It’s getting harder and harder for media relations practitioners to earn stories. There is a depletion of journos at print and broadcast outlets, and social media has altered forever the course of media relations.
Where are publicity hungry professionals turning to secure “ink” for their clients?
There’s something agencies do called blogger outreach. It’s quite similar to media relations only it’s done with bloggers who may also have a background in public relations. When I get a pitch from a peer blogger, I typically find a way to work the content in to my blog IF it’s relevant.
Gini Dietrich went on a rant yesterday right here on Spin Sucks about how she hates PR people and provided seven tips on how to pitch bloggers better. She’s a PR pro (and I am, too), so that means she gets to say she hates her peers.
What Hugh Anderson of Forth Metrics in the U.K. has been doing is writing a few e-books and great blog posts about blogger relations/outreach. He and his team have made it a topic of choice; so much so that they made a huge announcement late last week about a new platform for blogger outreach two years in the making.
I jumped on the beta of Inkybee to see what his fuss was about, and I stuck around. You know a beta is great when you keep jumping from one section of the platform to the next to poke holes and try to break it. There wasn’t much broken, but I still had questions, so Hugh and I Skyped on Friday so I could get in his head a bit more.
Here’s the gist:
Inkybee is for PR pros doing blogger outreach. You enter in key words and wait for InkyBee to churn the blogs that include your key words in the category you’re seeking. I put in social media just to see if my peer group popped up; more than 1900 blogs were returned via a ranking algorithm to my email box. It wasn’t right away, but I was very impressed with the list.
When you open the home page, you’ll find great tutorials on how to navigate and use the site. The best personal touch is that InkyBee uses personalized sticky notes throughout navigation to share instruction. There are also links to both of the Inkybee blogger outreach ebooks; one of them I already downloaded, and it’s full of testimonials from the field’s leaders – one of them Ms. Dietrich herself.
The lists are awesome and really push you quickly into the task of identifying bloggers with keywords you want in your outreach and even those you’d like to look at for guest posting and business development.
When setting up a campaign, you can track and measure; this step I’ll reserve until I have an active campaign to test.
As with anything just entering beta, there are kinks to work out; I’d say, though, that Inkybee already looks polished, clean and impressive. I encourage each of you to take up the call and sign on to the free beta right now.
Anyone who has tested a product, service or online tool knows it can only get better with real-time feedback. Won’t you please lend yours?