Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Barging Into the Bloggers' Circle

Companies are increasingly partnering with hobby bloggers to harness the burgeoning influence of online buzz. Through the digital grapevine, companies reap the marketing rewards of free publicity, higher rankings on search engines and immediate access to conversations with consumers.

Blogger relations experts have joined public relations and advertising teams. Movie studios are giving bloggers a sneak peak at deleted scenes and Hollywood gossip to promote a movie or DVD release. Start-up technology companies in Silicon Valley are hiring public relations firms to grab mentions on the hottest tech blogs. Even pet-care companies and publishers of religious books are trying to get nods on blogs, even if they have only a few readers.

The more bloggers exchange links and ideas about a company, the better chance it has of appearing on a search engine -- an appealing draw as companies clamor for more visibility to consumers.

Collaborating with bloggers, especially those who maintain lesser-known blogs, is the fastest way to put niche-specific content in front of people who care about it most, said John Cass, director of blogging strategies for the Internet consulting firm Backbone Media Inc.

Read the full article on The Washington Post

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