More than eight out of 10 (82%) PR professionals work with bloggers to
provide coverage for clients, while 98% find bloggers useful or invaluable,
according to new research from DWPub.
Results of the survey of 252 PR professionals conducted in March 2012
accompany a new whitepaper called ‘The smart PR’s guide to blogger
outreach’. The whitepaper, which assesses the importance of working with
bloggers and offers practical tips, is written by freelance writer and
blogger Sally Whittle.
Of the 18% of PRs who don’t work with bloggers, 54% find it difficult to
evaluate the usefulness of a blogger, indicating the industry needs to
develop measurement skills.
“The relationship between bloggers and PRs continues to provoke debate, so
we decided to get the PR industry’s perspective on working with bloggers,”
said Daryl Willcox, chairman and founder of DWPub. “Our survey results show
an overwhelmingly positive response. Bloggers are here to stay and the PR
industry is beginning to embrace them. Bloggers need to be approached in a
different way to journalists - our research and whitepaper reflect this
The survey looked at how PRs deal with bloggers compared to journalists –
just over two thirds (67%) of respondents stated they have a dedicated
approach for bloggers, with 75% of these citing they communicate with
bloggers in a more informal tone.
Interaction with bloggers is on the rise – 74% said their communication is
gradually increasing or has become commonplace, indicating that bloggers
play a significant role in the PR industry’s daily routine.
When asked about their relationships with bloggers, 26% of PR professionals
said they consider theirs to be strong. 54% said they have built a rapport
with bloggers, while 20% don’t have strong relationships.
The PR industry was also asked about how they measure the importance of a
blog. Interaction with readers came top, with 48% of respondents citing
number of comments, followers and presence on social media sites as key
Number of views on posts that feature clients is the primary way to measure
results from interacting with bloggers, with 33% stating this is their main
measuring tool. Clicks through to clients’ websites came a close second
(31%). Just 9% believe number of comments on a post featuring a client is
the best way to measure results.
"Bloggers are still relatively new when it comes to the press mix and not
everybody understands the etiquette when dealing with them," said Sally
Whittle, freelance writer, blogger and founder of the Tots100. “The
whitepaper shows how PR professionals can effectively work with bloggers to
create successful campaigns for clients and build strong relationships.”
First a little background. As CEO of Del Williams Media, we have lots of media assets and properties, one being a channel with over 2 million viewer minutes. I decided I wanted to add to the roster so reached out to someone who had video and has a story to tell.
I won't mention his name since that is not the purpose of this post and I don't want to give him traffic from my nice audience. Anyway, it went like this. I called a number, which was out of order, then I sent an email telling him exactly what I wanted. He returned the call but I did not answer because my phone was being a tad whacky and I didn't hear it ring (need new phone). Anyway, so I called him back, he let it go to voicemail, and then called me back within 2 minutes.
That should have been red flag number one, but let's move into the call. He acted like he was strung out trying to figure out who I was, to the point I had to remind him of the email. Red flag number two. Anyway, before I can get into my nice sales pitch, he starts off with: "I hate people." "I don't care about people." He went on spreading his venom while I sat with my jaw to the floor.
The bitterness and hate that was coming from this man, not directed at me, was so vile I think Leona Helmsley would have felt sorry for me. I never presented my pitch because I wouldn't let this man near my audience.
Here is what I learned from this experience:
1. I did nothing wrong, but clearly he had some issues which only a therapist should deal with.
2. Don't take people on as a client if you don't like them. That call killed any chance of my offering him a position on my channel.
3. Know your values and what is/is not acceptable. His behavior was not of a professional, but someone deeply troubled.
4. Be able to spot a pity party quickly and end your involvement in it. I did not hesitate to end the call when it was clear this was not a match and I have too much respect for myself to keep listening to someone spread hate.
I should note in this call that he was very critical of his competitors and thought he was the bees knees and could do a better job than them. Let's just say this call was one for the record book.