Blogging has flipped traditional PR on its head. It used to be that ink begat buzz. Life was simple then: you sucked up to the Wall Street Journal, one of its reporters wrote about your product, and the buzz began.
(Here’s a collection of great speeches about the state of the art of blogging, courtesy of Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen. In particular, check out Robert Scoble’s and Hugh Macleod’s sessions.*)
Nowadays buzz begets ink. Journalists no longer anticipate or create buzz—rather, they react to it: “Everyone is buzzing about FaceBook. There must be something to this, so I had better write a story about it.” This role reversal has fried people’s minds.
The latest development is that blogs beget buzz. Blogs have changed everything because they represent a cheap, effective podium for creating buzz on a massive scale. Technorati provides an easy way to identify the A-listers, so all you have to do is attract the most influential bloggers. Here is a guide to the process.
1. Create a great product. There is a big catch to this democratization of buzz creation: Bloggers have a very low tolerance for bull shitake, even lower than journalists do because bloggers seldom rely on editors to “cleanse” their writing. It’s easy to say you’re going after bloggers, but this assumes that they’ll like your product or service. The most important thing you can do to attract them is to create a great (DICEE) product.
2. Cite and link. “Linking is the sincerest form of flattery.” Imitation no longer sits atop this throne. It’s hard to trash a company, product, service, or person that links to your blog. Personally, I’ve never met a person who linked to my blog that I didn’t like. :-)
3. Stroke them. If you want to supplement citing and linking, you can send the blogger emails with these kinds of messages:
- “I love how your style sheets cascade.”
- “I set my RSS reader to refresh your blog every five minutes.” (contributed by Alex Krupp)
- “Not a day goes by that I don’t read your blog.”
- “Why don’t you publish your blog in a book?”
- “You could easily break up your daily entries into several parts because they have so much content.”
- “I’ve forwarded your blog to many of my friends.”
- “I ‘digg’ your blog almost every day.”
- “I don’t care how often my RSS reader gets your edited versions because your blog is so insightful.”
However, marketers are already inundating popular bloggers with such pablum. To break through the noise, you need to craft a compliment about a specific entry. For example, “I found your entry about rainmaking to be very helpful, and I’d like to make you aware of a new customer relationship management software product that we make.”
At the very least, per the suggestion of Jason Pettus, make sure that you read the blogger’s site. Many marketers begin with such a generic pitch that the blogger can tell he hasn’t even read the blog.
4. Give schwag. In case you hadn’t noticed, most bloggers don’t make a lot of money from their blogging efforts. Thus, samples of your product, t-shirts, tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals, etc can go a long way. I’m not saying you can buy bloggers, but you can make them happy pretty easily. Dollar for dollar, schwag for bloggers is one of the best marketing investments.
5. Make connections before you need them. Mediocre marketers try to befriend bloggers when they need them. Good marketers befriend bloggers before they need them. Great marketers have befriended bloggers while they were working at their previous companies. I learned this lesson well before the advent of blogs: the press connections that I made while employed by Apple have lasted twenty years. Also, make lots of connections. Today’s egocentric, self-indulgent blogger with five page views per day may well be tomorrow’s Technorati 100 stud. As my mother used to say, “You can never know too many bloggers or have too hard a slap shot.”
If you’d like to hear how friendly a conversation can be with a journalist, please click here. This is my unedited interview with Moira Gunn, the goddess of NPR’s Tech Nation. The interview was eventually heard by twenty five million people.
6. Be responsive. This is a common-sense “duhism” that is violated almost every day: If you want buzz, you have to return the phone calls and emails of bloggers. You are operating on their schedule; they are not operating on yours, so get used to it. Sure, if you’re a Steve Jobs, you can make the rules, but until you reach his level, you have to play by the rules.
7. Use a rifle, not a shotgun. Any company that carpet bombs bloggers should be shot. The effect is the same as sending two dozen people the same email requesting help. Not only will this approach fail, bloggers will conclude that you’re a bozo to boot. Your job is to find out exactly who you are relevant to. It is not the blogging community’s job to sort through your bull secretion.
