This is a guest post by graduating senior Sarah Essary, and it is cross-posted to her blog, Consuming PR.
Earlier this month, Allison Blass (pictured left) from the MWW Group was kind enough to speak in our Advanced Public Relations Writing class. Our class was particularly interested in her immense knowledge of social media. Blass had started exploring the world of social media early in her career by starting a blog. She then became an expert in all forms of social media by landing a job with MWW Group as a new media coordinator in New Jersey. She works on health and lifestyle accounts, such as Vitals.com, FreshDirect and 1-800-Flowers.
Our class was interested in blogger engagement and spent the entire hour discussing the topic. Blass showed us how to identify blogs through Technorati and Google Blog Search. To build a list from there, she suggested that we “blog hop.” Blog hopping is when a person goes from one blog to another by way of one’s blogroll. Noticing that many people have linked to or featured the same blogs reveals which ones are popular and relevant.
Blass also recommended that we tally our blog research with an Excel spreadsheet. This enables us to compare blog authority according to a set of criteria. She stressed that the ranking on Technorati is a poor indicator of popularity. (For further discussion of Technorati’s shortcomings, see Robert French’s post here.)
Below is Blass’ list of important things to remember when engaging a blogger:
1) Find the correct contact information. Do not rely on database records for e-mail addresses; they can often be incorrect.
2) Check out the “About” section on the person’s blog and relate back to it in your pitch.
3) Include an interview opportunity, link to the press release, or link to multimedia in the e-mail pitch.
4) Monitor Technorati and Google Blog Search after you send the pitch.
To read more insight about engaging bloggers, read Jason Falls’ interview with Allison Blass on his Social Media Explorer blog here.
Allison, thank you so much for spending the day with our public relations class!