Tag Archives: Public Relations

How PR Peeps and Mommy Bloggers can Work Together

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

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.”

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Web Savvy PR Tip #4 Comment Before You Link

Do you think before you link (or retweet a link on Twitter)? Commenting before you post a link to any social site can be a great online PR tactic

This is a part of my how to series on Twitter.com: #WebSavvyPRTip 4: Think B4 U Link: Commenting on a post B4 you link 2 it can be a good PR strategy. http://websavvypr.com/category/pr-tips/ 4 more

Before posting the link of someone else’s good blog post to a social networking or social bookmarking site (like Twitter, Digg, Delicious, Facebook, LinkedIn or other such sites) – think. If it is a post that fits the interest of your audience (readers, customers, clients, friends) consider commenting on the post before you link to it. Then your audience gets to see your POV, hence expanding the reach of your brand or company. This also shows that you know what they are interested in by exposing your followers/friends to a great blog post that may be of interest to them.

Now, this strategy will have it’s detractors, and can be misused. Hence my “think before you link.”

First – be sure it is a topic you are interested in, your readers are interested in, and be sure that your comment can add something to the conversation on that blog (not just be looked at as spammy by the post’s author or that site’s readers). Feel free to comment on any blog you want, but if you are looking to expand the reach of your brand – by using this technique: by commenting, then posting the link on a social networking site in which you have built a community – choose wisely. Be thoughtful/selective about the posts to comment on and link to. Is it in your area of expertise? Will it help find new readers/clients? Will it look like you are trying to horn in on someone else’s territory. This commenng idea may sound cold, or calculating, but done right, it is a four way win/win situation: for you & your audience, and for the blogger and his or her readers.

The Pros of commenting on the right post before lining to it:

  • It creates opportunities for conversation – or engaging with people – and that’s the foundation of social networking.
  • It builds your brand (when you fill out the comment form on the blog – fill in your name or social media username and your website/blog URL).
  • It also establishes your credibility – allowing you to share your expertise briefly, and exposes that blog’s readers to your point of view, as well as your own audience. Think share info, not show-off.
  • It shares the love – the interactivity of comments are the solar power that makes this “social media electricity” work. It’s a part of what separates a static website from a dynamic blog. It’s also a way to “pay it forward” as they say. The last time I commented on a blog, I had several readers of that blog head over to my site and comment on a post there.
  • It can help build a connection with another blogger, be they big-wig, newbie or just another blogger like us, or even with another person who commented on the post too.
  • Many folks have said that social networking sites are killing blogs – that people comment on Twitter and Digg, and not on the blog itself. Sure it happens, but why not do both – I have seen them act synergistically or work well together to move a client’s brand forward.
  • Everyone likes good comments on their blogs, it. But be sure it is a “good comment.” I suggest not writing a throw away comment like “great post” (although I enjoy getting these on my blog too, and they are fine for the new or shy person commenting early on, but that is under-utilizing the potential power of comments ). Good comments add value to the conversation; they move it forward. That is, they provide useful information that either expands on the original post, provides additional info on the idea, confirms the original post with additional info, or provides a different POV on the subject among other things. Think – would you like to see a comment like this on your own blog, might it get more people to engage here, on this blog? If so, then make it.
  • If more folks did this, it might increase the interactivity on many blogs. If you have gotten used to the 140-160 character limits on Twitter (and Facebook/Linked in Status updates), it gives you a chance to briefly expand on an idea.

