One of the most tedious and frustrating facets of public relations in the new media era is identifying the best blogs to add to an outreach list. Postrank made that task a bit easier when they unveiled Postrank Topics in 2009. Now you could at least get a current snapshot of the top blogs in a given category, though the data considered was limited to a week’s worth of engagement.
As a sponsor of Social Media Explorer, Postrank allowed us to take a peek at six months worth of data for our lists of the Top Education Blogs (done before Postrank decided to sponsor SME) and Top Environmental Blogs. Apparently, the Postrank folks were paying attention to our requests for more definitive lists based on longer data sets. I say this because they’ve just made identifying the top blogs in each category infinitely more relevant with the Postrank Analytics Blog Showcase Top Blogs of 2009.
Based on their lengthy list of categories, public relations and marketing professionals looking for the right blogs to reach out to for building relationships can now better identify good candidates. The 2009 rankings are for the year — 12 months of data — which show a better view of which blogs are tops in each category.
That’s the really good part. But there are some factors to consider when looking at the data. Keep all this in mind before you go deciding Postrank is the definitive listing of whose blog is good and whose is not:
- The categories and blogs listed in each are compiled from their Topics data, which is largely driven by Postrank users. Looking at some of the categories (e.g. – Forrester Research has its own; There’s a category for “PR” then a different one for “Public Relations,” etc.) it’s apparent that, in this case, the widsom of crowds is a farce. Or we at least need an editor.
- Many lists do not include many blogs that might belong there. Social Media Explorer is not listed in “Marketing and Social Media” or “Social Media Marketing” under the topic umbrella of “Business,” but is listed in “Social Media” under the broad topic of “Media.” If this blog isn’t about social media marketing or marketing and social media, then I’m not sure what it’s about.
- On a positive note, you can collect a list of potential blogs for outreach, then run a report on each to see where they ranked on whatever lists they were on. The more lists, perhaps the more attractive the blog. But then again, SethGodin.com is listed on just one topic despite his covers many.
And then there comes the necessity to approach blogger outreach responsibly. Building a media list is the first step, systematically culling that list, knowing how (or if) each blogger likes to be contacted, building a relationship with them over time and so on is actually how you become a successful online media relations professional. Don’t use these lists to develop email blasts or annoying direct messages on Twitter about irrelevant topics.
But the Postrank analysis and listing is an awfully good place to start. It’s the first place I go when deciding what blogs to reach out to for my clients. It isn’t the only place — yet another important factor to consider — but it’s a great start.
There are also some great benefits to bloggers with these lists. If you’re ranked or get one of their neat awards (for most engagement, most influential and biggest mover and shaker) you can grab a badge for your blog. Their Analytics service also gives bloggers a vast amount of information on the engagement levels and reach of their efforts. The same is true for corporate blogs so long as you’re registered with Postrank and they have your feed in their system.
All-around this is a fantastic effort from some great people. Thank you Postrank. For making the web better.
Full Disclosure: Postrank was a sponsor of Social Media Explorer for the last quarter of 2009. In exchange for sponsorship, they received an advertisement in the right sidebar for the term of the agreement and one blog post per month highlighting their services and capabilities. As with any sponsor or affiliate program SME is connected to, Postrank’s offering is relevant and meaningful to many in SME’s audience. I do not accept advertising from any product or service that is not and I ask them to provide content of value to you for the monthly blog post. We hope to bring you an analysis of the Postrank advertising program on SME soon as it was an experiment in earned media through content sponsorship.