For many public relations agencies and practitioners, effectively targeting the blogosphere can feel like a Sisyphus-esqe kind of hell. With hundreds of new blogs, new blog monitoring services, and new PR agencies claimng to rule the blogging world showing up weekly, the question, after learning how to pitch, quickly becomes - well, which blogs do you pitch and how do you find them?
PR Couture has actively monitored the relationship between Fashion PR and fashion bloggers since our start back in December, 2006, and have continued to ask practitioners and bloggers about their experiences and perspectives. However, we have yet to broach the idea of developing a fashion blogger pitching strategy. What follows is just a general game-plan, reader suggestions are welcome, either via comment or email.
Much like the form, fit, and function fashion equation, finding the right fashion blogs for your client requires an approach that considers things like: 1) What are my client's goals, is this a quantity over quality Old Navy kind of PR Campaign, or are we more concerned with exclusivity in a limited edition Diane von Furstenburg kind of way? 2) What kind of coverage are we looking for, strictly product review, product give-aways, or are we more concerned with the company or brand as a whole, and 3) Measurement - how are we going to measure our campaign - strictly by readership and site traffic, or are there other metrics - authority, authenticity, target customer, trackable give-aways, promotions, that we can use when evaluating our success?
Once you are clear on your blog strategy, locating blogs that fit into this strategy is the next step. Here are just a few places to start the search:
Coutorture is the place to find notable and up and coming fashion bloggers. Check out their daily featured reads and reader submitted stories for recent updates and new blogs. The Pros: This is where your early adopters hang out. The Cons: Careful with your pitching, these bloggers, like many others, don't appreciate a blanket pitch and you might end up getting coverage about your poorly crafted pitch, rather than your client!
IndieCollective.net is an independently-owned businesses showcases artists, artisans, designers & many other facets of the creative arts community where craft and DIY bloggers abound. The Pros: These bloggers are often more than happy to write about up and coming, independent designers, the handmade, and the retro/kitsch. The Cons: Many of these blogs have limited traffic, which might not make your client very happy. Be prepared with your target market comeback to assuage any confusion.
Tweak that which you already have. The next time you visit your own online haunts - social shopping sites, niche social networking sites, pay attention to more than the goods and look for bloggers by scoping out popular posters' profiles.
In doing your initial research, it is worth taking a look at the blogs to see if there is a contact email - blogspot is notoriously bad at providing a contact email. In addition, take time to read the about section, as well as a few posts, to see if you can unearth any clues as to the types of products they tend to feature, their pitching policy, and recent traffic numbers. However, keep in mind that with fashion, traffic is not the end all be all - a smaller but loyal readership can add credibility to coverage.
Finding great fashion blogs is easy, the challenge come with that pesky consideration #3 - measurement. Clients are concerned with ROI, and although raising awareness is a laudable pursuit, you can achieve greater sucess with a basic understanding, and ability to communicate about traffic, authority/relevance, and other blog metrics.Technorati: A few quick searches on Technorati can unearth fashion blogs by community, sorted by authority. Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has. It is important to note that authority is based on the number of blogs linking, rather than the number of individual links.
Buzzlogic: The new monitoring service Buzzlogic provides, for a yearly subscription fee, a means to calculate influence in social media by analyzing a similar relationship – who connects to whom, about what and when.
Alexa: Although Alexa isn't blog specific - you can do a search of a specific blog and get instant traffic information.
Create a Master List
During your research, you might start to notice some themes/blogger specialities emerging. Your next step will probably be a a list of some kind. The nightmare that is the excel spreadsheet was made for this kind of data entry, and excel pages are a great way to develop targeted lists, for which your targeted email pitch will only need minor tweaking. Find 3 or 4 themes that work for your client, perhaps bridal, celebrity, runway, and moms, and develop blogger contact lists, making full use of an open notes section where you can note recent posts, personal information - anything that will help you develop a personalized pitch.
Target your pitch
Once you have a well researched blog list with contact information organized into themes (first names are great) and complete with important notes, read over these tips for crafting the perfect fashion pitch, and start developing a custom pitch targeted toward each themed fashion blog type. When it comes time to pitch, take a quick look over any recent posts and blog activity to further customize your pitch.
(This post was featured as a Coutorture Must Read for 6/21)