Updated: Mar 24, 2019
Most small businesses will want to use both bloggers and journalists to help promote their business. To be fair, the lines between the two are pretty blurred and are becoming increasingly more so, so why should a business consider both bloggers and journalists to help them gain coverage?
Social media is the quickest and simplest way of connecting instantly with journalists and bloggers. Twitter is a favourite platform and the use of hashtags such as #journorequest, #bloggerrequest or #prrequest are pretty well known. Writers, whether bloggers or journalists, will post out when they are looking for content and, in turn, if you have news to share you can tag in much the same way.
Facebook has a number of groups set up by journalists so they can send out requests. These are worth a search and joining to see if you can contribute. FeatureMe!UK is one such example.
In much the same way as journalists specialise in particular subjects, bloggers often do the same, so a bit of in-depth research is needed. However, social media is not the ‘be all and end all’. You need to build a relationship with both, know how they work, when they are busy and when they will be looking for news. For instance, if you have a product aimed at the Christmas market, you need to be aware of timelines for features. Bloggers may still be looking for last-minute product ideas in early December. Journalists working for monthly magazines will be done and dusted far, far earlier. The same rule applies to any services your business offers.
Getting to the right audience
Both bloggers and journalists will have an audience. You need to do your research and be familiar with their audiences. If you are struggling to see how your product or service would be a good fit with their audiences, chances are that neither will be interested!
Journalists will have a very specific view of the type of content they want. It might be an expert opinion on a topical subject or an answer to a question they are posing. They may want information for a specific feature they are writing, or they may just want solid news!
A blogger will have a different slant. They will need a clear idea of what you want to gain from the relationship. Once they know this, they will make a decision on whether your ideas will fit into their blog. Some bloggers, particularly those with higher profiles, will have a commercial slant, so be prepared to think potential costs through.
Coverage you can expect
Both bloggers and journalists will provide your business with great coverage. However, the type of coverage they offer will differ. Bloggers are more likely to produce a product review or feature, whereas a journalist is far more likely to cover newsworthy press releases. This can be a bit dependent on the individual you are working with, but as a general rule, this is the case.
Journalist coverage: This news of a new product launch by client Prodata Weather Stations was featured in a number of target magazines.
Coverage - www.bdcmagazine.com
Blogger coverage: This product review was undertaken by blogger Stylish London Living and spread via their social media feeds.
Already you can see that a blogger’s platform will be online – their blog and their social media feeds, invariably Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Some bloggers will use just one platform, say, Instagram, for their audience which is great if your audience demographic are Instagram users, and not so great if they are not!
A journalist can be involved in a number of media platforms. They are likely to be involved in print media, but also potentially TV, radio and social media as well.
Keep at it and plan! PR is a long-term activity. It is rare that small businesses can offer exciting business news to their key journalists several times a month, but by being aware of what you can offer, when and to whom will help you gain coverage consistently.