4 things you should always say to bloggers

Lisa Arledge Powell is President of MediaSource, named 2013 and 2014’s Best Health Care PR and Marketing Agency by Ragan Communications.

Marketing pros are trained communicators, but most have been in a situation in which an important conversation with a blogger has left us flustered. Needless to say, those who blog for a living do not necessarily follow our schedule.

Bloggers can call or email when you’re least expecting it and may need their information ASAP. It always seems like the most important calls come when you’re already drowning in other work.

Drowning or not, when you pick up that phone or respond to that email it’s important to remember that every piece of communication from a blogger is an opportunity. If you want success, don’t let on that you’re stressed.

Here’s what you should always remember to say to a blogger:

  1. “I’ll start on this immediately.”

In marketing, we know that timing is everything. For bloggers, it’s almost as if the day is moving in fast forward. You should operate with constant urgency and efficiency if you want any chance at developing a positive working relationship with that person. If you can swing it, drop everything and start on the blogger’s request immediately. Never leave something urgent until tomorrow, even if it is the end of your day.

If you can’t fulfill their request quick enough, they will find someone who can. You will never hear a blogger say that a marketing person was too responsive or too fast in filling their request. Know the blogger’s deadline and adjust your own deadlines accordingly. (Hint: it’s at least 90 minutes before theirs.)

  1. “Here’s an update…”

If you’re taking longer than expected but you are making good strides toward fulfilling a request, let the blogger know with a quick email. A simple check-in reassures a blogger that you have made their request a priority and are hoping to have what they need soon. You don’t want them to assume, due to lack of communication, that you’ve failed, prompting them to move on to someone else.

  1. “I can coordinate visuals.”

As media trends keep changing, more and more bloggers are including a number of multimedia elements in order to stay competitive. If the resources are available, you need to provide or help line up graphic opportunities, photos or video. This “one-stop shop” approach will make the blogger’s job much easier.

  1. “I liked your blog about _____.”

After you’ve collaborated, keeping up with a blogger’s work is important to maintaining a positive relationship. Let them know that you value their work by reading their posts and making genuine comments about the content. Showing them your appreciation will help you stand out and start a positive, non-urgent conversation.

If you use this advice in your daily interactions with bloggers, the nature or your communications will become much less intimidating. You both win when bloggers understand that you “get it” and that they can count on you to help provide tell memorable, accurate, and timely content for their blogs.

Do you have any additional tips for great communication with bloggers!?

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