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Engaging bloggers is not rocket science – 5 DOs and DON’Ts

2010 June 9

And like what DK always like to say, “It’s common sense”. But sadly, a lot of PR agencies in Singapore are lack of this.

Here are 5 DOs and DON’Ts that I will offer to the Traditional PR practitioners who are trying very hard to go digital, though I am not a social media guru – All the undermentioned are based on common sense.

The 5 DOs

1. DO take the time to read through the blog to understand what interests the blogger and what the blogger hates

You don’t expect a food blogger to write about gadgets (other than camera) on a food blog, right? Of course, when it is an advertorial, it’s another story – You can even talk about the latest mobile phone on a heritage blog. Oh, remember to introduce yourself in your first email to the blogger too! It’s basic courtesy.

2. DO spend time cultivating the relationship with the bloggers whom you are engaging

I have noticed that social media events like Social Media Breakfast and Tweet Tuesday, you will see PR folks like Daniel Goh from Samsung, Derrick Koh from Lenovo, Su Min from Text 100, Claudia from 24seven and etc, who will try to be there to interact with bloggers who they know and also get to know new people. After the event, you will see them interacting with them online.

3. DO give bloggers enough time to respond to your event

Inform bloggers at least a week ahead of your event. 2 weeks will be even better. Bloggers are busy people who tries to live 2 lives – Online and Offline.

4. DO have an experiential event for the bloggers and digital fact sheets for them where possible

Most Bloggers are not like Journalists. Most bloggers blog about their experiences while Journalists report news. Having digital fact sheets will makes things easier for bloggers as they may not have remembered the keywords correctly, or misplace the media kit. Of course, there are “bloggers” who love to post media releases, but these are minorities.

5. DO give the blogger enough time to review your product

It’s all about the experience and bloggers are busy people too, remember?

The 5 DON’Ts

1. DON’T start an email with “Dear Blogger” or “Dear Editor”

I know DK and Clauds will disagree with me on this, but there are some bloggers who may be offended by this. It does show a lack of sincerity to me. So be safe, not sorry.

2. DON’T keep bugging a blogger for the post after the event

Bloggers need time to blog too. If the bloggers feel for your product or cherish the relationship, they will blog about it. But if you bug them like no tomorrow, you are giving them a good reason not to blog about it.

3. DON’T send a teaser but not an invite to a blogger, and then send him a media release

A lot of the bloggers in Singapore know one and other. If I am only worthy of receiving your teaser and not the blogger invite to your launch event, why do you think I will plug about your product for you?

4. DON’T assume that the blogger will blog for you.

I’ve learnt this the hard way cos I thought the PR agency’s relationship with the bloggers are so good that they will “follow an editorial schedule”. Back to the same issue, bloggers are busy people. If you want them to adhere to an editorial schedule, jolly well pay for it, else be prepared to face a backlash. DON’T attempt to engage a blogger after an event is over and expect the blogger to blog for you, either!

5. DON’T leave a comment to expect the blogger to contact you, instead of emailing them.

It’s not very professional, you know? Unless they do not publish their email address on their blog.

Of course, there are definitely more DOs and DON’T that are not stated here and you will learn them eventually, but the abovementioned is enough to give you a good head start!

And to the client side of the house who are easily infected by the “shiny object syndrome”, do remember that Word of Mouth marketing is highly dependent on the quality of your product or service – I am missing the Samsung NX10 badly and I will blog about it really soon!

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