So today I’m letting you in on a few secrets – we’re going behind the scenes into the world of blogger outreach as a PR. Obviously, I can’t go into too much detail as I can’t divulge anything specific about what I’m doing or what clients I’m working on, and I should also highlight that the way I work as a PR could be completely different from what others in the industry (or even in my company!) do. But I do know that a lot of bloggers feel that the world of working with PRs and companies can be very secretive and hidden, so I wanted to let you into it as much as possible so you can see how we work and maybe understand it a little better and how you as a blogger fit into it.
I did intend to do this post as a sort of “day in the life”, but that’s really not going to work as you’d get bored of seeing my computer screens, keyboard and mouse, maybe a quick shot of the meeting room and my lunch, but not much else all day long! Due to our job being a big team effort, it’s easier to talk through the process as a whole when working on a project that we include bloggers in.
At Bronco, I’m part of the Digital Media Marketing team – there’s a bit more info about it and how we’re different from “content marketing” on that page. My job is primarily blogger outreach, but I am also largely involved in everything else we do as part of that team.
Stage 1: Early ideas
The first thing is that we’re working to a specific timeline that has a beginning and an end – what this means in short is: we have a deadline. We have campaigns that run between 3 and 6 months, with lots of forward planning and a particular project usually focusing in on a particular month, but some run into multiple months depending on the type of project it is. In the run up to a project, we’ll have had a brainstorm to pull together several ideas for the specific client; these could be time sensitive, so based on Fathers Day or Christmas for example. We’ll then narrow it down, choose an idea to run with.
Stage 2: Choosing an idea
So we’ve got a big list of ideas – how do we get from those down to a single one to run with for that month? We’ll generally look at what’s popular right now (we want to be on trend, right?), what bloggers and influencers are talking about, how our client fits into that, and which ideas we have that will work for that at the specific time. We also have to consider what types of work we can do in the time we have scheduled, whether it needs a big website build to run or whether it’s a simple content based press release. Once we’ve chosen the idea, it goes onto the next stage.
Stage 3: Creation of the idea
At this point, there will be lots of research happening at our end. Whether that means us carrying out a survey on the client’s behalf, finding out the facts ourselves or using information the client has already provided us depends on the idea itself.
Next up, the team will all sit down together, sometimes in our meeting room, in our “breakout” area or the Broncoplex (yes, we are that awesome!), and finalise all the details on it. If we need a design piece creating, we visualise the idea together before letting the in house designer go wild on it, so that we’re all agreed on it and know what the final piece will look like.
Every project we create is something that will be engaging and informative to the consumers, whether it’s a news based press release, an infographic, an interactive website and so on.
Stage 4: Contact & Outreach (where bloggers come in!)
Once the project is complete, we will start publicising it. Some will go out to relevant news or press outlets (and this could be in a huge number of industries!), and onto bloggers later, whereas others are projects targeted directly at bloggers so will go straight to them. Since this is the most relevant part for most of you, I’ll break it down a bit further!
- During the creation of the project, we’ll have already begun building lists of bloggers and influencers who are most relevant to the project. We have a large database of bloggers that we can sift through, but we’re constantly hunting for new ones. If you keep an eye on the @Bronco_Media Twitter feed, you’ll notice that we put out requests frequently on there, and even if we decide your blog doesn’t fit for the project we’re doing, you are still added to our database with relevant tags for anything that would fit in future.
- At this point, we might have a huge list that needs reigning in a bit. Certain sectors of blogging (as I’m sure you know!) have a lot more blogs than others – for example, there are a lot more parenting blogs than there are grandparenting blogs (bad example, but probably true!). There are a number of reasons your blog might not make it to the final cut on a list for a specific project, some of these are:
a. Blog direction – we’ll look for blogs that are the best fit for our client and that specific topic. We want something that you’ll enjoy writing about, maybe something you’ve already written about, something you’re an expert on.
b. Metrics – certain projects will need certain things, whether this is social followers, DA or something else.
c. Client – if we’ve recently worked with you on a project for that client already, we’ll give someone else a chance.
d. Timing – this is a minor one, but if you only update your blog occasionally or you have specific days that you will write on specific topics, due to our timelines, your blog might not fit in before the deadline.
- Once we’ve got our list finalised, the outreach begins. We’ll make sure to read your blog first (to know you’re a good fit); we’ll have found the best way to contact you; and we’ll make sure that we’re as clear as possible about the project and what sort of thing we’re looking for. Our outreach is always personalised and we’re looking to build strong, long lasting relationships where we can help you out and you can help us. We’ll spend time getting to know you and your blog – as I’ve said before, I now consider a lot of bloggers I’ve worked with to be friends.
The list that we contact is usually bigger than the amount of bloggers we need, but sometimes people will choose not to go ahead with something (for many different reasons), so we have extras just in case.
- Projects get completed – yay! Bloggers will do what we need them to do (thank you!). We then keep track of the posts coming back in, and finally, when we’ve reached the end of the month, report back to the client on how successfully their project went and whether it was well received by bloggers or not. Usually our allocated time for that project is finished at the end of the month, but sometimes a project will go well and we’ll continue it, or build on it again in future to create something even better. We sometimes leave things to continue to grow on their own, but still monitor them. Bloggers are the key for us to get things out there and moving, and we really appreciate it.
Hope that makes it a little more clear about what’s going on at the other end of your emails! If you have any questions, make sure to comment below or tweet me at @xrebel_angelx with the hashtag #BlogPRrelations, or to ask a question to someone else in our team (if it’s a part other than Blogger Outreach you have a question on), tweet @Bronco_Media with the hashtag #BlogPRrelations.