Here’s a quick overview of the process involved in managing a blogger outreach program, and garnering awareness and social media participation for your brand or business:
1. Identify the right bloggers, usually by searching and vetting these blogs yourself, often using an online search resource such as Technorati; this is important because it steers how to individually approach them (Step 4), as that will require a high degree of familiarity on our part with their personality, content, site, etc. While media sources and indexing sites like Technorati can provide an initial list of eligible blogs in any given category, there still needs to be scrupulous review of each individual site to make sure it’s what you want.
2. Grade them – are they on Twitter, Facebook, etc.? How are they ranked? How many followers? What type? Frequency of postings, and relevancy of content to our goals? These should be compiled in a comparison spreadsheet.
3. Review their pitch/submission guidelines. Most of the more established bloggers will provide these, and they will usually vary from blog to blog, so it’s crucial to follow each blogger’s guidelines stringently. They absolutely will not respond positively to a blasted PR release…and in some cases this approach disposes them against the marketer.
4. Make the pitch – by following their submission guidelines, and other basic rules: you must be brief, catchy, personable, show personalized focus on them, show relevancy in the content you’d like to provide, and be prepared to participate – transparently, no trolling! – in their online communities.
Lastly, follow FTC regulations — there are guidelines that affect how bloggers deal with samples, commercial considerations, etc., that mandate how they disclose any commercial relationship with those who are soliciting their attentions.