Popular blogs have become the new way for PRs to create successful campaigns, reveals a new report.
PR agencies and brands overlook blogs at their peril. The most successful blogs in the UK have readership figures that eclipse many newsstand magazines, and have extremely loyal and engaged readers who trust the information they read on blogs.
More than eight out of 10 (82%) PR professionals work with bloggers to provide coverage for clients, while 98% find bloggers useful or invaluable, according to new research from DWPub.
Results of the survey of 252 PR professionals conducted in March 2012 accompany a new whitepaper called ‘The smart PR’s guide to blogger outreach’. The whitepaper, which assesses the importance of working with bloggers and offers practical tips, is written by freelance writer and blogger Sally Whittle.
Of the 18% of PRs who don’t work with bloggers, 54% find it difficult to evaluate the usefulness of a blogger, indicating the industry needs to develop measurement skills.
“The relationship between bloggers and PRs continues to provoke debate, so we decided to get the PR industry’s perspective on working with bloggers,” said Daryl Willcox, chairman and founder of DWPub. “Our survey results show an overwhelmingly positive response. Bloggers are here to stay and the PR industry is beginning to embrace them. Bloggers need to be approached in a different way to journalists – our research and whitepaper reflect this view.”
The survey looked at how PRs deal with bloggers compared to journalists – just over two thirds (67%) of respondents stated they have a dedicated approach for bloggers, with 75% of these citing they communicate with bloggers in a more informal tone.
Interaction with bloggers is on the rise – 74% said their communication is gradually increasing or has become commonplace, indicating that bloggers play a significant role in the PR industry’s daily routine.
When asked about their relationships with bloggers, 26% of PR professionals said they consider theirs to be strong. 54% said they have built a rapport with bloggers, while 20% don’t have strong relationships.
The PR industry was also asked about how they measure the importance of a blog. Interaction with readers came top, with 48% of respondents citing number of comments, followers and presence on social media sites as key factors.
Number of views on posts that feature clients is the primary way to measure results from interacting with bloggers, with 33% stating this is their main measuring tool. Clicks through to clients’ websites came a close second (31%). Just 9% believe number of comments on a post featuring a client is the best way to measure results.
“Bloggers are still relatively new when it comes to the press mix and not everybody understands the etiquette when dealing with them,” said Sally Whittle, freelance writer, blogger and founder of the Tots100. “The whitepaper shows how PR professionals can effectively work with bloggers to create successful campaigns for clients and build strong relationships.”
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