Yesterday at our staff meeting, Assistant Firm Director Emily Woodward and Director of PR Michelle Voli held a blogging workshop intended to help guide staff members when writing their guest blog posts (find them here every Saturday and Sunday).
With blogging at the forefront yesterday, Faculty Advisor Gregg Feistman told me about a recent article he read by PRWeek dubbed “Study shows failures in PR, blogger relationships.”
The study, conducted by Burson-Marsteller, found that a company’s message is getting “lost in translation” to 76 percent of bloggers in the US. Their advice: In order to be successful when reaching out to bloggers, PR people have to be clear, transparent and forthright.
Many blogs do not have editorial oversight and can write about whatever they want, even at the PR person’s expense. To reduce the chances of being humiliated, don’t try to “spin” (dare I say it) anything. They will dig and find the truth. If you have a good story, tell it to them, but don’t mislead and overemphasize how spectacular whatever you’re promoting is. They’ll see right through it.
In addition to being up front with the blogger, the same rules about doing your research apply. Know what the blogger’s beat is and read previous posts before pitching to ensure your story is relevant. Warning: Bloggers often take no prisoners with their reply if they think you did not do your research on them.
Although the results aren’t too reliable, URLAI is an interesting new tool that can guess the gender and age of a blogger based solely on the writing style to help you decide whether “Mr.” or “Mrs.” is a more appropriate greeting.
For fun I tried our blog, www.prowlpublicrelations.blogspot.com. According to the site, we are a male blogger between 66 and 100 years old. We have an academic writing style and are happy most of the time. Good to know we have a happy yet academic tone, but no, none of our bloggers are male (yet) and we are drastically under the age of 66. Nice try though.