Public Relations (PR) and the Blogosphere

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I don’t mind PR agents, really. There are some – and their approaches – that I DO mind. There’s a fine line that a lot of PR people don’t realize is there. I’m now being asked by a journalist to give my thoughts about PR and their direct role within the Blogging the community. The question, specifically is “Is it reasonable for PRs to target the Blogging community?”.

A blog in itself isn’t a “community”. There are subsets of types of blogs and genres. They themselves are communities. The bottom line is that I am not a journalist. I’m a columnist, yes. I’m a blogger. I’m a video caster. I help other people blog. I don’t know how you’d classify me. The one thing I am is that I”m not a media agency. I’m just someone who enjoys Technology.

I think it’s reasonable for PR people to contact bloggers, yes… with these five things in mind.

  • Be transparent, and expect transparency in return. Don’t email us pretending you’re someone you’re not. Be up front, and honest about what you’re after. You’ll have a much better shot at getting us on your side or promoting your product(s) and services.
  • Don’t ask for links. It’s rude to just ask us to give you a link. If I’m interested, I’ll talk about it, and link to it. But for you to just send me a message and ask me to “embed this link”… is just not cool.
  • Be proactive with review links or products. The only way to really get me to talk about your item(s) is to put something in my hand. Give me something to review. Send me coupons or savings I can pass along to my community.
  • Know who they are, and why they matter. Don’t just send out some generic email. Make sure you put something into your approach that shows you really DO read my blog, don’t just state it.
  • Keep it short and sweet. No. Press. Releases. Scan… delete. Software, if you don’t offer me a review code, then it’s deleted. If it’s hardware without a review sample… delete. Maybe you should post your press releases on Twitter.

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