5 tips for Not-for-profits when setting up a blogger outreach program

21 Jan

Over the last few months I have noticed a renewed interest from Not-for-Profits to develop partnerships with bloggers.

Some want to the reach new audiences, some want to inspire people to take action or donate, and some want to inform or influence current debates about the issues they cover.

Whilst there are great opportunities to do this via blogging partnerships, sadly, I see many fail to reach their full potential.

After five years of helping Not-for-Profits, bloggers and media collaborate with each other, with projects like Blog Action Day and Voice Blogging Project, here are  five tips for Not-for-Profits to think about when contemplating collaboration with bloggers.

1. Do have compelling and shareable content
This may seem a bit obvious, but many organizations seek to partner with bloggers and blog networks without thinking what opportunities or content they can provide bloggers, or even what they want to say. If you haven’t got the resources to provide fresh and regular content in a variety formats, you may not be ready to begin a blog partnership.

2. Do your research and know what outcomes you want to achieve?
Do you know what your organization wants to achieve out of a blogging partnership or relationship with blogging network? Make sure you can define what success would mean for your organization, and use this as the base for your research on which bloggers or blogging networks  (and their audiences) would be the best option for you.

3. Do create a social media and blogging advisory board. And listen to them.
Like many organization you may not have a clue where to begin with social media and blogging. By setting up a social media advisory board of external experts, social media users and bloggers advise your organization on opportunities and contacts, you can take advantage of.

4. Do involve your staff, volunteers and supporters in your blogging plans.
I am often surprised that many organizations I have worked with, have never asked their staff, volunteers or supporters if they regularly blog or take part in online discussions. Who knows, you may have a social media or blogging superstar (or someone that has great contacts and ideas) right under your nose.

5. Don’t treat bloggers like second-rate journalists.
If a press release, report or op-ed hasn’t interested any of your mainstream media contacts, why would a blogger be interested. Sadly the attitude of some media and communication staff at not-for-profits is that bloggers should be grateful, that their organization is even talking to them and often try to push content onto bloggers that hasn’t been picked up by their “normal” media contents.

Don’t spam bloggers with unsolicited press releases, approach it like you would a new friendship and take the time to get to know them, before you ask them to do something for you.

As most bloggers know their audience really well, your organisation has the opportunity to learn and collaborate with bloggers  to develop content that delivers outcomes you want to achieve.

Now it is over to you.

What are your tips and ideas about starting a blogging partnership program at a Not-for-Profit.  If  you would like me to support your organisation set-up or improve its blogger program, get in touch.