Have You Hugged Your Local Blogger Today?

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As our PR strategies constantly change, we wonder what to do with the pesky blogger. On one hand, targeting well-read local blogs for coverage is a direct hit. Local bloggers speak daily to shoppers, diners and businesses right in your backyard, making the need to blanket all kinds of unreliable city publications with press releases a thing of the past.

On the other hand, bloggers can be so, well, blogger-ish. Self-important, fiercely loyal to advertisers and exhausting to get a hold of, bloggers have earned their reputation for being difficult. This alone discourages many PR professionals from pursuing them. However, we think including the appropriate bloggers for your online PR campaigns can be infinitely beneficial – and is worth the effort.

Local and neighborhood-specific bloggers yield a lot of power. In large cities, blogs that are burg-centric rope in readers by letting locals know what’s new, what’s happening and what’s over in their corner of the world. Researching and befriending local authorities is a great way to wind up on the lips of the folks who live nearby your business. Here in Los Angeles, nearly every ‘hood has one or two blogs which cover the goings-on. The Eastsider LA, for example, is a neighborhood blog devoted to the hip east end of Sunset Blvd. and surrounding neighborhoods. Little businesses get magazine type of profiles on sites like the Eastsider, a thing that rarely happens for businesses that size in traditional media. Most neighborhood bloggers try to support the businesses in their beloved area, so a well-written and carefully-tailored press release can inspire the writer in question to throw some coverage your way.

But don’t forget your manners: Repay the favor by linking said press coverage on your website, bringing your new blog BFF much-coveted links and clicks. Think of reaching out to local bloggers as a friendly act which could be mutually beneficial. Local blogs also are great targets for fundraising event invites, community partnership releases and new merchandise photos.

In the end, whether it’s The New York Times or The Main Street News, online PR campaigns are a more approachable beast in 2010. So you tell us: What are some blogs in your ‘hood that pack real readership power? Any blogger nightmares you’d like to share? Won’t you be our neighbor in the comments section below?

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