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How to Launch an Effective Blogger-Outreach Program in One Day

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To companies unfamiliar with the blogging landscape, bloggers may seem completely unreachable. There's no shortage of examples of companies and organizations that have made bad impressions on bloggers by trying to reach them on their terms, instead of the bloggers'.

But if your company wants to engage and interact with bloggers, the process can be surprisingly easy, even if the company doesn't itself have a blog.

This article will walk you through the process of launching a simple yet highly effective blogger outreach program in one day.

Getting Started and Creating a Timeline

First, let's assemble a couple of online search tools to help us find the bloggers who we want to reach out to:

  • Google Blog Search—This one is pretty self-explanatory: Google's famous search engine, but for blogs.
  • Technorati—This will let you search for blog posts as well as videos and other media created online.


There are dozens of other search tools available, but for this article we'll focus on these two.


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Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier

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  • by Barry Graubart Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Nice post, Mack.
    The one thing I'd add (based upon seeing corporate comments on blogs) is to be really careful not to sound too defensive when responding to negative comments. If the criticism is (even partially) accurate, acknowledge that, thank them for the feedback and talk about ways the company is working to address it. Where possible, rather than just countering the statements, point them towards a 3rd party source whose comments support your position. It's hugely important to come across as genuine and not appear like a PR shill. The blogosphere will tear you apart if they feel you are just spewing the corporate line. But, if they feel you are being open and honest, they'll welcome you.

  • by Ruth Seeley Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Darn I was trying to give this article a five-star rating, Mack, and somehow I only clicked on one star and it was too late - my apologies.

    I think what I like best about this article is the concise timeline. There are those who wade in and learn as they go, and that's a fine way to be. The product may be a bit of a rough diamond initially, but it improves. But then there are those who become paralyzed by perfectionism and want more and more information before they'll even get their toes wet. What's nice about this article is that it provides enough information to convince organizations that they don't need to know it all before they engage. And dialogue is what it's all about, n'est-ce-pas?

  • by Mack Collier Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Barry you are exactly right about the need to be careful in responding to negative comments. That's why I was trying to make the point that a negative comment is actually an OPPORTUNITY for a company! Often, a negative comment is rooted in the feeling that the person feels the company is ignoring them. If a company can reach out to someone that's having a problem, and show them that they WANT to fix the problem, that will usually convert a detractor into an evangelist in record time!

  • by Mack Collier Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Ruth no worries about the rating, just hope you can find some value in the article! I purposely broke this down in to a one-day timeline to make the point that reaching out to bloggers isn't as difficult as it may sound. I think that many companies are still trying to wrap their heads around using social media, and in many cases, I think they are making it more difficult than it has to be. Bloggers simply want to know that 'someone' is listening, and respects them and the feedback they are providing.

  • by Paul Chaney Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Mack, excellent post on kick-starting a blogger outreach campaign. Once again, you've taught me something I can put to use immediately.

    I especially appreciate your mention of small businesses that may have little or no conversation going on about them. That's where the company I work for is at the moment, but I'm working on it. We've started a company blog and I write occasional posts on my Conversational Media Marketing blog that contain references to the company.

    Again, great post!

  • by Wendy Meadley Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Great information and fun format to define hours, etc. As we all continue to incorporate this important tool into our corporate marketing mixes.
    Thanks for sharing! Wendy

  • by Mack Collier Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    "I especially appreciate your mention of small businesses that may have little or no conversation going on about them."

    Paul many SMB will find little or no online chatter about them when they start monitoring the blogosphere. I also see this as an opportunity, because it means that these businesses can join the blogosphere, and engage with customers to CREATE the conversation about them! What business wouldn't want to get a chance to tell 'their side' of the story in a conversation concerning them? That becomes much easier when you join the conversation as it is happening!

  • by Sharon Weltz Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Thanks Mack. I have been monitoring blogs for a while now but was hesitant to respond to comments exactly for the reason Barry mentions. There are occasions where the chatter on blogs can be blood thirsty. Your post has given me a better perspective in looking at it as an opportunity. I’ll give it a whack and see if I can turn a seeming lynch mob into card carrying brand evangelists. Thanks again.

  • by Sean Howard Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Brilliant, Mack. Simple but humane instructions for companies of all sizes.

    The shift in mindset from "viral explosion" to "engaged conversations" makes the act of social media engagement approachable, definable and within reach of any organization.

  • by Drew McLellan Tue Jul 1, 2008 via web

    Mack,

    Bravo -- an excellent tutorial!


    Drew

  • by Louise McGregor Wed Jul 2, 2008 via web

    this is great, for day one.

    The issue repeatedly I come up against is that there is no planning or forethought on the ongoing workload - so a concept will be embraced without the resources to really manage it long term. Unfortunately "hire more resources" is not currently an option.

  • by Mack Collier Wed Jul 2, 2008 via web

    "this is great, for day one.

    The issue repeatedly I come up against is that there is no planning or forethought on the ongoing workload - so a concept will be embraced without the resources to really manage it long term. Unfortunately "hire more resources" is not currently an option."

    Actually Louise, the most work involved in launching such a blogger outreach program comes in the first days. After a while, the company becomes much more comfortable with the monitoring process, and better understand how to respond appropriately to bloggers.

    Now there might come a time when sheer volume of feedback from bloggers requires extra workers to reply to everything. But if the company has been doing it's job, that extra feedback will likely be mostly positive, and the business gains that come as a byproduct will easily pay for the extra resources that would be required.

    Monitoring the blogosphere and properly reaching out to bloggers MORE than pays for itself. Give it a try and see if you don't agree!

  • by Mack Collier Wed Jul 2, 2008 via web

    Sharon it's a mindset. Companies shouldn't fear bloggers, they should appreciate the feedback they are providing, and view it as an opportunity to grow their business via positive referrals. Because an opportunity is exactly what it is.

    Drew and Sean, thanks as always!

  • by Frank Meeuwsen Fri Jul 4, 2008 via web

    "you find very little or no chatter about your company in the blogosphere." Well, you could also do a search on your business, not just your businessname. When you will find conversation about your core business you can start the conversation there, introducing yourself, showing your expertise.

  • by Mack Collier Fri Jul 4, 2008 via web

    "Well, you could also do a search on your business, not just your businessname. When you will find conversation about your core business you can start the conversation there, introducing yourself, showing your expertise."

    Frank you are exactly right! People might not be talking about your specific business, but you can find people online that are talking about your industry and the type of products/services you provide. Great advice!

  • by Nancy Schwartz Mon Jul 7, 2008 via web

    Great approach to what often seems overwhelming!

  • by Mack Collier Mon Jul 7, 2008 via web

    "Great approach to what often seems overwhelming!"

    Nancy I know it does, and I hate that because it doesn't have to be. As long as you use blogs and social media as channels to get valuable content to others, your efforts will be a success!

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