8. Be a foul weather friend. Anyone can be friendly, happy, and available when times are good. The big test occurs when the weather turns foul: your company screws up, or the blogger writes something negative (justified or not). When this happens, some companies erect barriers and hunker down—a big mistake. Also, you should never, ever lie to a blogger. If you screw up, admit it. If you can’t admit that you screwed up, then at least signal that you know you screwed up by telling the blogger “I can’t answer that” with a wink.
9. Be a source. Face it: there are times when your company simply isn’t worthy of coverage. Don’t take your ball and go home. Instead, “pay it forward” and help the blogger with her entry by acting as a source of information, by introducing her to other sources, and by offering insightful analyses. The next time, you may be the subject of the blog, not just a source.
* This is an excellent example of sucking up. :-)
Addendum 1: Make connections after you need them too. Geekzone pointed this out. Let’s say you’re successful, and your great product has garnered the attention of bloggers. This doesn’t mean you can rest; instead, keep working the relationships because you’ll need these connections again. Even if you didn’t garner any attention, keep at it for the next time you need help.
Sucking up is not an event—it’s a process.
Addendum 2: Pitch reporters through their blogs. This excellent tip comes from Jason Baxter. He makes the observation that it’s often difficult to pitch journalists “through the front door” of their big-time publication. However, many journalists have their personal blogs, and they are much more accessible through these than through their “day job” publications.
Guy, great post. Two little critiques.
Point 4: “lesson well before the advent of bloggs”
Two g’s? Is that done purposely?
For the NPR radio link, there’s no link where it says click here.
Great post, though. :) It’s important to make connections with people in the media (which is expanding into the blogosphere).
Just fixed both. Please check. Thanks for pointing out.
Looks good. :) There’s a few other things I would change, but that’s just nitpicking. :P No one wants my nitpicking – trust me.
#3, I think, is the absolute most important one on this list. I can’t even TELL you how many times I’ve heard from some marketer now, who starts their email with some generic compliment about my site, that accidentally reveals that they haven’t actually read my site at all. If you’re going to try to flatter bloggers, people, do yourself a favor and actually read their blog first! If there’s one thing common to almost every blogger out there, it’s their extraordinary ability to sniff out BS.
For stroking a bloggers ego, how about, “I set my RSS reader to refresh your blog every five minutes.” Will that get a smile or a smack on the forehead?
Guy, Interesting Post.
1. “Influential Bloggers” often set their own rules for talking about stuff.
I am not sure if the way you write to them is going to change that in any way.
2. Considering Point 1, I think, the way you write to them doesnt matter at all. The only solid point in your post is Point 1: “Create a great product”.
Blogging opens up a whole new way to get to know people who were otherwise difficult to get to know. However, all of the rules of relationship building still apply. If you bring value to someone you can build their trust and a relationship over time. Thoughtful comments are a good way to demonstrate to the blogger that you are someone they want to know.
9. Make sure you have a tube of chapstick in your pocket at all times.
Great post, to follow your point 4 I start to write comments now, though I have read every blog on this site more than 2 month without comments :). BTW, lots of friends here in China like you post as well
Guy Kawasaki is a Genius!
If you didn’t know, Guy Kawasaki has started blogging…in a major way, and he hits another one out of the park with his post How to Suck Up to a Blogger. While this post is written with the journalist in mind, I would say that the list is equally
How to suck up to a blogger
Great article Guy! Love it!
Wow, Guy, you write awesome ;)
Use A Rifle, Not A Shotgun
In my post that shows how the Kitty Genovese murder can teach us to use email more effectively, I urge people to identify the relevant individuals and send requests to those people only. Guy Kawasaki sums this up in a very vivid and succinct manner:
When my blog was just started, I spent a LOT of time e-mailing people. Back when the blogosphere was much smaller (about 1% its current size), it seemed much easier.
Thanks for the mention =)
#1 could argueably be summarized as the ‘ol “Content is King”
I did get a chuckle out of this comment from ‘ya – “Personally, I’ve never met a person who linked to my blog that I didn’t like” – great link bait (the “in-word” these days it seems).
