After participating in an on-line event, I was asked for a dream list of what a PR pro would like to find on a Mommy Blogger’s site to coordinate PR/blogger promotions (giveaways, contests, goody bags, expert guest blog posts, quotes for blogs and even virtual blog books tours) – in a paragraph. Not an easy task, so I sent a shorter intro to the ladies from MomItForward (and #GNO or Girls Night Out Tuesdays 7-10 pm MST on www.twitter.com), and have expanded it here on my blog. These techniques can be applied to any specialty type of blog to create win-win situations for your readers and our clients.
What PR Pros Want to Know – The Basics
PR people are hoping to find a match between between our client/company/expert’s product or info and your reader’s interests and needs. With 18 plus years of PR experience, including handling PR for Winterthur Museum’s Licensed Products Division (products inspired by the museum’s collection), I can say I wish blogging was as hot then as it is now, I would have loved to have had you all to reach out to. Marketing & PR tools have changed, but reaching out an connecting one-on-one hasn’t – relationship building is what PR is all about.
The Type of Info a PR Pro Hopes to Find on Your site, Includes:
A good About Us page, telling briefly what you and your site are all about (intro to the site and how it works, who your readers are, what niche do you reach, and who the sites author(s) are). A good PR Info page also tells us more reader demographics along with some site statistics/numbers – see tools below. Also useful are sections on how you like to work: what you will do to publicize the promotion, what you need from us, and note any success stories you’ve had (some of this can also be indicated is on a document that we can request – if your readers don’t need to know the details).
At it’s best PR/blogger promotions – can be win-win situations. Bloggers get cool items to review/use/giveaway (or info/advice/guest post from an expert ), which helps your readers, and builds your brand. PR consultants get exposure for our client/brand and our product/info, and hopefully generate some action from your audience: web traffic, conversation about the product/expert/brand, or product purchases. At it’s worst this process can leave both the PR staffer and/or the blogger frustrated. Communication, beginning with a good About Us and PR/media pages (and/or a promo sheet that can be emailed on request), can go a long way toward creating successful promotions. If mommy bloggers are getting bombarded by off-target PR pitches, you can send them a link to this page, to tell them what type of promos you look for, who your blog reaches, and how to you prefer to work. Ideally, the PR person/company should have similar promotional info on their site, or at least identify a contact name for the person who handles promotions (and info about their needs to send on request).
The Details for Both Sides:
The Ugly PR “Pro” and the “Bad” Blogger
Now we all know of those stereotypes, that sometimes PR types and bloggers get off on wrong foot. A Public Relations staffer will grab a list of mommy bloggers and sent out a pitch to all of them, without ever reading the site to see what their niche is. An we have heard stories of bloggers, grabbing a list of PR folks and doing the same, without finding out what products or experts they cover. This is Social Media after all- on both sides of the isle – let’s be social. Our internal SPAM filter has been hardened again the mass e-mailed request. Take the time to reach out and connect with each other, maybe even before you need to work together. Find out each other’s interests, niche, needs, clients, audiences; then target your requests. ‘Nuf said. Twitter and it’s short message format can be a great tool for this – it’s how I met Carissa and Jyl of #GNO/MomItForward.
The Ideal Information a PR Pro Hopes to Find on your Site Tells us:
- A short but good About Us page including: an Elevator pitch (A couple of good sentences that sum up what your site it all about), Bio/history of you and the site (when did it start, why/how, quirky stories, do you support any charities – keep it brief), how your site works, & who your readers are, (not just moms, but single work-at-home moms, or grandparents caring for their daughters children, moms of infants or teens. This info helps us fit our products/exp[ert to your audience). And contact info, so we can get a hold of you and connect.
- Who your readers are Demographics – specific niche/interests (single moms, grandparents, moms with infants, moms with school-aged children etc; age ranges of the moms. Nice extras would be: marital status, #/ages of kids, income levels, region of the country, do they travel, amount spend online ea. month) Survey & polling tools noted below can help; or ask some info when people sign up for your newsletter.
- Some site statistics/numbers that help. If your numbers are good, you look good; although it is not all about the numbers, I have to admit, they do help. (some of this would be cool for your readers to know – Other info is less useful to them, and might be included on a PR Promo sheet that’s available on request).
- monthly average unique visitors and page views (weekly/daily if relevant or available)
- amount of repeat or new traffic vs. new traffic
- are there traffic spikes during times when you do a promotion/ giveaway/expert guest blog post, if so what’s the traffic increase.
- The average number of people who participate in your giveaways /promos
- the average number of comments that posts generate
- the number of members if your site is member-based
- your Google Page Rank
- any indications of large sites that routinely send you traffic (BlogHer network, Twitter, Digg) or mommy networks you participate in
- any major or seasonal events you celebrate on your site
- also any media coverage you have received online, radio/TV or in print.
This Type of Info can be Obtained by Setting up Free Online Tools Like
- survey monkey
- Google Analytics
- Twitter Counter
- Feedburner RSS reader stats
- Hubspot Site Grader
Please, don’t be intimidated by the list – this is the “Dream List” remember. You may not need everything on this list, (each tool has it’s own pros and cons), but by using them, you can help a PR specialist choose to work with your site over someoneelse’s. Besides, you’ll probably learn quite a bit about your readers and your own site too. If sorting through the tools and info is not your favorite thing, there are plenty of people out there who can help, from sending questions out on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to finding a how to blog, or even working with one of us PR or Tech types ;-)
What Bloggers Can Tell Us & Make it Easier for you:
- how you like to work
- what product types or experts you are looking to feature
- be sure to note any seasonal/holiday or major events you celebrate
- what you will do to publicize the promotion (Facebook, Twitter, social media release?)
- what info/items we need to provide you (links to the product’s page for more info or so readers can purchase it, a product image & requirements, a short blurb about it, or a link to an expert guest-blogger’s bio
- what you can provide us with, if we agree to promote it too (your logo or head shot, a site badge (showing participation in the project), dates/times the promo and any events will run, links to the promo page)
My final note to ask that we work together to find creative ways to track our success; which will be good for both of us. Agree to both monitor our site traffic, monitor product/promo mentions via Google Alerts and other tools, work out special discounts or promo codes to track traffic and other results: product sales, brand awareness or increase in members/comments/site participation.
Thanks to Jyl & Carissa at MomItForward for the opportunity, and to you for reading. There are plenty of folks like me who can help you sort through and find the tools and ideas that meet your needs and those of your readers. Every promotion is different, but the goal is the same – a Win-Win for both Great Bloggers & Classy PR Pros.
Cathy Larkin & Web Savvy PR – Your Public Relations & Social Media Guide – Bringing new media tools to the traditional PR toolkit to expand your brand and build your business. I talk “techtalk,” but translate fluently into “plain English.”