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FROM THE FORTE

Perspective from Double Forte Public Relations and Marketing

Month

September 2014

When You Pitch A Blogger

blogsSmart marketers know that blogs outrank other social networks when it comes to consumer influence. In fact, according to Technorati, blogs are the third most influential online resource for people considering a purchase, after retail sites and brand sites.

But not all marketers know how to approach bloggers. As both a brand representative and a blogger, I’ve seen a lot of pitches and I’ve been documenting what makes a pitch work, or not work. Here are some best practices for reaching out to bloggers.

Tell the blogger what you want. As we often say at Double Forte, “The point of communication is to stop it.” If you want a blogger to write a review, tell them that. And tell them how you will deliver the product or service, what your terms are, if any, and any other relevant information about the product or service including price and delivery. Vague requests will probably end up in the trash folder. Considering 82 percent of bloggers make less than $10,000 per year, you can assume many of them have other jobs and don’t have time to trade multiple emails with you.

Say what you mean. There seems to be a recent (and bad) trend among brand representatives to ask bloggers for their input on a new product or service – when what they’re really looking for is coverage. If you want coverage, write a good old-fashioned pitch letter. If it’s relevant, and you’ve targeted the right blogs, that’s all you should need.

Ask for UVMs after you make an offer. It’s bad form to offer a blogger a paid opportunity and then pull the deal when the bloggers’ readership doesn’t match your criteria. It’s easy to check page views and followers so do that before reaching out. If a blogger doesn’t meet your criteria, then don’t approach them. But know that before you pitch.

Be prepared to pay. No, not every blogger engagement is pay-for-play. But if you are asking a blogger to post specific content, at a specific time, in a specific manner, you’re asking to buy real estate on their blog and you should compensate the blogger for that.

Brands and bloggers can be beautiful partners when both sides understand where the other is coming from.

– Liz

photo credit: rcade via photopin cc

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Marketing to Mom

Mother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know:

  • 72% of mothers work
  • 40% of working mothers are the sole or primary source of income for the family
  • 42% of mothers are single mothers
  • There are 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the United States?

So why is it that so many brands seem to market to this singular image of “Mom” in her kitchen with a diapered infant or toddler on her hip and a loving husband returning home from work at dinner time?

Today, there is no one size fits all when it comes to mothers. Some work full-time. Some work part-time. Some work solely in the home. Some own businesses. Mothers have children who are infants, toddlers, tweens, adults returning home again. Some are caregivers for children, pets, neighbors and parents. Savvy brands understand this and reject the one-size-fits-all approach when reaching out to the people who make or influence 85% of all purchasing decisions.

When it comes to marketing to mothers, segmentation is key. Luckily for busy brand managers, social media makes reaching women with the right message at the right time possible. Consider this:

  • 65% of mothers learn about a product or service through social media
  • 64% of mothers read online reviews before buying
  • 84% of mothers go online looking for product/brand recommendations.*

If you’re trying to reach women, and mothers in particular, you must have a solid social strategy.

*Many of the above statistics are courtesy of the Marketing to Moms Conference. Double Forte will present strategies to reach today’s mother at the event.

photo credit: Jeroen_Wolfers via photopin cc

Fridays With: Alyson Hanner, KMAX-TV

AlySac

What is your elevator pitch when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”

Ring Leader of a Circus

Describe the path that led you to this career.

Honestly, free tuition!  I had no idea what I wanted to study when it came time to shop for schools.  I was pretty good at softball and was offered a full ride to Northwestern University, so I decided to accept since my single mom didn’t have much money.   I was intrigued by journalism (especially broadcast journalism) and ran with it.  Here I am a decade later.   I started out wanting to be in front of the camera but quickly fell in love with the behind-the-scenes action!

What are the elements of a successful workplace?

Communication, Flexibility, Efficiency

What is the one piece of technology you cannot live without?

Hate to admit it, cell phone

What are you reading?

“Bird by Bird” by Ann Lamont

What advice would you give your 20-something self?

Never give up, believe in yourself and trust your gut.

If you could do anything and know you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

Play professional sports

At Double Forte’s San Francisco office, the conference rooms are named Rock and Roll, Motown, Hip Hop, Mambo, Jazz and Disco. Which name best describes you and why?

Rock and Roll

What’s in your Netflix queue? 

Japanese Anime and Indie Films (My hubby is the only one who uses Netflix.)

The Five Rules of Relevancy

RelevantIn a 24/7 news cycle, where narrative marketing has supplanted digital marketing, and content and context enjoy a co-regency, relevancy is a marketing must. Brands must find a way to relate to and insert themselves into the news of the day. But can relevancy go to far? And just where is the line that shouldn’t be crossed?

In the past month, we saw an example of companies on both sides of that line. One company connected their services to a tragedy in the news and received a big industry slap for insensitivity. (It would be relevant to mention the tragedy and the brand but I don’t need to cross that line to make my point). Another company, Jawbone, released data related to its users during the Napa earthquake and received headlines, stories and most likely, a spike in positive brand awareness. Why? Jawbone followed the rules of relevancy. The other company broke them.

Here are the five rules of relevancy.

  1. Anticipate second day stories. When a major story breaks, reporters will develop related content to answer the questions readers and viewers need and or want to know? If you can help them by sharing useful information, pass it along.
  2. Stick to the facts. Jawbone shared hard data mined from its database. The company steered clear of opinions or analysis.
  3. Be sensitive. Don’t comment on tragedies resulting in death. Ever.
  4. Be a resource, not an opportunist. If you’re an insurance company and a reporter wants to write about disaster claims, help them when they call.
  5. Stay ahead of the calendar. Do you have a great product for Valentine’s Day? February is too late to share it. Start spreading the news 2-6 months earlier depending on the media’s lead times. Think Christmas in July.

You have marketing metrics to meet and the media has eyeballs to reach. When your message meets their needs, that’s when the magic happens.

 

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