P.S. And per #3 (stroking) and #9 (sourcing), Google is finally doing the long-awaited (!?!) PageRank Update and it looks like you main page is moving up from PR6 to PR7 – you can check the various datacenters here – http://www.seologs.com/pagerank/current-pagerank/currentpr-dc.html
So you have Google’s “vote” that you are doing some good/popular.
Guy Kawasaki Demonstrates Career Intensity
This post is a blatant attempt at sucking up to Guy Kawasaki following his own rules.
I read his blogevery day andit is full of outstanding information and insightful commentary. The added value in Guys blog is the fact tha…
Kawasaki touching bloggers
Kawasaki touching bloggers: Guy Kawasaki, ex Apple evangelist and current VC, offers a list of ways to influence weblog discussions. I was vaguely uncomfortable reading it, and saw similar reaction from Michael Arrington and Om Malik. I think the core …
Thoughts on Building Community
Thoughts on Building Community
Blogger umschleimen für Anfänger
How to Suck Up to a Blogger erklärt Guy Kawasaki (ich freue mich schon auf die Motorrad-Adsense-Werbung) und ich freue mich wieder, wie simpel sich andere Leute doch die Blogosphäre vor…
the idea of “making a great product” is now permanently imbedded in my mind. in fact it’s not even about “products” anymore; as i write this i’m trying to make some great tea. i’m hoping the message sinks in with everyone reading because focusing on quality can invariably lead to us to a better (better).
your mom sounds like a very progressive lady.
How to Suck Up to a Blogger
Wie man sich einen Blogger saugt
Die ganze Welt scheint ja an den Lippen von Guy Kawasaki zu hängen, der früher mal bei Apple war, jetzt Geld hat und jetzt fröhlich vor sich hinbloggt. Soweit ist das ja nichts verwerfliches und einige seiner Einträge fand’ ich…
Guy Kawasaki: How to suck up to a blogger. “Blogging has flipped traditional PR on its head. It used to be that ink begat buzz… Nowadays buzz begets ink. Journalists no longer anticipate or create buzz–rather, they react to it.” [ via Dave…
“Tickets to Stanley Cup finals” – is that a hint, you hockey tragic?
Dont Suck Up, Be a Blogger
Im starting to get frustrated with Guy Kawasaki. He is posting insightful stuff thick and fast, and this weblog is becoming a shrine to his entries. However, I had to mention his latest post, How to Suck Up to a Blogger, and suggest another bull…
The Power of Collaborative Innovation
Since Guy Kawasaki started writing his wildly successful blog, no doubt he has fallen victim to many of the tricks and ploys listed in his ‘How to suck up to a Blogger’ post. Certainly I will have to write more consistently and predictably about any on…
Guy Kawasaki’s post “How To Suck Up To A Blogger” offers some good advise to PR flacks. Blogging has flipped traditional PR on its head. It used to be that ink begat buzz. Life was simple then: you sucked up…
Great post guy, I just added a blog entry about it; but there is something that still makes me a little bit uncomfortable: Stroke them. Where are the limits? Ratter that “detecting” where you get too far, it’s best if you can write how to apologize when you already crossed the line.
Excellent post. Look, tears; you made me cry.
Stroking is a subtle skill. Going overboard can produce the following problems:
– You insult the blogger because you’re saying, “I think you can be bought.”
– There are hard and fast ethical issues about what people working for some publications can accept.
– You look too desperate–that is, your product sucks so much that you have to take the blogger to a hockey game.
Sucking up takes a great deal of skill. It’s going to take even more skill now that I’ve “outed” it as a marketing tool. :-)
Nice post. This is barely on topic, but I just finished listening to your interview, and I fully agree with the positioning of your book. I also think you did a great job giving the two examples of expecting and job loss to frame where your book comes in. And remember, you and your publisher don’t determine the positioning, your market does. ;)
Might I also humbly suggest commenting on posts as a way to build relationships with bloggers?
