The next session was a panel with Halley Suitt, Janet Johnson, and Buzz Bruggeman.This session was billed as: Engaging with Bloggers: Working the Blogosphere. It promised to provide insight into the right way to approach blogger relations.
Halley Suitt: “For starters, can you please know what I’m writing about? Read my blog. … Everybody should take a month and read the blogs you are interested in and read them before you approach them. … Even within similar blogs, there are different perspectives and interests.”
Janet Johnson: “I was the person in the other seat two years ago when Jason started to rant against people paying bloggers, when Marqui did it. … It’s really important to have people in the blogosphere know what you want from them. If I’m a blogger and you want me to write about you, be very honest about what you want. Bloggers want to help others. But they need to know what you are up to.”
Question: What do you need to do to prepare?
Halley Suitt: “You need and aggregator and you need to subscribe to RSS feeds.”
Janet Johnson: “I also go out on the blog search engines and type in keywords and names. And then I find the feeds that are talking about the subjects that I am interested in.”
Imagine my surprise when Buzz Breggeman decided to show the audience how technorati search feeds work and what comes up at the top of the search for Halley Suitt? My ProPR post!
Buzz Breggeman: If you are a PR company that wants to pitch a company to help them, try their product BEFORE you call them.
Halley Suitt: If you are pitching me, include lots of data and all the necessary background.
Halley Suitt said that she had engaged a public relations agency for her company. And she was impressed that the PR people talked to her about a post on her blog. “They had read it. They showed they cared.”
Buzz Breggeman: “You don’t get points for shyness. You don’t get points for staying away from interesting topics. In my own blog, I only write once about every six or seven posts about my company. But most of my posts are about customers. What they need. What they are saying.”
“How do you engage a blogger? Read the comments. You’ll find whose interested in what topics. Most of the conversation goes on in the comments, not on the main posts.”