In public relations, we are conditioned to think of everything in terms of the news. What’s new? Is it newsworthy? Introductions, launches, exclusives, breaking stories, reviews. These are the stuff from which PR success is traditionally made.
And that’s still true. Mainstream media, whether print or online, and social media that follows the journalistic model are still driven by the news. The news cycle is by no means dead. In fact, it is accelerated and expanded. If you have something new, revolutionary, even evolutionary, there’s plenty of opportunity.
What if you don’t? What if you are charged with spreading the word about a product that isn’t new?
In PR, we try to find story angles. We suggest story ideas to reporters and position our products for inclusion in features. These tactics can be successful when reaching out to journalists, but tend to fall flat with personal bloggers. Why?
Most bloggers do not view themselves as writing for an audience. They are writing about their lives for themselves and for their friends. Realistically, of course, they know they have an audience but that’s not the primary motivation as it is for a journalist.
What’s the solution? Reframe the task. You are not limited by the news cycle. Remember that bloggers are the customer. While they like to hear about new things, as long as a pitch is relevant, the product doesn’t have to be new.
“New to you” is enough.
Now, that doesn’t mean they want advertising hype. If they want to view your ads, they will. They might even purchase your products as a result. However, if you are pitching them something for their blog, it has to be relevant and timely to them. Product can be ten years old as long as it solves an immediate problem or answers a current question. As I’ve written here before, it has to add value.
That’s the opportunity in blogger relations. Think creatively about the product and services in your portfolio. Think about audiences for whom your product would be new. Or new uses for the product. Don’t be limited by launch mentality.
Where to start? I’ve developed a model for finding the shared value between customer and company that you can use to identify a departure point for your pitch. In my next post, I’ll apply it to develop two possible blog pitches for cotton swabs.