I got an email this week from someone in the “New Media/PR” Department of a company that I mentioned on the blog a little while back.  The problem is that I had no recollection of even talking about them.  It was a teeny-tiny mention on one of my delicious link posts and really meant nothing to me.

So the guy sends me the email and I’m not going to mention their name because it will pop up in their Google Alert:

Hey Neal!

My name is Rod Stiffington and I am the social media PR guy here at the XYZ Widget Factory home office in Belleville, IL. I came across your blog and the funny mention of XYZ Widgets.  My job is to analyze and monitor brand mentions online as well as pitch XYZ content to online journalists and bloggers.  I was excited to see our name on your site and I am glad you know about XYZ.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you in the future.

PS – I am also on LinkedIn as well as Twitter (XYZWidgets).

Best regards,

Rod Stiffington
Assistant Public Relations Manager, New Media
XYZ Widgets, Inc

Uh, ok.  How about you buy me a new iPhone when it comes out?

Anyway, this all got me thinking about the right way to proactively build a relationship with a blogger.

  • I like how they are monitoring blogs and see them as an important way of talking to active consumers.  But his email really made it clear that he just came across my blog because it popped up on his Google Alert.  He could of at least made it sound like it was more than just a “one night stand” deal where he only read my blog because I mentioned his brand’s name.  Kind of narcissistic, don’t you think?
  • Nowhere in the email did he try to engage me in a conversation.  My comment about his brand was fairly non-descript and left the door wide open to ask about my experience with their brand and why I chose to mention them.
  • If I were him, I would have just left a comment on the blog entry.  That would have showed me (as the blogger that they are reading and interested in what I have to say.  Us bloggers love them comments.
  • Take some time to make sure the blogger wants to hear from you.  If the brand mention is fairly random, the blogger could probably care less if they hear from you.  But if their blog repeated mentions your brand or the business you’re in, they probably DO want to hear from you.  For example, I love hearing from Which Wich and Cheeba Hut regarding my Turkey Sandwich Report blog.
  • Even if your intentions are to build online awareness for your brand, bloggers want to think you’re there to help them enhance their blog.  It’s just like any other form of media – what’s in it for the publication, network, etc?

Overall, building a relationship with a blogger is a lot like picking someone up in a bar.  If you come on too strong or just walk up to them and think they’re going to be interested in you – it’s probably not going to work.  I’m not saying it NEVER works, it’s just that there is probably a better way.


  1. If the “company” is really located in Belleville, IL, than it is probably a bunch of priests who padiddle young boys. They enjoy that kind of pastime over there.

    Go Lancers!

  2. I think you pointed out the risk with social media monitoring. People “stay out of the sphere” and spread themselves thinly over anything and everything that pops up…they don’t care so much about the relevance beyond one keyword match! Even if the rest of the post/blog is totally not about them. My philosophy is that real social media marketing is all about joining the conversation which means jumping in, finding relevant blogs, listening to them, engaging and over time (because it takes time) building some kind of a relationship.

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