In the world of PR, blogger outreach is one of the sharpest, new arrows in our quiver. Why? More laser-targeted impressions, which means the right reach. And it’s only natural that followers are more likely to trust a blogger’s word over a branded ad.

Our zcomm team taps into the blogger world, in addition to other digital marketing tactics, to target specific audiences in industries including health, beauty, food, consumer and non-profits.

One of our key partner bloggers is Kimberly Vetrano, the founder of “She Scribes.” Kimberly doubles as a mother, wife, photographer and freelance writer. She decided to become a blogger because she loves to write, and blogging was a way to write about her life.

Kimberly prides herself on blogging about a variety of topics for a diverse readership. Her tag line is “A little bit of this, a little bit of that.” In fact, her blog topics are heavily influenced by her readers. She makes sure to read her fans’ comments, and even does yearly “polling” to find the topics that her readers find most interesting. In addition to blogging about her life, she also tracks and writes about what’s trending — crafts, recipes and style posts are all hot topics now.

When asked how she keeps her blog so active, Kimberly says her blog is her business, and she treats it that way. Kimberly says, “I make it a priority to post at least once a day, 7 days a week. If I have something planned on the weekend, I’ll write a post ahead of time and schedule it on the weekend.”

Kimberly tries to engage her followers through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. “Social media influences my blog in a big way…there are plenty of readers who share the same interests and can engage with you about them on social media channels or via comments on the blog posts.”

Kimberly’s favorite social media outlet is Facebook. “I feel like I can connect with readers more on that platform. I can scroll down and read comments and reply to them when I have a chance. I feel like Facebook is more personal.”

When relevant brands come to zcomm for blogger outreach, we call Kimberly (and lots of other bloggers) with the kind of content that she loves. Because we know what she likes. So, when reaching out to bloggers, take time to read the blog on a regular basis BEFORE you contact them so you know exactly what they write about and the content that floats their boat. That’s the key to cracking the blogger code.

The Heat Wave is Worth Talking About

It’s too damn hot.

I’ve lived in DC since 1984 so I’m used to swamp-like weather in the summer, but this has been one blistering month even by DC standards.  And it’s the warmest January-June stretch ever recorded.  Ouch!

So, naturally the storms, power outages and chill-seeking are all making headlines.  Add in some flash floods and chunky hailstones and it’s like the 10 plagues, except it’s all heat-related.  And it’s a great story for bloggers, Tweeters and reporters.  “RECORD HEAT BLASTS COUNTRY.”  The heat story rotates as lead between the political wars and the countdown to the Olympics.  Check it out on CNN, MSNBC, WebMD and probably even Pinterest.

At lunch today someone around our conference table actually said it felt much better out today…”it’s only 90.”  Who knew 90 degrees was cool?  Let me run and get a sweater.  Better yet, my arctic parka from college (the navy one with fake fur around the hood).

I was big-time lucky last week when my power stayed on after the storm of the century.  I looked out my terrace and it was like the aliens were invading.  The sky was strobing blue and white with thunder, lightning and pounding rain.

Post-storm fallout has not been pretty.  Just google weather on YouTube and check out the downed trees, power lines and raging rivers not to mention the fires out west.  It’s like the end of the world and it’s not even the Mayan calendar.

In a stab to beat the heat, I flew to long Island this past weekend.  I figured it’s always cooler at the beach.  Wrong.

So, what to do?  Besides the online tips to drink water and stay indoors I have one better.  Go to the movies!  See Magic Mike, Savages and Spiderman 12, a triple feature.  Sit in a cushy seat, eat some popcorn and get your fluids while you chill next to an a/c vent.

I know….not everyone can go to the movies when there’s a real disaster at the door.  But, when it’s just too damn hot out and the power is still on, just give me an ice cream and a DVD of White Christmas and I’m happy.

Seven tips for effective content curation

Content curation is easy enough; we all do it. But how is it done well? For starters, curation requires research, patience and the willingness and flexibility to change direction at the drop of a hat to meet our audience’s needs.

Ultimately, we all want to be the trusted source our audience turns to, but it’s important to understand that it won’t happen overnight. All in all, knowing the process and using the right tools will be most beneficial to becoming an effective curator.

We’ve pulled together seven tips to help navigate the curation process:

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Are you Pinterested?

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Hailey discusses Pinterest and its growing popularity.

According to comScore, Pinterest is the fastest growing social network site ever, having increased by more than 145 percent since the beginning of 2012. In all honesty, I don’t think I was even aware it existed in 2011. Occasionally my friends would send me links to over-priced shoes or mouth-watering dessert recipes, but I never felt inclined to make my own account.

And then something happened. All of a sudden, I was Pinterested. I gave in and went to the site only to find out I couldn’t just join, I had to be invited. I felt like I had just gotten rejected from something exclusive, like the Plastics’ lunch table for wearing sweatpants on a Monday.

Luckily, getting an invitation really wasn’t difficult. The first person I asked invited me without hesitation. However, I asked a female; had I asked a male, I probably would have received a blank stare and a fist pound rather than an invite.

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Social media has changed the world

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Justin discusses social media’s effect on our lives.

I think we have all heard this statistic before: if Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated country in the world with more than 845 million monthly users. In addition, Twitter just hit 500 million users as of 3 p.m. on February 22, 2012. So it is pretty easy to see that social media is now in full-blown takeover mode.

Social media is in everything we do

When we download a new application on our phones, we instantly link it to Facebook and Twitter. A phone number is no longer enough when we meet people; we need to be Facebook friends or follow them on Twitter. And forget calling or texting people; we would rather Facebook message or Tweet at somebody.

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