Posts Tagged ‘web 2.0’

Making Friends with Bloggers

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

So you want to pitch to a blogger. Great! You’re hip to the times and ready to open some new channels. The important thing to remember here is that new media is all about relationships. Different bloggers have different preferences for how they want to receive pitches/press releases and some bloggers don’t want a pitch at all.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Find a blogger and read their posts
  2. Build a relationship
  3. Pitch your story

So let’s walk through the list.

1. Find a blogger – There are tons of blogs out there that cover tons of topics. The first step to pitching your idea is to find a blogger who covers topics related to your industry. Your pitch idea should be of interest to the blogger you reach out to. The best way to do this is to actually read some archived posts. Make sure that your blogger of choice is willing to work with you as a representative of your organization.

2. Build a relationship –After you do some reading, try building a relationship with the blogger you are interested in by leaving comments on their blog, sending them interesting ideas that don’t relate to your organization, and read more than just their most recent post. Commenting and sharing interesting information with a blogger can really help solidify you as a contact. Link to bloggers through your own blog or invite bloggers to write a guest post.

Without building a relationship, chances are pretty high that your pitch will go straight to the recycle bin. View bloggers as a sort of picky, opinionated journalist. Bloggers can write about anything, and the last thing you want them to write about is how you were rude for approaching them out of the blue or worse, that you offended their morals by offering them payment. This may seem like a big commitment just to pitch a press release, but Kevin Dugan makes a good point: if networking with the blogger seems like too much work for the news you want to share, you probably should not pitch to them at all.

If all goes well, not only will you have successful pitched your news or event, you will have a new networking contact. Other readers of the blog may also build a relationship with you through your community activity. This can bring traffic to your own blog and social media pages.

3. Pitch your story – By this point you should know the best bloggers for the kind of story you want to pitch and have developed a relationship with them. Don’t forget to maintain the relationship after you have sent them your pitch, even if they did not include your information in a blog post. You don’t want to burn bridges, and there are always future opportunities to expand your relationships.

Our Arts & Humanities Blogger Brunch is coming up on March 18! Confirmed panelists include Jessica McFadden of A Parent in Silver Spring, Jacqueline Trescott of The Washington Post, Sommer Mathis of TBD.com, Andrea Falken of Greg’s List DC, Mike Grass of Washington City Paper and representatives from Patch.com and USA Today. Meet the new media and hear from them about what makes a great story! (Tip: If you register by Friday, March 11 at 5 pm, you can snag the Early Bird discount.)

Social Media: Am I Doing This Right?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Chances are, most of you already have some sort of social media presence for your organization. It is important to consider, however, that there is a big difference between personal and professional use of social media. A great first step at bringing your business up to speed is to perform a social media audit.

Social media audits allow companies to take a good look at their efforts and gauge what their online presence is actually accomplishing. It is all well and good to maintain social media profiles, but you have to know what you are getting back from the endeavor. You should strive to make sure your organization is keeping a consistent brand and message throughout your social media sites. Bloggers Boame and Bolsinger offer several good guidelines for social media audits. Some of the most compelling are to:

  • create custom graphics and landing pages
  • monitor site analytics
  • engage with the social community and consider comments
  • scrap tools that do not benefit your goals
  • integrate your social media sites with one another

In addition to these tips, I would suggest some good old-fashioned audience evaluation. Bolsinger suggests that you claim your brand name on every social media site, going so far as to set up a system that will set up accounts as new tools are released. I believe it is important to focus on sites your target audience is likely to visit. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are probably the most heavily frequented by all demographics, and it would be wise to set up profiles on these sites. However, arts and humanities groups and individual artists might find sites like Flickr and deviantArt appeal more to their audiences. When conducting an audit, pick and choose the venue which reflects your audiences’ interests.

The Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County will be hosting a Social Media Boot Camp featuring Carrie Fox of C.Fox Communications on Feb. 25 and March 18.

You can listen to our podcast with Shellie Williams to learn more about AHCMC’s Boot Camp and professional advancement opportunities.

Education is half the battle, so get out there and learn some new social media skills!

Foursquare: beyond the playground

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

This blog is based on the Miss Tipshare column in the July/August 2010 edition of AHCMC’s News & Views newsletter.

In third grade, foursquare was the game on the playground. It got so intense that to reduce the number of recess arguments (and lost playtime), the teachers posted official rules for play. Yep, it was that serious.

Now, years later, it’s back — in the form of my latest tech obsession! Admittedly, I’m a little late to this party. I’ve been seeing foursquare updates in my Twitter feed for months now, thinking that it was a little too invasive and crazy. However, on Mashable’s Social Media Day (June 30), I decided to celebrate by joining!

Learn about what foursquare is and how AHCMC is using it after the jump.

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