A few months ago, I started working with a company called Conjungo to help them gain some visibility in the blogosphere.
Stimulate some interest and, hopefully, some conversations about what they offer. See where and how far a social media approach to getting the word out actually goes.
In other words, putting into practice much of the theory about blogger relations.
Conjungo has an interesting story to tell that I think is well suited to the niche approach of blogger relations. In essence, Conjungo is a specialized search engine, aimed at buyers of technology products and services who want to find a partner.
Let’s re-phrase that rather dry description:
Conjungo is a search engine for technology buyers to find their perfect partners: the suppliers who are located down the road, who have the experience of dealing with the type of company you want, and who you find it easy to pick up the phone and speak to.
What I’ve been doing for Conjungo is researching and identifying who I think are influential bloggers – some of whom are also journalists – and starting my outreach. That outreach has been a mixture of phone calls and email.
It’s not had much success to date, frankly. One reason is my own lack of time commitment to spend on the project. So my outreach efforts have been a bit start-stop so far.
What might gain some visibility more readily may not be as a direct result of anything I do.
It may be down to Conjungo’s blog which they started in December.
I claim no credit for this blog. Although it was part of what I proposed they need to do as we embarked on this venture, they already had decided to start one.
This is a key element in blogger relations and social media outreach generally – having your own place to talk about the things that interest you (which are not necessarily about your product or service) and providing the means for others to easily connect to you.
It’s about exposing individuals and personalities, letting you get a feeling for the people behind a venture.
It’s also about building that all-important credibility that you are part of the conversation. An over-used expression perhaps, but valid nevertheless.
As a result of the blog, Conjungo’s name increasingly appears in Technorati and Google blog search results.
I’m pretty sure that most of the people I speak to will check to see if Conjungo has a blog. Whenever I’m approached by anyone about their client, that’s one of the first things I do.
Not having a blog won’t necessarily result in a closed door. But having one is very likely to make you more disposed to find out more about the company and, perhaps, make a connection.
Another key element in blogger relations is a very obvious one – having something interesting to say. Corporate websites aren’t the places where conversations happen; that’s what blogs can do.
Take a look at some of the recent posts on the Conjungo blog. I’m seeing some more interesting content appearing as they get into their blogging stride.
This one, for instance: "Why would anyone want to go to Google to find a supplier?" It addresses an issue that I bet is in many business people’s minds when they think about searching for something.
Or this one: "The corporate photo shoot!" Some tips and personal insight that isn’t really anything to do with the core business.
Writing this post helps me clarify my own thinking in this still-emerging field of blogger relations. I’m hopeful that it will also plant some seeds for thought if you’re planning any blogger relations activity.
Plus provide a space for some feedback.
Transparency as well as the conversation.
Conjungo smartly created a space where people who have a supplier problem and need not just a supplier, but a certain kind of supplier, can go. By being what they hope to convey as their brand, they are establishing credibility and making the process transparent.
As well, the reality is we may not think we have a supplier problem until we learn about better ways of doing things. Then we become open to learning about companies that do them and how we may connect with them. These are all concepts hard to convey in one pitch thrown into an email box.
That’s an interesting assessment, Valeria. I like your reality point. Thanks.
Having a blog really gives you a lot of street cred. with other bloggers. It also allows you to cross-link and continue the conversation. I find it to be a critical element on a blogger relations program.
Interesting and useful post.
How far should companies go in opening up on thier blogs? I was amazed today to see a top 10/20 London ad agency allow some real warts ‘n all comments on their blog. Bit risky. But i take my hat off to them (would others?). How far do you go / allow warts ‘n all exposure?
It’s a good question, Eamon, on how far to go in being open.
Not a hard one, though. I think that being open is ultimately rewarding for all parties, uncomfortable as it may seem at times. If you really want to demonstrate that openness, allowing ‘warts and all’ comments on a blog is one way, if ‘warts and all’ means letting anyone post their opinion whether they agree with you or not. That’s what conversations tend to be about.
So this example you mention re the ad agency. Sounds interesting. Do tell more :)