Especially if you add value to the conversation.
Eric – MarketingMonger.com
PR voor je product of dienst via bloggers
Guy Kawasaki heeft een goed artikel wat je zou kunnen doen aan PR via weblogs. Nee, niet het weblog van je eigen bedrijf maar die van anderen. Zoals bijvoorbeeld Joseph Jaffe die een gratis boek van “Life after the 30-second spot” weggaf vo…
Great points, Guy!
How To Publicize Your Blog
Guy Kawasaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame gives his tips on how to publicize your blog. There are some really, really good tips here. I hope you enjoy it. One of the tips revolves around flattery to the other…
Web 2.0 On Web 2.0
Here at alwaysBETA, weve decided to start including guest authors occasionally, and our first one is none other than a robot content harvester / article writer. I [Brian] fed it the keywords, web 2.0, internet, and &#…
In my short time blogging, one of the most refreshing things I have found is the open and honest feedback and support I have recieved from other bloggers. When I find a blog, product or service I like, I promote the hell out of it. I know that if I want to have another decade of good business, I will have to build real relationships with people I trust. So instead of looking at who is the next hot person to schmooze (or suck up to as you term it), I look for those that I would enjoy inviting home to dinner. How nice that we are moving into an era where being supportive, honest and open is good for business.
What a great set of tips for bloggers. I am a blogger, http://tektrekgamer.blogspot.com
and I am looking to get some more exposure for my blog. I am also a podcaster and have talked about my blog on there but I am not getting alot of traffic on the blog. Do you have any suggestions that would be relavent to my blog and blogging methods? Oh and I heard about your blog on GeekNewsCentral Podcast!
Guy Kawasaki on How To Suck Up To A Blogger
Guy Kawasaki is off tone in his How To Suck Up To A Blogger that I am not even going to deconstruct his recommendations point by point, as many others have. The ‘stroke their egos’ stuff is particularly abhorrent. Enough
Boy for everyone who commented on this post outside of Guy’s blog in a negative, and trite manner there are many more positives here. I thought everyone else just didn’t understand the point being made (or points) by really attacking this at a very superficial level. I think the bottom line is to operate in good faith with BOTH perties interest and time in consideration. Being new to the medium, I found the tips helpful even outside of the medium when broaden or generalized. http://innovastorm.blogspot.com
Hier ist ein interessanter Blog von Guy Kawasaki. Es geht um’s BlogMarketing. Schlecht ausgedrckt, aber… lest selber…
Hier ist ein interessanter Blog von Guy Kawasaki. Es geht um’s BlogMarketing. Schlecht ausgedrckt, aber… lest selber…
Kawaski, Sucking Up, and Buddhism
Since I have been back from my travels to the West Coast, I’ve been quite busy working on client work, preparing documentation, and, most horribly, packing up to finally move out of Newark. The move is bittersweet, but I guess…
Do PR Companies Contact You Too?
Every so often, I get an email from some PR company out there, different each time, but in every case they are writing to ask me if I would not mind posting about some thing that is of interest to…
Very interesting post. Only thing I would have said differently is to make “you should never, ever lie to a blogger” as one of the top points. Nothing makes a blogger feel disrespected, and in some cases used, like being lied to (particularly if they repeated the lie to their readers, and now have to retract it)!
This is just a collection of b***s***
think before writing
Hello Kawasaki. I am a admirer of ur book Art of the Start Actually its a sylabus book for us..
Good article abt the blog thing. You always find some way to distinguish among other.Good way of thinking..
This is just a collection of b***s***
think before writing
Are you admonishing yourself and telling yourself to think before writing? Or telling me to think before writing? It wasn’t clear to me.
How to Suck Up to a Blogger – from Guy Kawasaki
I was trying to figure out what Blog Buzz was all about when I took on a Projectlate last year for Juan Enriquezto researchgenerating Blog Buzz for his recently published book Untied States of America . I did all my…
Just Suck Up!
