Given the name, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all Online PR is done online. This is, in fact, not the case. Anyone working in Online PR can make much more of an impact by mixing elements of traditional PR with its online counterpart to get more links and coverage.
At Search Laboratory we’ve attended blogger events ranging from fifty bloggers attending a fashion show to a lunch with one or two people, and have some top tips for anyone planning on attending or throwing a blogger event.
We already know How to hold a successful fashion event, but what do you do whilst you’re at the event?
Our Content & Online PR Executive, Jessica Timms offers her tips:
- I’d say just be really friendly – If you can, try and do a bit of research into their blog before you meet them so you have something to mention or reference so you know their work.
Making sure you have something to talk to the bloggers about – whether its a recent blog post or something they’re interested in will help to build a rapport and make it much more personal – something Content & Online PR Manager, Ashleigh Sheard recommends:
- Be personal – I made some personalised biscuits that the bloggers loved and it helps to keep it small if you really want to get to know them on an individual level.
When you’re planning an event of any size its important to be flexible. Not everyone will be able to make the same date and if you’re trying to organise an event with even five people, all with different schedules, picking a date everyone can attend will be tough. If you do have a specific day it has to happen on, Jen Kelly suggests having something to make them want to come along.
- Offer them an incentive – whether its exposure, a product or even just relationship building, give them a reason to attend.
So how does this help in the long term?
Meeting people in person is a big part of traditional PR, but is something that Online PR seems to be slow to pick up. This is done at your own detriment though, as meeting contacts in person can lead to much more coverage both on social and with links.
Holding a blogger event and offering images for bloggers to use, prompts them to write a post about it, share it on social or talk about it, and this coverage is much more useful than an existing mention link or having some content tweeted. Not only does event coverage result in content now, it can lead to a much stronger relationship between you and your contacts as it helps both you and them put a name to the face – both things that will help you in the long-term.
Natalie Clince has some final tips for anyone considering a blogger event:
- Ask for feedback: take meet-ups and events as an opportunity to learn about what bloggers want. Let them know how much you value their opinion about what worked or didn’t work and what they would like to see more of in the future. When we recently met up with a group of Leeds bloggers and took them for lunch, we let them know it was the first time wed done anything like it and that learning more about what bloggers want to see at events was one of our main aims of the day.
- Be flexible: it’s good to have an idea of what will happen but leave room for things to flow naturally. If conversation is flowing freely and everyone is relaxed then go with it; likewise have icebreakers or other cues on hand if necessary!
- Offer takeaways: whether it is a goody bag, photos of the event or knowledge they will be included in your future content, make sure that everyone leaves with something to talk about and something to feature on their blog if they want to write about the event. Better yet, if you can, include a personal touch to make it especially memorable.
Check back to see some behind the scenes pictures from our most recent event – Blog Yorkshire.