Public Relations 101: Why are bloggers important for PR outreach?

bloggers and blogging

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that there are a lot of bloggers. Google the term “book bloggers” and you’ll ping a million results. Google “book review bloggers” and you’ll ping a million more search results. Researching and sifting through blogs and their contact information is a time consuming process, but they are an important part of a PR campaign.

Why are bloggers so necessary to publicists as part of their outreach? More importantly, why are they so necessary for an an author looking to establish their brand?

They have their own fan base. Each blog has a built-in audience that comes with it, whether it is five people or five thousand. If you’re looking to have your chick lit novel reviewed, you’ll want to check out some chick lit reviewers—their fans may be your future fans, too.

They may review indie or self published authors. As an indie author, it’s difficult to get yourself reviewed in newspapers like the New York Times. Book review bloggers can give you the support you need, especially if they decide to favorably review your novel. Always respect a blog’s review policy—many clearly state that they do not review independently published titles. You will find bloggers that are open to reviewing indie authors, but you must ensure that the book is professionally edited before deciding to contact a reviewer—you don’t want to find a scathing review of your novel’s numerous spelling and grammatical errors.

They provide you with an online presence. A social media presence is one thing, but a presence on the rest of the web is just as important. Because blogging equals SEO, tagging, categories, and all that great online marketing jargon, reviews of your book online will make you a more searchable term—and people Googling your name will see that you and your book exist.

They have their own networks. More than ever, bloggers are an important tool for publishers. This summer, Book Expo America even had a networking conference for bloggers with several seminars related to the profession. Attending a blogger networking event in your area could lead to a relationship with someone who could have interest in your future career as a writer!

They’re a supportive medium. A blogger who has their own book review site is going to be someone who supports books. Why wouldn’t you want to be friendly with a crowd that loves reading just as much as you do?

Are you an author who utilizes bloggers and blog tours, and do you find those parts of your campaign successful? Tweet us your insight at @MCKINNEYPR!

We were “slammed”…

If you subscribe to a utility company, for home or business, beware because “slamming” does exist and it is incredibly annoying to deal with.

We recently opened an office and purchased a “business bundle” with Verizon.  A month or so after we were set up and running a phone call came in to the office.  An employee answered and her end of the conversation which went something like this…

“Yes, we do have Verizon.”

“Yes, that is the company name.”

“We don’t have any questions about the service.”

etc., etc., etc.

It seemed like a routine customer service call, until the questions became repetitive and went on for longer than what we deemed to be a regular call.  So, she ended the conversation and hung up.

For a few weeks after that, the same person or company kept calling asking the same questions over and over.  The second call we ended within a couple of questions;  The third, maybe after the first question; and the fourth time I recognized the number, picked up the phone and told the person that we were going to take action for solicitation harassment (sounded good at the time) if the person didn’t stop calling.

Shortly thereafter I received a service notice from Verizon that I ignored because I hadn’t ordered any service.  I figured it was just a glitch in the system.  And then the bill came.

The bill was about $100 more than what it should have been, so I took the time to scan all 8 pages and found at the end of the bill a company name I didn’t recognize and substantial charges billed by that company.  I called Verizon and was told that I had changed my long distance service to another carrier and that I was no longer receiving the promotional package rate. WHAT?!  So I told the customer service rep that there was a mistake– I told her about the strange phone calls which must have been related to this, and how incredible this was, and what has this world come to, etc.  She told me that we had been slammed and that she would amend the bill and the previous bill (which I hadn’t checked thoroughly) and would cancel the offending party’s service agreement.  She also put a freeze on my account so that I am the only person who can make service changes.

But that wasn’t all.  A month later another bill came with $50 in charges from this other company.  I called Verizon immediately.

Me: “I called a month ago about a slamming incident and it appears that this other company is still charging me for services that we never ordered.”

Verizon: “I can take care of that for you.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Verizon: “In the future what you might want to do is call this company and cancel the service yourself”.

Me: “But I never ordered the service.”

Verizon: “Right, but you need to cancel it.”

Me: “But isn’t is illegal…what they did?”

Verizon: “Well, yes.”

Me: “But I still need to call them?  I don’t want to call them.  They are a nefarious organization that is doing something illegal.  Why should I have to call them?”

Verizon: “Well, I’m just saying this is how you can best end the problem.”

Me: “Uh huh.  Well, thanks.  Bye.”

I’m waiting for the next bill.