For those accustomed to traditional PR, the blogosphere seems an entirely different beast—but one that has the potential to turn your message into a viral sensation if blogs are approached properly.

The following eight tips will assist you in capturing attention from bloggers.

1. Target the right blogs

Rather than aiming to reach the masses, target blogs that are focused on topics relevant to your product or industry and are considered influencers in that space.

When technology manufacturer Hewlett-Packard wanted to promote its HDX Dragon Notebook via the blogosphere, for example, it selected 31 bloggers based on their influence among its target market. That was a manageable set of targets and allowed the company to focus its efforts. And from those key, trusted authorities its message spread, resulting in more than 50 million impressions in 123 countries in about a month.

To identify the right blogs...

  • Use online tools such as Google Blog Search or Technorati to search by topic.
  • Look for signs of highly passionate and loyal readers (volumes of comments, etc).
  • Upon discovering great candidates, scan their blogrolls for others in the same niche.
  • Also scour their archives to ensure that they are PR-friendly and won't likely demean your pitch.

2. Establish a rapport

By the time Hewlett-Packard approached the bloggers involved in its campaign, it had already spent a year getting to know them and fostering congenial relationships. That process included regularly reading their blogs and talking with them as peers, organizing dinners for them, introducing them to company executives, and allowing them to tour the HP "Garage"—a treat usually reserved for the company's most serious customers.

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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via