Week 4 Guest Speaker Roundup – by Emilie Chan

A Conversation with Jessica Gottlieb & Stephanie Michaels

By UCLA X425 Student Emilie Chan

This week we had Jessica Gottlieb (@JessicaGottlieb) and Stefanie Michaels (@adventuregirl) speak with us about being bloggers. Man, what a wealth of information! Here is a small sampling from the perspective of a PR professional who pitches bloggers for blog and twitter exposure:

1. Read the blog before your pitch it. Is it just me, or is this an old-school PR rule? I am shocked by the stories of lazy publicists who blind pitch. Shame on you! Your email vomit makes it harder for the rest of us to get our targeted and personal pitches read! Jessica and Stephanie made it clear that if a pitch doesn’t fall in their clearly defined areas of interest, it goes in the trash. And use the TO field, while you’re at it.

2. Some bloggers are pay for play. This one surprised me. Now, I don’t think this applies to the NY Times’ blogs, but as Jessica made clear, she’s not a journalist, she’s a mommy blogger, and kudos to her for monetizing her influence! Want her to tweet about your sweater on Black Friday, or make a YouTube video about your washing machine? As long as the product can fit in the context of her life, she’ll consider it for a price. Note: this does not apply to all products and all bloggers, and there will be an FTC mandated disclosure on the post.

3. Beware of blogger wrath. Motrin Moms anyone? Identifying the key influencers will help you monitor your brand as well as promote it. Bloggers have a powerful reach, Ignoring any trend against your brand from the blogging world could lead to a PR crisis.

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