Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Blogger Outreach: From the Blogger's Eyes

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Don: Great points. That's one thing I forgot to specifically include but it's definitely important to target a certain level of blogger. As bad as it sounds, but still relevant for the concept, you want to target the "B-list" bloggers. The bloggers that have a strong following, but aren't necessarily HUGE in their space. The HUGE ones probably get 1000 pitches like that and it will be much harder to break through. You want to get the up and comers. The ones that are quickly earning the respect and loyalty of their readers, but are still relatively small.

Jenn: Humbled that you found the post so useful. You're absolutely right and there's nothing wrong with making it clear that you will field comments, spread the content and help the blogger in any way you see fit.

As a PR person working in blogger engagement and a blogger myself, I enjoyed this post and will probably share with my client.

So many marketers treat all bloggers as media, when many should actually be considered experts and enthusiasts. They should not be treated as means to an end, but rather as partners in building content online.

One issue I feel strongly about (which you touched upon) is finding a balance between the favors you ask and what you give back to each blogger's online community.

Every time you contact a blogger hoping they will write about your news, product or opinion, you ARE asking for a favor. No one likes to give and give and get nothing in return -- so give back in the form of comments, retweets and links, and help foster connections between bloggers who might enjoy each other's work and experts in your company and industry.

The best folks working in blogger engagement are simultaneously fans, trusted sources and stewards of the conversation.

When I'm on a book marketing team with traditional PR types and I describe the personal nature of each blogger pitch, and the detailed homework required to do the job right, I'm usually met with skepticism - until it works.


When I go to great lengths to respect a blogger - to do the homework, understand their format and audience, provide the background they need to do a solid piece, give them some window of exclusivity, and then watch them do a half-assed job, I know I didn't do my homework enough.

I've found that it's important to be able to get a feel for the blogger's popularity arc - to be able to catch a blogger before everything THEY'VE been working so hard for finally begins to erode their ability to maintain the level of excellence that got them there.

Get 'em before the book deal or the big consulting fees start rolling in if you really want a blogger's best stuff. After that, it almost pays to write the post you want to see and let them edit it.

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