Our own Rob Bluey joined House Republican press secretaries on Capitol Hill this past Friday to talk about the power of blogs. According to National Journals, a two-page primer on blogging was handed out at the meeting. Here are some of the tips included in the handout:
Start one. The problem with congressional Web sites (and Web sites in general) is that they never have fresh content so constituents, students and others visit a Web site, hopefully find what they need and move on. Why not keep your constituents involved with what you’re working on (for them) and your progress? To do so, consider establishing a blog on your Web page or create a blog with a third-party vendor and prominently link to it from your Web site.
Write conversationally. Consider using a voice similar to that you would use for a statement or an op-ed.
Establish relationships with bloggers, and keep them updated on what you are working on and give them access. Most bloggers freely list their contact information on their blogs. Keep in mind that bloggers often have "day jobs" and are not paid to cover Congress. Make their job easier by letting them know what you’re boss is working on and why they may find it interesting.
Do your homework and know your blogger. Bloggers cover the issues they care about. Find their interests, and share your news with them.
Do not simply send your press release to a wide list of blogs. Choose one blogger and share your story, and provide the materials to back it up. If they do not want it, ship it out to a wider group.
Do not expect instant gratification. For six baseball seasons, Babe Ruth led the National League with more strikeouts than any other player, but that didn’t deter him from taking a swing in hopes of hitting his next homerun.
WARNING: Bloggers are "friendly," but you should understand that there could and probably will be criticism and questions from the right, so choose your issues well.
You can read the primer in it’s entirety, here.