The Cons of commenting on a post before linking:

  • You can be seen as a Comment SPAMMER That is – don’t comment something bland and put a link to your own site – that’s the basic definition of “Comment SPAM.”
  • Your comments are “searchable” via Google & Yahoo– your comments can show up when a prospective client searches for your name/company– make them count. If you tear into a blogger with a different POV than yours, it can come back to haunt you. That client seeing your venting may decide they don’t want to work with someone like that; or by being taken out of context; or by starting a “flame war,” a series of comments back and forth that begins to remind you of the schoolyard when you were ten. Intelligent healthy debate – builds your brand integrity, peeing matches are just that.
  • Think – would you like to see a comment like this on your own blog? Or is it the equivalent of the guy who comes to the party and talks so loudly about his own “stuff,” that people start avoiding him. Don’t be the blow hard.
  • Read the other comments on the blog post, be sure you are not duplicating what others have said already, or if you are weighing in – reference other comments above – to show you read them, and are not a spammer.
  • As your brand’s audience grows, if you ONLY comment on blogs where it is sure to drive traffic back to your site – that is a kind of link bait or comment SPAM- and can diminish the quality of your brand in your own audience’s eyes, or in that of a prospective customer, and that blogger.

So – Think before you Link, and Comment First if Appropriate:

  1. Comment on appropriate blog posts in ways that expand your brand, and add value to the conversation;
  2. Then post the link to your favorite social media or social networking site (How to do this effectively may be fodder for another post);
  3. Don’t forget to check the blog’s comment stream later (many allow you to sign up to receive e-mail when more comments are made). Someone may be trying to engage you in further conversation – that’s when you know you’ve hit the right note. Don’t be a hit-and-run commenter.

Feel free to share your @twitter name or Twitter link when commenting on my blog. That does not equal spam for me; It helps further opportunities to connect.

By Cathy Larkin, www.WebSavvyPR.com, find me on Twitter; I am an online and traditional PR consultant, with many  years of Public Relations experience, and a social media guide. I help individuals and small businesses find the right strategies and tools for their business to help expand the reach of their brand. I can help you: create a blog or add one to your existing website; learn to use social media tools and social networking software to get the word out about what you do; and help you reach out to traditional media outlets to tell your story. 484-802-7576, See my blog sidebar for other social media sites I am on and how to contact me.

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Cathy Larkin’s Web Savvy PR Tip 1 – Social Branding

Web Savvy PR & Social Branding Tip #1:

Original Twitter.com post: #WebSavvyPRTip 1- To build online brand & extend influence, use same username/ profile 4 all social Media sites http://websavvypr.com 4 more

To build an online audience, expand your brand, and create repeat visitors, try using the same or similar usernames, and similar profile wording for each social media / social networking / social bookmarking site you join. If you already have a long-time presence on several sites, consider ways you can update them to build a more consistent presence; it may also help boost your organic search engine ranking. Work keywords for your area of expertise and interests into your profile.

More detail on Social Branding:

I try and sign up with my first, or my first and last name, followed by my blog/website handle (I sometimes use web handle as a part of either my first or last name). So on Twitter I am CathyWebSavvyPR (It looked too long with Larkin, so I left it off (maybe rightly, maybe wrongly). I noticed someone else doing it on LinkedIn (but just with company name – not personal name), I think it was “The Publicity Hound,” and when she answered a question, her “handle” intrigued me enough to check out her website. I know there are many opinions out there on this already.

You don’t have to use your real name in your username, but don’t forget to add it to your profile. For my online and traditional PR business, I feel it is necessary. Especially since there are a couple of folks out there online with the same first and last name as I have. This will, over time, help folks to distinguish us from each other.

Many folks in the social media landscape are using their full names as their usernames.  This has advantages for building your personal brand, and some disadvantages.  www.chrisbrogan.com for example. Some people with common names may find theirs is already taken, or snagged by a domain reseller, both of which complicate things.

Pros – If your info is good, if you provide value to your readers, your name and authority will grow.

Cons – however, it may take you longer to get established. A username that includes something about what you have to offer (as long as you back it up with good content) can help your influence gow by leaps and bounds.

Cons – if you are one of those planning to build and sell a businessyou can’t sell your name – but a website URL and social media handles along with it – that can work. But i is chancey – As we know Social media is based on reputation – that empire you built may cruble after the sale, if the new owners don’t follow though. Result – lots of upset subscribers.