Lately it seems that everybody is an expert when it comes to getting on the blog A-list. Robert Scoble for example tells us that we should all go over to Technorati and do the brrreeeport search and make friends. That’s great advice Robert, but I gue…
that was quite advising. thanks
I couldnt let this one go unvoiced,
a special friend has commented that my middle name is sinfully delicious.
right about the time i started on Guys entry on flattery.
Bad advice… As a Gartner analyst I could not handle all the sucking up…now as a lonely blogger I could not handle any of the traffic!
Besides, vendors need to suck up to buyers (and if private VCs). That’s mother’s milk…analysts, bloggers etc are pacifiers …as I wrote on my blog True North is on Main street not tech.memeorandum…if I hear about a vendor from a CIO I will gladly blog about it…
It’s so interesting to think that we’ve gotten to the point (already) where people need advice on how to deal/work/collaborate with bloggers. :)
My two blogs are 620,491 (http://betahat.com/blog) and 498,378 (http://salemfood.blogspot.com) right now. You better begin sucking up soon! I could hit 450,000!
:) Awesome post
Pathetic. You PR clowns are shameless whores devoid of any ounce of self-respect. Tell me, do you even remember anymore where your garbage ends and you begin?
I had someone leave a comment on my blog signed “guy kawasaki” ! Was that really you??
awesome is the word mate…
Guy’s checklist is essentially a list of best practice in how to deal with traditional media (off-line pubs) and the old new media (newswires), updated to take into account Web 2.0 concepts such as linking.
These are the kind of practices that distinguishes a PR or marketing person who can successfully deal with the press from a PR or marketing person who gets the brush off.
For example: use a “rifle not a shot gun?” Combine that with Guy’s tip to “make sure you read the bloggers site” rather than posting a generic pitch and suddenly you are sounding like a PR person who reads a news publication and tailors their overall pitch to the needs of that particular title before approaching the journalist.
The industry has convinced itself a lost Holy Grail exists on pitching bloggers, when all it need do is go back to the basics – with some suitable updates.
How To Suck Up to a Blogger – Guy Kawasaki Style
Guy Kawasaki has posted a great article on sucking up to a blogger. Guy shows individuals how to properly garner support i.e. posts from bloggers. Being in print media as well, I would say that this could be applied to…
Corporate Weblog Tips
Backbone Media has a nice short essay on the 10 Tips for Becoming a Great Corporate Blogger.
Its a great list, and would make a great addition to a brochure for corporate weblogs. Here are a few of my thoughts on each, but pay a visit to their a…
M-listers and Down-linkers
Interesting discussion going on about M-listers – the middle crowd, somewhat known b…
I love how your style sheets cascade.
Good write-up Guy! :)
Is this just a bubble or will it sustain?
Guy Kawasaki has an interesting post that talks about how Blogging has flipped traditional PR on its head. I have seen this for the past few years and it really is amazing how the buzz will spread on the internet. More and more Blogs ar…
Creating trails in the blogosphere
Take a look at the trexy trailbar. Its an interesting search engine which watches your browsing and determines relevance from the sites you visit. Kinda like how TV usage trackers determine the price of adverts on the most watched channels a…
1995 Called. It Wants Its Blog Back
I’m not usually catty. Well, usually not usually. Still, I couldn’t help myself today. I was inspired. I’m not a venture person, of course, but I can’t help but observe that, for someone who’s only real claim to fame
Sucking up to Bloggers
Guy Kawasaki, who is himself a Microbrand, posted this cartoon that was created in response to a post titled how to suck up to a blogger
If you look closely the case of wine that is being offered to the bloggers is Stormhoek, the wine th…
Guy Kawasaki thinks that sucking up to bloggers is a great idea. Om Malik and Michael Arrington disagree. I say, bring it on. But only if you follow Guy’s rule #1: have a great product to sell. I was recently
How to Suck Up to a Blogger
by: Guy Kawasaki Blogging has flipped traditional PR on its head. It used to be that ink begat buzz. Life was simple then: you sucked up to the Wall Street Journal, one of its reporters wrote about your product, and…
Scoble’s Simple Strategy for Success – Be Passionate
Scoble responds to Guy Kawasaki’s post about how to suck up to bloggers. Honestly, I’ve been sort of lukewarm towards Scoble up until now. He posts a lot and so it’s sometimes annoying to have to parse the signal from…
Did you really say « pitching » bloggers?
