How to Connect to Bloggers in Your District

Posted by Brija Johnson, Digital Media Intern

These days, earned media can be hard to come by.  That’s why it’s more important than ever to focus a part of your communications plan on social media. A few simple steps can land you in one of two paths: The first being a slow, easy going connection that blossoms into a long term relationship; the other an overly excited, unstable interaction that does not last beyond an initial encounter. Of course the aim is for the former, and practicing the following steps can place you in the right position.
It is important to start off with a captivating introduction. The introduction should be relatable, concise, and show that you have taken an interest in their pre-existing blog. For instance, if a blogger is addressing something you support, link their post to a campaign you are running to provide a local example for your audience.  It illustrates a dual interest in the cause as well as the community.
Make sure the relationship is not one-sided. Do adequate research to ensure that both your political views and the blogger you seek will be a good fit. It is more beneficial to have a well-defined blogger in a genre. For instance, when promoting a campaign for lower college tuition you would not pick just any parent’s blog. Instead you may seek a blogger who references having college aged children, writing about their high value on education and the adventures of college tours, but are lacking the funds to be able to afford the high priced education.  It is also essential to make sure their reach aligns with your exposure. If there is a set method that you find success advertising through like Facebook or Twitter, then make that a requisite. See if their audience captivation is high using these promotional avenues.
When reaching out to bloggers there must be a give and take on both ends. Just as in a real relationship there is something in it for both parties. The politician-blogger relationship is no different. Incentives could include exclusive access to key speaking events or rallies where they are given press privileges for their blog. Politicians can also segment bloggers in sub lists based on reach if they are considering multiple choices. This way the more people they reach the greater the incentive they receive from the politician. This tiered method could also serve as a motivator for the bloggers to attain a greater reach for a higher incentive from your office.
Finally, keep the blogger engaged. Provide regular updates about your campaign and views while offering them an opportunity to provide reviews/opinions on various outreach engagements. Allowing them to be a co-sponsor could be enticing for an event in the district. Try putting these suggestions into practice and let us know what worked for you. You can also comment below to share what worked that we may not have mentioned.
For more information on this topic, check out this article by Kristen Matthews of Social Media Today.