Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thoughts on NCR #31

Just finished listening to Episode 31 of the New Comm Road podcast, which is hosted by Bryan Person.

The podcast "explores how new media tools are changing communication in business, in the media, and in our everyday lives" -- so naturally I find it interesting. I subscribe to it via iTunes.

In Episode 31, Bryan and guest Doug Haslam discuss a roadmap for Managing a Blogger Relations Campaign, and I agree completely with the five main points in the roadmap.

I also have a few thoughts to tack on, and rather than posting an incredibly long comment on the New Comm Road blog, I figured I might as well write a blog post.

* * *

The first of five points in the roadmap is: Identify the goal(s) of the campaign before you start it.

That statement may seem obvious, but I think it's really worth stating because not everyone begins with the end in mind. What I'd like to add is the notion that we should identify not just the goal(s) of the campaign, but also figure out how we will measure how successful we are in achieving the goal(s).

For example, if the original goal is to "raise awareness," we should take the extra time to think through just what that statement means. How many people have to become aware before we can say we've achieved our goal? How do we measure that awareness? How do we know they became aware because of the campaign?

I know from personal experience that it can be a real struggle to wrestle with a high-level objective and pin it down into something concrete and measurable, but the extra thinking effort is valuable because:

  1. We may realize a need to add metrics collection to our campaign process; or
  2. We may actually come to the realization that we have to change or re-frame our goal because there's no way to realistically measure our progress against it.
The idea is now old and overused, but there's still truth in that old saying that goals should be SMART.

* * *

The second comment that I'd like to make is related to the Tools of the Trade section of the podcast where Doug talked about the sites that he uses in his line of work.

I think it's worth pointing out that aside from using new media tools to look for blogs and bloggers, any blogger relations campaign should also be using new media tools to make it easier for bloggers to talk about the product, item, event, or company.

This point is illustrated perfectly in a recent book review by Tech PR Consultant, Drew Benvie. In his blog post, he says:
Now, I write about PR, so the first thing I noticed was how well the review process had been put together for a social media audience.

I was sent some YouTube footage (the book has its own channel on, pics of the book, and shots of the authors. All as links. Very blog friendly! The website for the book's really thorough too, so I had plenty to sift through before the book even arrived.
The key point: when pitching Bloggers, by all means use the new media tools that they already know, to make it easy for them to talk about your product or event or company. There is enough evidence, after all, to suggest that convenience wins.

It also makes you seem more like "one of us" instead of "one of them" when you show yourself to be new media / social media aware, so your pitch will feel a lot less like a cold call.


Drew said...

Good points and couldn't say better myself! :-)