En dehors de porter le nom d’une moto ce qui a dû rendre son enfance douloureuse mais développer précocement son cynisme, Guy Kawasaki est un expert du marketing qui sait cultiver un sens aigu de la provocation. Il a
Guy Kawasaki: How to Suck Up a Blogger
Guy did it again with his last post How to Suck up to a Blogger. I love how Guys posts sound pretty basic and obvious, yet, are full of wisdom; thats something I think I could never accomplish (well, maybe with time). Guy talks about a ne…
Great points especially #5. Connect before you need someone. Reminds me of “be a resource before you are a vendor.” In other words, create value in the relationship.
Hi, I am sucking up….
* “I love how your style sheets cascade.”
* “I set my RSS reader to refresh your blog every five minutes.”
* “Not a day goes by that I don’t read your blog.”
* “Why don’t you publish your blog in a book?”
* “You could easily break up your daily entries into several parts because they have so much content.”
* “I’ve forwarded your blog to many of my friends.”
* “I ‘digg’ your blog almost every day.”
* “I don’t care how often my RSS reader gets your edited versions because your blog is so insightful.”
What is your favorite baseball or other sports team? (have ticketmaster loaded and ready)
I don’t know if you are still checking comments in older posts however, I like the new goowy post.
Guy, this article was worty of revisiting. And it should be refered to often. I published a story on your ideas here: http://briansolis.blogspot.com/2006/07/revisiting-guy-kawasakis-how-to-suck.html
Nice! Right I’m leaving a comment on this now for no other reason apart from I probably want to talk to you in the future :-)
So, I’ll wait a few weeks and try an email :-)
NEVER, EVER USE PROGRESSIVE!
I believe, Progressive inc. does a bait and switch to their loyal customers when they change addresses!
YOU BE THE JUDGE!
Jan 10, 2006- I move from the Santa Monica area to Pasadena
Jan 13th- My old Progressive policy EXPIRES for $620 every 6 months
Jan 14th- 2:32 pm- I log onto Progressive Direct and change my address
Jan 14th- 4:30 pm- I log back into Progressive, IT SHOWS MY NEW ADDRESS and that 6 months of
coverage will be $620
Jan 14th- 4:35pm- I pay $620 online and receive confirmation of payment.
Feb 10th- I recieve a bill for and ADDITIONAL $220 due to my change of address. I call to inform them that
my change of address happened 2 hours BEFORE I paid for my new policy. They tell me that a change of
address can take up to 3 days and that I must pay the new amount or pay a $50 cancelation penalty.
Remember, I made this change AFTER my old policy had expired and had NO obligation to renew with them.
I could have logged in an a new customer and gotten an instant quote for the correct amount but as, an
existing customer it takes up to 3 days to get an accurate rate????
They are able to give immediate quotes for non-customers but 2 hours to update my rate as loyal
customer was insufficient????
At no time, before I paid, did their website tell me there was a rate change. When I went to pay, their site
could have shown me the updated rate, said they were unable to give me a current rate or told me my that
the rate shown could change due to my recent address change, but it didn’t. I feel that this deception must
be intentional because changing your address at the end of your policy must be a common occurence!
I challenge any representative of Progressive inc. to adequately dispute these claims!
STAY AWAY—-STAY AWAY—-STAY-AWAY!!!
For PR People: 10 Thoughts on Improving Blogger Relations
Its not exactly a new topic (see similar suggestions from Ryan Block, Lee Odden, Guy Kawasaki, Mike Arrington, Brian Solis, Tom Foremski, or Ken Yarmosh), but its one that I seem to get asked about a lot, so I figured Id do my own …
by: Jennifer Rice Guy Kawasaki thinks that sucking up to bloggers is a great idea. Om Malik and Michael Arrington disagree….