As both a blogger and a social media… person, I regularly come in to contact with people hoping to form relationships with bloggers. I’ve even done it myself a few times – though I’m by no means an expert. But the concept of “blogger engagement” is a very interesting one to me, and – I must admit – one of the many reasons I got in to blogging.
As a new father, I’d be more than happy to get some free stuff occasionally – whether it’s products to review, or just freebies as promotional items. But how do you get in to that game in the first place? I’m still trying to figure it out – which is ironic, as part of my own job includes identifying relevant bloggers to “engage” with. So how do I join the two up? How do I tell brands and PR folk that I’m happy to consider their offers, and how do I as a marketeer find out whether bloggers I identify are going to be open to my “advances”?
Well, hopefully a solution might be on the horizon….
A friend and industry-colleague, Andy Merchant, is working on a scheme whereby bloggers can easily show whether they do or do not welcome pitches from PR people – and if they do, what sort of thing they want to consider. It’s bascially a digital version of that sign you see on people’s door (if you’ve ever delivered newspapers, you’ll know it well):
Here’s the down-low on it from Andy himself:
“The embeddable universal blog pitching image visually symbolises the fact that you welcome, or do not welcome brand or product news pitches to your blog. Additional the “We welcome pitches” symbol can also guide the agency to the fact you welcome pitches for particular categories or products.”
So essentially you just host the image somewhere obvious on your blog, the PR or brand stumbles across your site, and they instantly know whether or not to pester you. Seems like a fairly easy solution to the hassle of annoying pitches or wasted opportunities…
I for one think this is a great idea – though of course these things only work if they get enough take-up for it to be worthwhile using. I’m very interested to hear from other bloggers though, whether you think it’s a good idea or not – and how often you get pitched to. Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter…