When you’re looking to get media coverage for your show, who do you reach out to? I bet you have a list of journalists across a wide variety of publications that cover your industry. But what about bloggers?
There are some fundamental differences between bloggers and journalists. Some of those differences are the very reasons you want to start including bloggers in your media outreach.
It is the blogger’s subjectivity, opinion, first-person narration, and their ability to experiment that make them the perfect people to cover your show. As long as you understand and embrace their difference, you’ll find they can bring an interesting narrative to your event. They also bring their audience, a very loyal audience, that you probably want coming to your show.
Following are a few things you want to keep in mind when inviting bloggers to cover your show.
You should vet bloggers in much the same way as traditional media, but be sure your registration process is set up to accommodate their differences. You should ask for links to two or three articles they’ve written in the past three to six months, just like you do with traditional media. However, when it comes to their reader numbers you are not looking so much for quantity, as you are quality.
Too often show organizers ask for Alexa rankings. Many bloggers with a niche following are not even going to rank on Alexa. The blogger applying to cover your metalworking and machining trade show may only have 500 subscribers, but that blogger may focus on, and is one of the biggest influencers in the world of underwater welding. He or she is probably far more influential than a journalist that covers general manufacturing trends and would be a valuable addition to your show.
Bloggers like to be in the middle of the action. Make sure there is an area on the show floor where they can power up and get WiFi coverage. I’ve seen some great mini-press rooms right on the show-floor and they are always filled with both bloggers and journalists.
Be sure to include blogger bars in your session rooms or, at the very least, your general sessions and keynotes. A blogger bar could be as simple as a few high top tables in the back of the room with a power strip attached, or as elaborate as several rows of classroom seating in the back of the room marked reserved for media and bloggers.
Many bloggers will live-blog sessions that have high interest to their readers. At the very least they will be sharing tidbits from the sessions with their followers on social media. Make this as easy as possible for them by providing the info they need on printed sheets.
Provide a picture of each speaker along with their full name, title, any social media accounts the speaker wants to share, and a brief bio. This information is especially handy for bloggers who are covering panel sessions, as they can be sure they are crediting the right person with a quote just by glancing at their photo and their data.
I encourage you to include your key industry bloggers in your media outreach. Yes, they are different than journalists, but it’s a difference you should embrace. Who knows, their subscribers could just be your next passionate fan base!