24 Jun 2015

The art of working with bloggers

Jessica Hammonds – Account Executive at Spreckley

Over the last couple of years, bloggers and the art of blogging itself, have irrevocably transformed the media landscape through their influence and growing significance. In particular, this has seen a select group of bloggers become mini-celebrities, translating huge social media followings into book deals, DJ gigs and in the case of so-called “super-blogger” Zoella, a waxwork at Madame Tussauds!

Spreckley, like all PR agencies, have had to respond to this change and recognise the importance of bloggers and how we can work with them in the most positive way, which is of benefit to both the blogger and the clients we represent.

A recent engagement activity involved the Spreckley consumer team deciding to open its doors for a summer blogger party! This informal meet and greet was a great opportunity for the Spreckley team to engage with the blogger community, and in turn, for them to learn more about Spreckley and the work we do.

This event is one of many blogger activities that Spreckley has undertaken and as such, we have developed strong relationships with a number of bloggers across multiple sectors including lifestyle, fashion, beauty, technology and health and fitness. This was evident at the recent blogger party when 85% of bloggers invited, attended the event. Needless to say, we were delighted with this response and feel that this demonstrates our ability to connect and build long-term relationships with bloggers.

With this in mind, here are my top five Dos and Don’ts for building and maintaining successful relationships with bloggers:

  • Do make face-to-face contact: Personally, I believe the most effective way to engage with bloggers is through face-to face contact. Bloggers get hundreds of emails a day for all sorts of weird and wonderful requests. However, by reaching out to arrange a coffee or lunch, not only are you able to discuss your clients in a more relaxed setting but also you can gain a new perspective on the effectiveness of your ideas
  • Don’t contact a blogger only when you want them to publish content: The blogger will (quite rightly) feel exploited and disposable. Everybody wants to feel valued
  • Do be honest: I think it goes without saying that honesty is always the best policy. It is important to take a genuine interest in their blog as lying or being insincere to a blogger will come back to haunt you and will harm your reputation in the long run
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations: Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor is building relationships with bloggers
  • Do work within the law: In 2013, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published a statement outlining the nature of the relationship between PRs and bloggers. Rich Leigh published a great piece here summarising this but in short, “I don’t know” will simply not cut it as an excuse