Lessons from the Field – Blogger Outreach

Lessons from the Field – Blogger Outreach
Heather Rubesch - Tue Oct 11, 2011 @ 12:55PM
Comments: 374

chicken6.jpgA few months ago I ran a post – Top Ten Rules of Blogging, that came out of my participation in the Social Media Panel at DemandCon.  I wanted to go back and do a deep dive on a couple of those rules which I got the most live questions and tweet about after the show.  Unfortunately summer hit with a vengeance and it fell off my radar.  Then last week the most in my face examples of one of the points I planned to make fell in my lap and pushed it back to the front of my mental “to do” pile.  So this is the first in my new series of real world examples of the Top Ten Rules of Blogging that I am calling Lessons from the Field.

The Scenario

I was tootling along my personal Twitter feed last week on Thursday evening when the following Tweet caught my eye



Dear @BrandlinkComm~ One of your VPs just sent me an email referring to me as "a fucking bitch."

6 Oct via web


I admire @TheBloggess for her edgy style and humor so I had to go to her blog and check out what was up.  The full post is here.  But in a nutshell the folks at @BrandlinkComm sent her a very poorly positioned spam email about a celebrity using a product they are promoting.  TheBloggess doesn’t blog about celebrities, she does humor mostly related to relationships, family, etc.  I would say she is most known for her blog about Beyonce the Chicken but having a 5 foot metal statue named Beyonce is as close as she gets to celebrity.

So TheBloggess in her own funky style replied bacik to @BrandlinkComm with her own template page that says “I don’t do celebrity blogging” but in her trademark humorous way.  The VP at @BrandlinkComm then made the unfortunate mistake of hitting “reply all” to his email where he decided to share his feelings about her and then the fun began.

The Mistake

The obvious mistake make by VP Jose at @BrandlinkComm might at first glance appear to be his poor use of “reply all” but really the mistake happened way before that.  The mistake worth paying attention to here is the fact that they spammed her in the first place.  @BrandlinkComm is not some rinky dink 2 person PR shop.  They are a full service media relations agency with offices in 5 major US cities so you would think that they would have the requisite research staff to figure out what a blogger blogs about before adding them to their distribution for products.

Unfortunately we get this all the time at Savvy as well.  We get countless requests per week to exchange blogroll links, unsolicited guest posts, trade show trinkets and trash promotions, people with odd products not targeted to our reader base that want to place banner ads, etc.  If they are really poorly worded or off base we as a group have a good chuckle about them.  Our all time favorite was a guy who submitted his homework assignment through our “Ask Savvy” question box and wanted us to do his research paper for him!

The Fix

#6 on the original Top Ten List said “Promote, Promote, Promote”.  I still believe that.  If you are a blogger, entrepreneur, book author, person with a new product you should be looking for all the free press and promotion you can get.  I am in no way opposed to what @BrandlinkComm did in practice but the smarmy way they went about it is what makes it a #FAIL.  Here is what they should have done:

  • Research – Find bloggers who run consistent quality blogs in the space you want to reach.  Watch those blogs and comment, re-tweet, engage with them for a bit to make sure they have the follower community you are hoping to reach.
  • Connect – Reach out to influential bloggers in your space based on your research.  Introduce yourself and connect on something you have seen them write or promote.
  • Be respectful – Realize that successful bloggers get HUNDREDS of requests per week.  Sometimes they can get to yours and other times they can’t.  Particularly if you are looking for a book or product review you are going to have to give the blogger a bit of time to read, use the product.  Most of us take our reviews and analysis seriously and don’t want to promote something to our readers without first using or living with it ourselves.


Do you have any Lessons from the Field that you think would relate to the Top Ten Rules of Blogging?  If so feel free to email them to me here or add them in comments!

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What about Jose's grammar & spelling? Back in ancient times when I was a PR major , our papers were deducted 10 points for each grammar, spelling or punctuation error. Have times really changed that much?

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