Why you should sprint to learn more about Blogdash

March 15, 2011

Blogger outreach

Bloggers and PR can be each other’s best friends. I think Blogdash can help us get there.








Do you do blogger outreach? If you are doing any type of work with bloggers on any level, you need to know about Blogdash. It’s one of the more compelling tech products I saw at South By Southwest (SXSW) this week. And it has the potential to make the evolving blogger/brand relationship, an area many PR pros are still trying to grasp, more manageable.

What’s so great about Blogdash? Well, at first glance, it looks like co-founder David Spinks and team have created a blogger information engine that will do two main things:

  • Make it easier to do initial research on bloggers and ID those who fit a company’s target market and campaign expectations.
  • Allow companies to keep an aggregated running history of how a certain client or company has worked with a blogger on past campaigns or projects, which is vital if you have multiple colleagues executing different campaigns for a client – a reality for many agencies.

As much as I like Blogdash, and I’ll give you five reasons why I like it starting below, make no mistake – it IS NOT a replacement for the thorough blogger research we all should be doing for any campaign we manage. It is a facilitator and we’re still going to have to do things like read a blogger’s posts, check out their social network presences, identify the blogger’s reach and more.

Side Note: If you’re not doing those things already, please start. If you don’t have time to your own original research, don’t use Blogdash or do blogger outreach. Because you’re setting yourself up to fail.

5 reasons Blogdash caught my eye

  1. Bloggers specify their preferences. You know what sucks? Pitching a blogger about a giveaway your client is doing only to find out that the blogger doesn’t do giveaways. You know what sucks even more? Worrying if that blogger might out you via social media or if you’ll end up on BadPitch. Blogdash has the potential to decrease many of these mixups because bloggers can actually go into the tool, set up their own profiles and edit their preferences – more than 25,000 have so far. So if you’re looking for a set of bloggers who are moms, like to review products and prefer long-term paid integrations with companies, you should be able to find a good list to start. And if you’re a blogger looking to monetize your platform, signing up is a must. It’s your chance to create a customized invitation for future conversations and relationships with brands.
  2. Note taking. If your agency is like many, you have a group of people that rock the blogger outreach like The Clash rocked the Casbah. Add in the others who connect with bloggers from time to time and you end up with a significant amount of blogger relationship knowledge in several peoples’ heads. But it isn’t written down anywhere and accessible to all. With Blogdash, you can take notes on bloggers you work with for certain clients and then add those clients to lists. So if Jon worked with a certain blogger in the past and knows she is open to product reviews and often includes a video with her kids, I can see that in the notes he took on that blogger’s Blogdash profile when doing my research for the same client.
  3. Usability. When I hear about a new platform like Blogdash, the first question I have before anything else is will it be user-friendly. Lord knows I have used plenty of media list and research tools in the past that aren’t. But Blogdash has a simple interface and the process seems intuitive, at least it did in the 30-minute demo David gave me yesterday. Solid usability in a platform that is still being refined says to me I’m looking at a service that won’t waste my time while I try to figure out how it works and won’t waste bloggers’ time, which means they’re more likely to use it.
  4. Good pitches up, e-mail blasts down. Do you send e-mail blasts to huge contact lists you buy from a third-party resource? If so, why don’t you just put your pitch in a bunch of bottles, hurl them into the ocean and then pray a lot? I LOVE that Blogdash says “we don’t sell you a list like other services” on its home page. Because as PR pros, we don’t need that kind of list. And bloggers don’t want to be mass pitched off that kind of list. What Blogdash does provide is the tools to create a smart, relevant list. You can set up a list on any topic you want and then begin your research under that list. I would like to see a sublists feature fleshed out as I assume most top-level lists will be client names. Sorting by campaign will likely be a need as users begin to store more client knowledge in the tool.
  5. Customer service. If I can work with a Microsoft-size company or a smaller vendor on a similar type of product, I’ll almost always choose the smaller vendor for one reason – accessibility. You can have your bells and whistles that bigger services boast about, but no one uses. I’ll take knowing I can contact the vendor when an issue arises and hear from someone in a timely manner. Plus, smaller vendors, especially when just getting started, almost always listen to – and sometimes implement – customer feedback. I asked David what happens if the bloggers I want to pitch aren’t already using Blogdash. He said to let his team know and they will reach out to them and share Blogdash with those bloggers in the hopes they’ll join the platform. Takes the work out of my hands and almost extends my team a bit.

I don’t have to tell you that blogger outreach is important. At least, I don’t think I do. But how you conduct your blogger outreach is even more important once you understand it needs to be on your radar as a tactic.

The relationship between PR and bloggers is constantly evolving and there have been frequent bumps in the road. Blogdash should help eliminate some of those bumps, which is important in a world where brand message and story targeting is becoming the key to rise above all the noise directed at customers on a daily basis.

Bloggers and PR can work well together and be each others best friends. I think Blogdash can help us get there.

Blogdash video demo



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