Well, better late than never I suppose. I cannot believe it has taken me more than a week to sit down to collect my thoughts on BlogHer Business last month.
Bottom line: the inaugural BlogHer Business was a worthy conference sister to the main BlogHer Conference (number 3 is this July), and I was honored to be a part of it. <Steps on soapbox> All those "all white boy, all the time" conference organizers who shake their heads woefully and say, "but we don’t know any women to ask to speak at our conference," or "but women didn’t submit any sessions," or whatever other lame excuse, could do well by getting a hold of the conference program and noting the great women who spoke at this conference. And don’t stop there. Any of the women who attended could do a better job than some of the lame stuff I’ve seen in my career. <Steps off>
Highlights? Everything. It was great to see so many of the women I’ve gotten to know through BlogHer over the past few years. Elisa Camahort. Jory Des Jardins. Lisa Stone. Maria Niles. Yvonne DeVita. Toby Bloomberg. Amy Gahran. Marianne Richmond. Lena West. Elana Centor. My co-panelists in the blogger relations panel Elise Bauer and Michelle Madhok. The effervescent Shirley Frazier who I interviewed for the small business case study. New friend Julie Crabill from SHIFT PR who did a noble job in the "press release must die" session. And so many more. And of course distaff regulars Chris Carfi and Jeremy Pepper (pink shirt and all). The boys in the band??
As part of our session, Elise, Michelle and I developed The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing to Bloggers. If you think of any others we should add, please let us know.
- Create a targeted list of bloggers. Read the blogs regularly.
- Know the blogs you are approaching. Address the blogger by name.
- Be relevant to the blogger’s interests.Make sure your outreach includes a benefit for the blogger – a product she’d like to review, exclusive information, access to company principals, etc.
- Treat the blogger with the same respect you would a professional journalist.
- Be open to constructive feedback from bloggers. Ask for it.
- Offer to send product with no strings attached.
- Ask bloggers what they need from you.(suggested by an attendee at the panel.)
- Do not send obvious form letters.
- Do not ask for links, unless you are willing to pay for them.
- Do not leave blog comments plugging your products.
- Do not come on too strong.
- Do not put the blogger on your mailing list without permission.
My husband and son joined me Friday night and we spent the weekend in NYC. On our way to see Tarzan on Broadway on Saturday, we ran into Rachel Clarke and the Kleenex "let it out" campaign in Times Square. Rachel works for JWT and this is one of her projects. She took some great pictures of us on the Blue Couch (we’re the first three in the set.)
And then we saw Tarzan, which was much better than I expected. March is Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS month, in which all the shows (nationwide) raise money for charity. At Tarzan, we had plenty of opportunities to part with our cash, but I could not resist having my son’s picture with Tarzan, proceeds to charity.