3 Things to Do Before You Start a Blogger Outreach Program

Colleen Pence, Debi Pfitzenmaier and Fran Stephenson at PRSA Luncheon

Colleen Pence (from left), Debi Pfitzenmaier and Fran Stephenson at PRSA San Antonio.

If you think that reaching out to bloggers might be important for your brand, then you are joining hundreds of companies who consider bloggers a vital component of their marketing plan.

But before you get started, here are three things to consider to make the engagement worth your while.

The first consideration is to make sure your efforts are integrated into your overall marketing plan.  It may sound boring, but if you can’t answer the question “Why are we doing this?” with a sound answer that reflects sound business objectives, it’s quite easy to miss the mark.

Just last week, I sat on a panel with two of the smartest local bloggers in San Antonio which addressed this topic to the local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Colleen Pence of SA Mom Blogs and Debi Pfitzenmaier of SA Busy Kids have built strong regional blogs and each has their niche, even though both address elements of family life. Within hours of our presentation, one of them got a pitch that was so far off the mark from what they would consider appropriate for their blogs, it reinforces my second point.

The second thing to do before you start a blogger outreach program is to research your targets. This key element is often forgotten or ignored by many brands when dealing with bloggers.  You need to find out who they are, what they are interested in and make sure they are a ‘love match’ with your brand.

The third thing an organization should do before incorporating bloggers into their marketing plan is PLAN.  Bloggers are different from reporters in that sometimes they do it for love and sometimes they do it for money. But they almost always have built their blog presence in addition to something else they do.  A cursory phone call to the blogger a day or two before the event is not considered advance planning. Spending time on their blog, reading their posts and finding out what interests them is more relevant research.

Integration, research and planning. If you do these three things before you begin a blogger outreach program, your program is destined to be successful.