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Blog Outreach: The Basics

by dhuey

Blogs and Bloggers are here to stay and their influence is impossible to ignore. The dynamic is no longer traditional news outlets vs blogs, but rather a mix and integration, and interaction of the two. Both are valuable in their own right and must be addressed with respect to their unique nature in order to maximize the reach of your message.

Here are a few general principles to keep in mind when conducting official communications through blogs.

Focus Locally
While RedState, Townhall, Hot Air, and a handful of other national sites receive the lion share of the conservative web traffic, they are often not the ideal outlets. You have to ask yourself, “Are you looking for the biggest audience or the most relevant audience?“ Often times the most valuable placement is on a local or state blog with an attentive audience that pays close attention to and probably votes for your boss. Focusing locally will also allow you to tightly tailor the context of your message.

Expand The Realm
It’s important to diversify beyond political blogs. If your boss is championing an issue, interacting with a specific business (or labor) sector, or is attempting to build a coalition, then you need to reach out to niche blogs. There are blogs for virtually every realm and interest. Many of these rarely hear from elected officials and will jump at the opportunity for interaction and commentary with a member of Congress. This lends you a greater voice and the potential for gaining leadership on the issue.

Be Timely
A primary advantage that blogs have over traditional media is speed. Bloggers rely on this competitive advantage to show value and increase their audience. Closely monitoring blogs and being the first to reach them on an issue or story is important.

Something New
Many of the most relevant and highly trafficked blogs don’t exist to commentate on existing stories; they strive to break new ones. To gain favor and traction on blogs you need to recognize that bloggers desire valuable information and behind-the-scenes insight.

No Press Releases
If your goal is to have your press release deleted, then send it to a blogger.

It’s a Conversation
Building trust with bloggers is important. Many of them are inundated with emails. If they can grow to trust you as a reliable source of information it will pay dividends over time. Having frank discussions and cultivating a relationship with them is crucial.