Just as I was putting together that post on Blondinbella and product placement, I came across Natalie's wonderful Blogging 101 for Publicists: an excellent tutorial in blogger relations for PRs from my favourite mixologist (who as far as I know blog for ... eh.. love and public spirit)
I know I've complained about some of the silly PR approaches I get as blogger in the past, and even linked
up some useful advice
on how not to go about it, but Natalie offers nothing less than her "PSA for the other remaining few PR professionals who seem to have missed the memo explaining what a blog is and how it works," and generously says "Go on, drink up… this one’s on me". A few headlines:
Lession #4: The blogger has the final say.
Think of a blog as a publication. Now, realize that the blogger is the Senior Editor, Publisher and Art Director, rolled into one.
The clincher in the offensive email was this person’s feeling that she was doing me a favor, rather than realizing that it is, in fact, the other way around. This condescending line stuck like a bone in my throat:
“I treat you like a journalist, and thus expected a rapport like what I have with serious journalists.”
Umm... considering my bylines appear in national and regional print and online publications, most actually consider me a journalist, thank you very much. It would be appropriate to “treat me” as such. I was also a bit insulted – on behalf of myself and other bloggers – at the implication that bloggers are somehow lowlier than journalists, and not to be taken as seriously. Ironically, most bloggers I know are far more informed about a specific topic than the majority “staff writers.” And, believe me when I tell you that many of those “serious journalists” rip-off content from our blogs, on a regular basis, because we have become the experts in our niches.
Lesson #5: Understand the difference between a blog post and a magazine article.
Being a professional writer includes having the skill to change writing style, tone - and even the rules - when writing for any particular outlet. My blog "voice" is completely different from my magazine articles. I use the “first person,” spout my opinions and am influenced by my own biases. Its a free-form arena. I write exactly the way I want to, when I want to, about what I want to. If you like my style, pitch me your clients. If you don’t, there are a whole slew of other cocktail bloggers out there. Have at ‘em. Or, better yet, forget the Internet and stick with print.
Lesson #6: Become acquainted with what I call “the power of the blog.”
You see, back in 2005, when I held my final “salary job,” I was a restaurant publicist. Our PR firm had begun pitching food bloggers. At the time, I didn’t totally get what a blog was – but I knew it tapped into a valuable demographic many print publications didn’t reach. When I finally “hopped the fence” to write full time, in January 2006, the first thing I did was launch The Liquid Muse where I blogged, daily, because I had become so passionate about spirits, wine and cocktails. I took a 100% pay cut. Even today, my blog is a labor of love. The fact that thousands of people, every month, stop by to get their cocktail updates at The Liquid Muse is of huge personal satisfaction to me, and provides a valuable service to both the liquor companies and the readers, if I do say so myself. And, my readers know I’m not stifled by editors, publicists or advertisers. This is the power of the blog.
Lesson #7: Print is dying. Be nice to bloggers... Go check out the full post here.