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PR Pros turn to bloggers for mutually beneficial collaboration

Most people read blogs about niche topics that interest and relate to them for entertainment purposes, but public relations professionals have a very different goal in mind when they hit the web looking for blogs. It can be mutually beneficial from a business perspective to team up with popular bloggers who will, in turn, write about the product, event, company or nonprofit that a PR pro is working to gain attention for.

This week, I read various articles about how blogging can be an important tool in any PR campaign. Before diving into the readings, using the influence of popular blogs and bloggers to promote something had never crossed my mind before. To someone like me, on the cusp of Millenial/Generation Z, blogs seem like an outdated resource that requires much more reading than the already effective Instagram and Facebook advertisements that flood my feed daily. However, after learning more about all the mutual benefits and using these niche blogs to broaden an audience, I may have been bitten by the blogging bug.

Though the article from The New Yorker lacks focus on blogging specifically, it made me rethink my narrow-minded idea that only social networking sites are aiding PR initiatives, as they could be doing the very opposite. Toward the end of the article, it speaks of how the media saw tech CEOs such as Zuckerberg himself as no better than the greedy CEO’s of big oil companies when Trump ran a very successful campaign that utilized the power of social networks.

Image result for zuckerberg and trump
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

Now I won’t get into politics, that’s just not my style. However, we must remember that the analytics behind these networks are extremely smart. Facebook and other social sites know how to tailor and show ads to choice demographics through algorithms, and after Trump was named president, many argued that the election was heavily influenced by social media, saying that targeted content is not fair when running a campaign.

People were so pressed about this issue because social media users like to be in control of what they see, hear, like and follow. Now, blogging seems like the perfect outlet for a PR pro to partner with, as even though some blogs may contain advertisements, readers often find their way to the blog, not vice-versa.

Reaching out to bloggers who may be interested in working with your brand is beneficial to both sides, as the blogger is probably trying to gain exposure, make money or get free products, and the PR pro wants to get the word out of their campaign. This PRblogger.com article mentions how strategic it can be to build relationships with bloggers because after working with them, you will gain outsider feedback on products or events from the bloggers perspective that will help your clients in the future.

Image result for blog post

Lastly, in an article I found from AXIA PR, using blogs can make your firm more efficient. You know the saying, once something is on the internet, it’s there forever. Normally, one says that with a negative connotation, but in this case, it’s very good! Blog posts circulate and stay on the internet, and often, bloggers and writers will change around headlines and highlight keywords in order to attract more people to their site long after the blog was originally posted. This means new people are always reading.

I can really see my new skill of blogging coming in handy later on in my professional life, as blogs just don’t have the same kind of constraints that social media platforms are subject to. Perhaps in this new wave of a generation, people will be back to blogging about what makes them happy and brands can thrive in collaboration, not hostile ads and competition.

By Kassidy Kelly

PR student, new yorker, self-proclaimed shopaholic and apparently I'm a blogger now, too.
CJOR 3422 @ Seton Hall University

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