Blogging and writing marketing

Public Relations Outreach Strategy

Apologies to people who aren’t interested in this kind of behind-the-scenes nonsense. Normal beery service will resume tomorrow.

We updated our permanent “Hey, PR people!” page today with the intention of making it more helpful and a bit less bad-tempered. (It’s still slightly grumpy.)

We get quite a lot of emails from marketing agencies and, when we email them back to explain why we’re not acting on their press release or whatever, we often end up having some interesting conversations with intelligent, pleasant people.

That’s what makes it all the more frustrating that so many of them are wasting time and money on activities that will never lead us to write about their product. They could get our attention without spending much at all, with just a bit more thought, and a better understanding of how beer bloggers operate.

For the next bit of our PR-outreach strategy, we’re going to to try to “segment the audience”: beer blogs are not the same as, say, cake blogs; and not all beer blogs are the same. We’ve spotted the following types so far, sometimes in combination.

  1. Send me a bottle, I’ll review it.
  2. I’m a proper writer/journalist, blogging is a sideline.
  3. I’d like to be a writer/journalist: this is my pitch.
  4. I’m a brewer/salesperson/landlord and want to promote my business.
  5. I’m a brewer/salesperson/landlord and want to set these amateurs straight.
  6. I’m blogging for conversation and to express myself.
  7. I’ve got an obsessive-compulsive tendency and want to record every pub I visit/beer I drink.

Each of those probably requires different handling for effective engagement from PR people who want them to bite.

15 replies on “Public Relations Outreach Strategy”

This is excellent! If everyone can just line up to put themselves in a segment (and perhaps provide contact details) we’ll sell the list to all the PR firms and retire on the proceeds. Mwahahahaa!

I’ve got absolutely no interest in recycling press releases even if the content interests me – which it hardly ever does – and no ability to attend launches in London, which is where the launches I’m invited to invariably are. (The second type of email annoys me even more than the first, as it’s such a telltale sign of blog-spamming – anyone who actually *read* my blog would know that I’m in Manchester.)

I’d be very willing to review beer, on the other hand, but nobody ever sends me any.

The press release thing is really interesting. Some types of blog — tech or movie gossip blogs, for example — rely on press released to produce ten or twenty posts *a day*.

Most beer bloggers (certainly in the UK, to a lesser extent across the Atlantic) post a few times a week, if that, and tend to feature original, longer-form content based on personal experience and original material.

So, press releases don’t really work for most beer bloggers, full stop.

Nice pigeon holes!

I think I am a 3, 6 and 7. Judging by my stats, this is a largely unsatisfactory combination of writing afflictions.

I like your description of beer blog content Bailey. Not on any PR mailing lists myself and can’t see that receiving a press release would help, since I’m interested solely in recounting my own personal experiences, as you alluded.

RSS feeds notwithstanding I get almost all my material first hand. The press release bloggers are days ahead of me, but its impersonal info. The only possible benefit of a PR is accuracy, which admittedly I find is a happy co-incidence rather than guaranteed aim in my posts.

So, B&B: which of these do you consider yourselves? (I’m guessing 6-ish, but something tells me you are holding out on a category…or two.)

Beer Nut — didn’t have you in mind, but now you say it, you are definitely a 7!

Wee Beefy — glad our description rings a bell. Are you on Twitter?

Kyle — think we’re 6; not as much 7 these days as we used to be. Holding out how…?


8. Someone who, thanks to the invention of blogs, must have one. I might have selected any of 43 topic areas that fascinated me, but I limited myself to two–beer and politics. (Alan McLeod is a fellow-traveler on this score.) Since no one is paying me, I’ll write about whatever topics come into my head, and these may be of limited interest or, possibly, relate to the Green Bay Packers. My wife tells me that I’m a damned fool for taking an approach that axiomatically means I’ll live out my days in penury. I say yes, but: no editors.

We’ve got a category in mind which overlaps with that: “My wife said I should get one of them blogs by way of a hobby and I could have written it about my stamp collection but decided, no, I’ll write about beer.”

But that might just be a variant on 6.

I agree with Jeff. I am #8. I think I am the Gemini program of beer blogging. I did pretty well all things considered – reasonably resourced and saw some sights. Never did plant my flag in on the surface of the moon like those jack-assed Apollo program bloggers who go on to fancy pants books and swanky brewery jobs. Yet, unlike Laika class blogs, I didn’t wheeze out my last breath in a public spectacle that was never really about me set up by some borg bastard of a Soviet-style soul crushing system that told me it would be great when it was only about PR stories and filling a space as I breathed in and then breathed out.

Sorry. Always wanted to make a Laika analogy and saw the moment.

Really hoped that Laika link was going to be to a specific blog you were dissing.

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