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PR Tips // May 20, 2011 BY amy

Bloggers or blaggers?

With the meteoric rise of social media over the last few years, the PR landscape has evolved considerably. Engaging with stakeholders is no longer just a matter of convincing that golden gate keeper – the journalist. Facebook campaigns, twitter and links with bloggers have become a key element of many campaigns.

The blogosphere however, is a veritable minefield for a PRO. Firstly, there are many bloggers who do not want to receive information from PRs. Then there is the age-old problem of some PRs pitching in stories or products without having looked at the content, and annoying the author as it is irrelevant to their blog. This obviously gives PRs a bad name.

Then there are the ‘blaggers’ that give credible bloggers a bad name. Literally anyone can set up a blog and contact PRs asking for free products to review (normally products that they need anyway for their daily lives). This has become such a problem that Response Source has had to review its criteria for bloggers sending requests, and they now allow PRs to block certain bloggers.

My advice? Research, research, research. Blogstorm ranks the top 100 blogs in the UK, and Wikio.com is also a helpful tool. It’s also useful to look at the Technorati rating. Once you’ve decided which blogs have enough clout, read it to see if it is relevant for your pitch. Don’t be over familiar in your emails – seriously, everyone hates this (I don’t know why some PRs do it!) Nothing will turn a blogger off more than over the top fakery. Be clear what you are offering and why it is worthwhile to them and their audience.

So even though the landscape has changed, with some careful map reading, there is no need to get lost.

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