With social networking and bookmarking sites in general, be sure to fill out the part of the profile that includes the link to your blog/website, or to your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts, so if someone likes what they read on whichever social media site you are on, find and check the rest of your info out. Of course some sites only let you use your full name. In that case note your username/handle in your profile write up.  Also use widgets and apps (simple tools sites provide) to link your various networks together.

Social Branding Questions for You:

What about just company names with a logo, no photo and no person’s name on the account. I find I am less inclined to subscribe, follow or friend them – unless they really provide value, or if I already really like the company, and they provide value.  What’s your reaction?

Is the practice of a business name and first name too in your face? or is it a happy medium?

Does this annoy you when you see it done?

Or does it help you:

A) have a clue about what someone does/who they are? Or help clue you in about their expertise?

B) Help you recognize and connect with folks you may have seen on other sites?

Transparency and authenticity are crucial in social media, social networking arena. Don’t hide behind a company, or a profile name.  We all make mistakes, but that one can be a killer. As a PR professional, I always disclose if I an talking about a client.  Sometimes that can be challenging – especially on sites like Twitter.com, where posts are limited to 140 characters and spaces.

Agree or disagree with this – you tell me?

P.S. I’m putting short versions of these on Twitter and expanding on them here on my blog – for the Web Savvy PR Intro go to http://websavvypr.com/cathy-larkin-web-savvy-pr-tips-series/pr-tips/admin/2008/12/

Or check out the conversation on twitter as the series growshttp://search.twitter.com/ Then you’ll have to copy and paste or type in the # sign like so:  #websavvyprtip to see the series and any conversations around the posts on that service, as the series grows.

About Cathy Larkin:

In her Web Savvy PR business, Cathy Larkin acts as a Social Media Guide using her 18 + years of PR experience, combined with an intense study of social media, to assist small businesses, non-profits, authors, bloggers, consltants, and speakers get online and use the tools that are right for them, to help expand their brands, build their businesses and have a blast while doing so. Also check http://www.linkedin.com/in/cathylarkin for more on her background. Check out her short posts on the micro blogging service Twitter too http://twitter.com/CathyWebSavvyPR.

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Cathy Larkin Web Savvy PR Tips Series Intro

I’m posting a series of Web Savvy PR tips for small business, entrepreneurs, bloggers, speakers, authors, consultants, and non-profits to help folks share ways to use the social media and Online PR tools and to generate a conversation. My favorite quote is: “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.” Benjamin Disraeli. I’m sharing my riches here, to engage my readers in revealing their own knowledge and skills.

I’m putting short versions of these Web Savvy PR Tips on my Twitter page: http://twitter.com/CathyWebSavvyPR and then expanding the tips – on using Public Relations and social media to help expand your brand and reach – here on my blog. I will also be asking questions here on what you think of these tips – have they worked for you; do you have a better tip; does this particular tip annoy you when you see it used?

When I can, I will try to credit the source of the tip. If you know the source, or someone who has a similar idea, let me know. Some tips will be straight from others, most will have my perspective or take on them, some will be all mine, and some may be combinations that I’ve created from more than one idea.

Also – let me know what Traditional and Online Public Relations / Social Media questions you have; or topics you want to discuss and I’ll work it in. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll research it, interview someone or get another expert to guest post.

I got this twitter “tip idea” from renaissancedoc on Twitter. He was putting disaster prep tips on twitter and his blog during Hurricane Gustav in Sept. 2008.

You can access the series here on my blog for more detailed discussions than the short note on twitter, or find the short briefs and comment there too by going to http://search.twitter.com then put in #websavvypr tip and they will all come up.

In her Web Savvy PR business, Cathy Larkin acts as a Social Media Guide using her 18 + years of PR experience, combined with an intense study of social media, to assist small business, non-profits, consultants, authors, bloggers and speakers to get online and really use the tools that are right for them, to help expand their brands, build their businesses and have a bast while doing so. Also check http://www.linkedin.com/in/cathylarkin for more on her background.

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