you the link to my article when it runs. Run a search for it. Send me a gushy thank you note thanking me for my time.