It is innate curiosity today that brings today's question. I sometimes see some blogger/brand relationships and am bewildered. 'That's an odd match' I think to myself and then others I'l read and think 'Oh, that was a blog+brand match in heaven'. It does happen! So I wondered if it was difficult, especially for establishing PR's to actually work out who to target.. surely it must be? There's so many bloggers these days.... or is it? Does a good read around the blog rolls, or twitter bring them to the fore? Is it stats or engagement that matter or is it both? I think depending on the PR it could be any of those.
I have asked two of my favourite PRs who I respect in this space and are working closely with and within blogging to tell me: Is it getting easier or harder these days to work out which bloggers to target? Is it trial and error sometimes?
Yes, I think it is getting harder, if only because of sheer dent of the increasing number of bloggers out there. That said, it's still a quality issue but it's a good thing to have more bloggers coming through the ranks because it provides a degree of variety for everyone.
At Edelman, we have a tool called BlogLevel which helps us ascertain the influence of bloggers (we also have a version for Tweeters called TweetLevel).
That said, I don't like getting too intrusive from an analytical point of view (unless of course money is changing hands and a partnership is in the offing, in which case we would have a duty of care on behalf of our client to dig a little deeper in terms of research).
Media buyers and advertising people, from what I understand, seem to over-analyse every statistic known to man when it comes to identifying bloggers - that's because they're besotted by numbers, the bigger the better. This is a throwback from the days of buying traditional media.
I see things differently. It's as much to do with the quality of engagement a blogger has with their community than raw numbers alone. I'd rather use a bit of intuition and gut feel, especially around this issue of engagement and influence - the filtering process may require some tools to sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, but ultimately if you're active in the space you will be in a better position to spot a professional blogger with a strong following from one who doesn't cut the mustard.
The social web is a very transparent place and you can find out a lot about a blogger simply by doing your desk research as well as personal interaction. So in summary, tools are good and statistics are important because they help with targeting, but they only tell part of the story.
It is getting definitely easier to work out which bloggers to target. Top bloggers post regularly; they are on Twitter and Facebook; they are talked about online.
It’s not hard to determine who these are these influential bloggers are.
Where PRs need to be savvy is in understanding how each individual bloggers works and not expecting them all to be the same. Bloggers deadlines or timeframes will vary, PRs need to work within this framework.
So, what do you think about how and who PR's select to work with? Do you think it's too restricted or too broad? Are your favourite bloggers dealing with lots of brands or just a few? Or...none?
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