Beyond Pitches: Engaging Brands with Influential Bloggers

If you see a hashtag pop up enough times on Twitter, you start to pay attention. So when #ExpediaBloggerDay blew up my TweetDeck stream on Monday morning, I was sufficiently intrigued. It turned out Expedia had invited 20 influential travel bloggers – including two who had won a contest to attend – to come to its Bellevue headquarters, chat with executives and learn about ongoing initiatives and strategy. Perks of the trip included box seats to the Seahawks game, lodging at Hotel 1000 and lunch at Barrio.

As an agency that is always looking for ways to engage bloggers and other social media thought leaders on behalf of our clients, we agree with this approach. I especially like how it offers bloggers insight into the nuts and bolts of running a travel company, rather than providing for them the overly polished experience of some media tours.

Food blogger tweet

It indicates to these bloggers that a major online travel company is interested in what they have to say and values their blogs as important ways to connect with consumers. It’s also, of course, great publicity for Expedia and a way to get the word out organically about an upcoming site rebuild.

Expedia blogger day tweet

As bloggers become increasingly influential, it’s more crucial than ever for PR agencies to give them the same consideration as traditional media when pitching stories or building strategies. But it also means that it’s becoming challenging to secure a piece on a blog or even to simply capture a blogger’s attention for your brand. There are a lot of companies clamoring for coverage, and agencies need to constantly find new and unique ways to showcase what makes a client’s story worth telling.

What are some other recent blogger-focused campaigns that you’ve found impressive?