How Blogs Provide A Boost As You Climb The Media Mountain
Whenever you try to get the word out about a product or service, you want as many eyeballs (and the people attached to them) viewing your message as possible.
That’s why I think that, for so many people, traditional print media such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times represent the peak of the media mountain in terms of publicity.
And, certainly, being quoted in a top-tier publication is an essential goal for anyone seeking to promote themselves or their company.
But I think it’s important to remember that other opportunities abound, especially if you’re not well known and trying to establish yourself as someone the big media should listen to.
Bloggers, for example, can play a more significant role than you might guess in getting your name circulating and grabbing attention that you could leverage later into more widespread media coverage.
To make sure readers keep coming back, blogs need fresh content on a regular basis. But they don’t have a large bullpen of staff writers to match the traditional print publications.
So that means there’s an opportunity – and audience – waiting for folks just like you!
Hold off hitting the send button just yet, though.
Just because bloggers are thirsty for content and you’ve sent them what you consider a masterpiece, doesn’t mean landing an article is a shoo-in. They won’t latch onto just anything that comes traipsing into their email inbox — they have their own quirks and preferences (don’t we all), and understanding those can make an enormous difference between success and failure.
One person who has a deep understanding of bloggers’ wants and needs is Ginny Grimsley, EMSI’s print campaign manager. She explains it this way.
“Bloggers get ideas or articles pitched to them all the time from random people,” Ginny says. “But a lot of those people are not even readers of the blog. So they don’t know the type of articles and information the blog is looking for.”
A blog that is all politics all the time won’t have much interest in your tips for selling a house, even though I’m sure they are great tips. A “mommy blog” that deals in child-rearing advice will pass – quickly – on your article about trends in aviation.
Ginny says another advantage she has over those “random people” courting both blogs and traditional media is that the articles and pitches she circulates go out under our News & Experts Division. Media outlets know that she can provide our clients – often on short notice – as sources they can quote or guest columnists who can pen an informed opinion.
So if you are trying to make the ascent from the foot of the media mountain to the summit, here are a few things to keep in mind about both blogs and traditional media.
- It’s true that blogs don’t bring the inherent credibility or authority that a top-tier publication such as the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal conveys. But don’t devalue their worth, especially if you lack name recognition. Blogs can start a buzz that could lead to great things. The immensely popular novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James owed much of its success initially to book bloggers, who were more open than newspapers or magazines would be to writing about a book that started as a piece of fan fiction. The traditional media – for all their greatness – ended up being Johnnies-come-lately on this one.
- Appearing in blogs can help you gain entrance into traditional media by keeping your name circulating as an expert in your field. Journalists may read those blogs or, if they receive a pitch about you, might conduct a quick Google search and see that you have a history as someone who is quoted or invited to write about your topic. That lends an extra dash of validity to what you have to say. Potential customers or clients researching you would have the same experience. They will be impressed to see your name pop up on multiple sites as someone providing input on your area of expertise.
- As beneficial as blogs can be, traditional publications have a value all their own. For one thing, readers know that the New York Times, or any large daily newspaper, is much more difficult to crack into than a blog. These publications have a vetting process that lends more authenticity to whatever they deem “fit to print.” Editors act as gatekeepers, setting standards for the publications. So getting those editors to agree you have something worthwhile to offer their readers means you have arrived.
As you can see, one of the keys to a successful publicity effort is to take advantage of all the online or traditional publications you can. You just might find that the peak of the media mountain is something you can conquer after all.
P.S. If you want our help climbing that mountain, getting coverage in online and traditional publications to build your personal or corporate brand, give us a call now at 727-443-7115 ext. 211 or sign up for your Free Media Analysis here!