6th International Political Marketing Conference Thesalloniki, Greece
Title: Blogger Outreach strategies and New Media Engagement
Building an online presence and actively engaging with Bloggers, and key online communication stakeholders, can provide valuable assets to a political campaign. A cohesive online political Marketing plan needs to include a Blogger outreach strategy in order to engage with online communities, actively have part in online discussions and shape an Internet political communication campaign. Integrating Blog communications to a public relations plan helps promote a candidate and spread the campaign message to the Internet, while utilizing two-way communication bonds with online communities.
The research shows that Bloggers should not be treated as main stream media journalists or reporters; the political campaign needs to target them with new media tools and technologies that are have proven to be effective in creating personal links, and valuable in gaining trust from online communities. Using Social Media technologies such as facebook, twitter, YouTube and others, the campaign can provide Bloggers with information and spark a dialogue with online communities.
Active Issue monitoring and personal-direct communication with Bloggers is crucial in finding communities that Blog about certain themes. Connecting to Bloggers and communicating with people online provides an opportunity to the campaign, and the candidate, to talk directly, keep connected and engage in an important dialogue.
Organising groups of people who the campaign communicates messages, promotes the campaign’s message and helps people to engage with politics. Comments and real time feedback on social networks can test, or even shape the political message, while showcasing transparency in reaching online political communities.
The most influential Blogs are used as pillars, and spark more content in the Blogosphere, and at the same time, they create opinion columns where people, and other Bloggers, contribute comments, start dialogues and suggest policies. Evaluating the Bloggers message and getting insights about the community that certain Blogs are reaching is important in order to help drive traffic to and from the Blogs. Campaigns need to measure Return on Relationship (ROR) with Bloggers and evaluate Press clippings along online user generated content. Also, a Blog outreach strategy provides valuable insights in the online political plans of the opposition.
Tying traditional political public relations with online Marketing and Social Media communications has an advantage in creating a total Press and Blogger outreach strategy. Most journalists maintain a personal Blog as part of their media presence and they use Social Media to monitor, find, spin and report on political developments.
The online users of information have expanded in ways that a political management plan needs to integrate to it’s communications plan and use to the advantage of a candidate or a political party.