Tips for Engaging Bloggers to Promote your Events

 By Jenni Izzo
Technorati’s latest Digital Influence Report showed that “consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase.” In fact, 31 percent of consumers say the personal blogs they read influence their purchasing decisions – ranking higher than social media outlets. In the blog world, influenced purchases are typically electronics, personal care and clothing – but this statistic also applies to event attendance and ticket sales. For many blog readers, reading a positive review of an event is like hearing it first-hand from a trusted friend. Here are four tips to keep in mind when engaging with bloggers to drive event awareness and attendance.1.      Think local. When deciding what bloggers to engage, consider location first. To drive event and festival attendance, you’ll need to think locally. You can use the same geographic parameters as you would with traditional media. Blogs, by nature, often have national readership – so look for bloggers who have a local focus. Some of my favorites include Central Florida Top 5 (Orlando) and My Other City By the Bay (Tampa).

2.      Research. There are more than 152 million blogs on the Internet. That’s a lot of options! One of the most important steps for meaningful blogger engagement is to identify those who fit your event and brand. If you’re hosting a family festival, focus on family and parenting bloggers. If it’s a fitness-based event, you’ll want to target health bloggers. However, be aware that there’s a lot of cross-over, and the best way to gauge whether a blogger would be interested is to …

 3.      Read multiple posts. Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a blog by its header. Read the “About Me” page, as well as the most recent posts. Is there anything that resonates with your event or festival? Look for comments about planning a summer trip, being excited for the fall, looking for something new to do. Would your event fit in amid the current topics?

4.      Clearly define the offer and expectations. Once you’ve selected the blogger(s) you’d like to work with, clearly define what you’re offering and what you expect in return. Is there an exclusive preview the blogger can attend? If you’re providing complimentary tickets, state how many. If your end goal is a great post about their experience, provide a clear timeline. For example, if the goal is to drive ticket sales, you’ll want to be sure the post happens in the proper timeframe.

Working with bloggers can be an excellent way to increase event awareness and help generate buzz for ticket sales and attendance. When handled correctly, blogger engagement can be the first step in developing a strong relationship with a valuable brand advocate and influencer.

Jenni Izzo is a Senior Account Supervisor at Linda Costa Communications Group, a PR agency based in Central Florida with a national presence. Her specialty is connecting influential bloggers with organizations and brands nationwide.

This blog originally appeared in the Florida Festivals & Events Association newsletter.

Looking Back on Five Years

By Jenni Izzo

Today marks my five-year anniversary with Costa Communications Group (CCG). I graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia on June 13, and started working at the agency three days later. I’ll be the first to admit I never thought I’d reach this milestone. I was convinced I’d move back to Philly, maybe try my luck in NYC or simply go to the “next best thing.” My generation is of the mindset that you “just need to put in your two years,” then move on to something new. What isn’t considered nearly as often is the perks of growing up and evolving in one place. I look around CCG and see colleagues who have worked here for 8-12 years – and as I join those long-term ranks, I see why.

Looking back on the past five years, I have some advice to share with the recently graduated.

  • Identify holes and fill them. Part of becoming indispensable is doing things others don’t. When I started, it was Keynote. Presentations are time-intensive and often last minute. What better way to carve out your spot on a team than by doing something others don’t or can’t.  Now, working with younger colleagues, I look most forward to having them teach me. Whether it’s a new trend they’re seeing or a software they know, I look to them for fresh thinking.
  • Be a sponge. Absorb everything you see and hear. Your college degree is a good foundation, but real learning starts on the first day of your career. Consider every meeting, conference call, brainstorm, etc. as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Always ask for more. This is not only a smart way to learn, but a prime opportunity to show you’re a team player. Senior team members can always use a hand – and you’ll appreciate the good karma when you’re in their place. Plus, you’ll get varied experience, and find your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Bloom where you are planted. Cheesy, I know. (In fact, this is actually a plaque in my mom’s kitchen.) I never tire of reminiscing with my colleagues. Whether it’s about old clients, projects or jokes, it’s nice to have common history with a great group of people. Don’t be in a rush to find your next big thing. You may be surprised to learn it’s actually right where you are.

Office Favorites – TED Talk edition

At CCG, we love the news. No surprise, right? As daily consumers of what’s going on in the world, it makes sense that we house a mini-fan club of TED Talks, a nonprofit that has a mission to share “ideas worth spreading.” Below are some favorites from around the office.

Everyday Leadership

It’s amazing to think that even the smallest thing we do or say can have a life-changing impact on someone. Leadership educator Drew Dudley takes us through a discussion about how, without realizing it, we’ve all had a hand in changing someone’s life. This video was recommended by Jessica.

The Power of Vulnerability

If you think you know who you are, meet public speaker and author Brene Brown. CCG team member Jeanne believes Brene has a remarkable talent for making people reconsider their views on their personal self and the world.

The next two videos, recommended by Vanessa, feature two women who are faced with challenges, yet continue to pursue their goals and dreams. The first is by Lizzie Velasquez, one of three people in the world who was born without adipose connective tissue. The second is by Maysoon Zayid, an Arab-American comedian who has cerebral palsy. Both women are strong, smart, and beautiful with a great sense of humor and wonderful attitude.

I got 99 problems … palsy is just one

How do you define yourself?

What are some of your favorite TED Talks?