What Travolta/Cage Vehicles Have Taught Me About Pitching To Blogs
I can’t verify that I might be the first person to draw a lesson in public relations from John Woo’s 1997 movie, Face/Off, but I have to be one of a select few.
Nicolas Cage’s character, Castor Troy, who at that point is being played by John Travolta (don’t ask) utters the line, “When all else fails, fresh tactics!” I like to think about this line when I’m asked about the use of blogs in a PR campaign.
I feel that when blogs are mentioned in a PR campaign, they are usually those connected to an already established media publication. Blogs from the usual suspects are generally thrown around (New York Times, WIRED, etc). However, last summer I found a site that aggregated the top 30 most popular blogs, based on traffic. The list hasn’t been updated since August of last year, but the information within is still valuable in looking critically at blogs.
Not one of the blogs on this list has an obvious connection to a “traditional” media publication. Furthermore, the traffic numbers speak for themselves; the top five sites listed (Gizmodo, TMZ, Engadget, Lifehacker, and Huffington Post) have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of unique visitors a month.
Blogs that are offshoots of established publications still have tremendous value in validating a client and can act as a foot in the door in getting space in that publication at a later date. However, a PR professional should not be afraid to approach a highly-influential, yet unaffiliated blog to brief with a client. Even though a blog might not have a marquee name on its site, a fresh and independent voice may just be the fresh tactic needed to lead potential customers to your client. In fact, for a client looking to drive traffic to their site, a post on Ars Technica might be of more value then a write up in USA Today.
Next week I’ll try to find some PR value from Cage’s horrible, horrible remake of The Wicker Man. Until then, the balcony is closed.