In his June column in Entreprenur, Guy Kawaski’s makes an important point about the importance of blogging relations.
“Blogging has flipped traditional PR on its head. It used to be that ink begot buzz. Life was simple then: You sucked up to the The Wall Street Journal, one of its reporters wrote about your company, and the buzz began.”
One of his tips is to “Give swag” — a point that Chris Abraham emphasized in a recent interview. The reason is that blogging is often a second career and there are few perks so swag can make a difference to get bloggers to respond.
One of the most important tips was this:
- “Make connections before you need them. Mediocre marketers try to befriend bloggers when they need them. Good marketers befriend bloggers before they need them. Great marketers befriended bloggers while they were working at their previous companies. Make lots of connections. Today’s egocentric, self-indulgent blogger with five page views per day may well be tomorrow’s Technorati 100 stud.”
The challenge in following that tip is that clients may be reluctant to engage in a blogging outreach campaign if there isn’t a short-term payoff.
But here’s a point I think worth keeping mind: short-term payoffs are unlikely. If social media is about conversation — something that PR is supposed to be better at than advertising — you’ve got to start the conversation as a monologue before others will start talking to you.
For clients, and their agencies, it’s about having faith that it’s the right thing to do. Which is a tough sell. And it’s not the right bet for every client.
Still, Kawasaki’s tips are worthwhile — even if they help you decide not to engage. Check out his tips at “Mind Your Manners To take advantage of free buzz from bloggers, make sure to follow the code of conduct.”