Revisiting Native PR

I discussed the concept of native PR last month.

Unlike native advertising, there’s no charge for media placement in native PR. If there was ever a forum for communicators to experiment with storytelling, this is the place (no cost = low risk).

I think it’s fair to say that the BuzzFeed Community has emerged as one of the leading platforms for native PR. Contrary to popular belief, posts on topics other than pet videos can attract an audience (though an amusing cat GIF never hurts).

Revisiting Native PR image BuzzFeed how to guide image updatedRevisiting Native PR

The same tenants for all forms of storytelling hold true for native PR, namely don’t be dull. You can view the BuzzFeed Community like comedy night every Wednesday at Zelda’s Fish House. This is where you hone your craft before jumping on stage with Conan.

If your story to the BuzzFeed Community has that certain “je ne sais quoi,” you’ve got a fighting chance for the editors to pull the content into the Featured Posts feed. This is a big deal since the platform funnels the audience to this section.

If you generate enough comments/actions/engagements/views, your post will jump the tracks to the BuzzFeed main page. Right, the same page where the BF journalists – they are called journalists aren’t they? – toil to make the water-cooler chatter.

First things first.

We’ve outlined a three-step process to get up and running on the BuzzFeed Community making ample use of content on the site.

Step 1 – Click this link to sign up for an account: http://www.buzzfeed.com/signin

  • Tip: Sign up a few days in advance of posting since there can be a significant delay in receiving your confirmation email (more than 24 hours).

Step 2 – Select “Create New Post”

Note: You’ll need to use HTML language to include photos, hyperlinks and other symbols in your text. Here’s a cheat sheet we use for basic HTML:

  • Pictures: Advise uploading images to Imgur (http://imgur.com/). Once uploaded, Imgur provides HTML coding to embed the pictures in your posts.

Step 3 – Select the box, “Suggest for community feature” (snapshot below)

Revisiting Native PR image BuzzFeed how to guide new post updatedRevisiting Native PR

  • Editors will review your post and if it jars them, they’ll pull the post into the “Feature Posts” feed. As discussed earlier, this door greatly expands your audience.
  • You only get one Community suggestion a day.
  • Community-featured articles are searchable.

Since our initial post on native PR and the BuzzFeed Community, I realized I never addressed Cat Power? The BF page puts this in simple language:

Graded on a 1-5 scale, Cat Power is basically an index of trust and credibility. Your Cat Power will automatically go from 0 to 1 if the editors choose your post for the Featured Post feed. As more of your posts are accepted, your Cat Power will increase, giving you additional perks.

Naturally, everyone wants to be chosen for the Featured Post feed.

The reasons for not making the big stage typically involve one or more of the following:

  • The writeup for the post wasn’t adequate or required too much editing.
  • The content of the post was already covered on the web.
  • The post links back to your company’s website.

Remember I said “don’t be dull.” There is one thing worse than the dull moniker: Being promotional.

A few more tips:

  • Keep on top of what’s trending on Buzzfeed.
  • GIFs of all types, not just cats, resonate with this crowd.
  • Engage with the community and consistently publish posts to sustain momentum.

More information on this topic can be found at 10 BuzzFeed Hacks That Will Improve Your Community Posts and 10 More Helpful Tips To Make Your BuzzFeed Posts Stand Out.

Note: Julie Sugishita and Michelle Favalora did the heavy lifting on this post.

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