How-To: Reaching the LGBT Online Community
With more and more companies reaching out to the LGBT community with new offerings, such as wedding-friendly consumer products and travel destinations, many are likely conducting online outreach to bloggers and others in the digital world. The LGBT community may have found its cohesive bonds in bar outings, but the rise of the internet has created online communities for the ever-diverse LGBT family. Corporations and not-for-profits are recognizing this growing trend and meeting their audiences at every click. For example, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce recently announced the launch of Biz, their online publication covering the LGBT business world. The internet is a resource and a powerful catalyst to foundational LGBT relationships. So how do companies become a part of this digital dialogue?
Online communities are unique in the fact that the majority are not trained, traditional journalists, rather these are people who have an interest or expertise in a topic or set of topics, in this case, gay and lesbian trends, interests, and issues.
How to Reach the LGBT Blogger:
• Do your homework – When reaching out to bloggers, be sure to read recent entries and place a link to similar topics for additional reference materials. This helps provide a third-party reference and establish you as a credible source for content.
• Be Open, Honest, and Transparent – Always tell the blogger who you are and your affiliation. This helps establish an introduction and open doors to a lasting relationship based on trust and honesty.
• Invest the Time to Build the Relationship – Building a relationship with bloggers is critical as it helps establish trust and create relevancy to online readers. Like any relationship, take the time and try to get to know who is on the other side of the computer screen. Read his/her blogs and reply when appropriate by sending an e-mail, leaving a comment, or sending an instant message. Remember to be respectful of his/her time.
Conducting outreach in the digital sphere helps increase your online presence, reach specifically targeted populations, and build lasting relationships for future successes. Remember, online editorial outreach is more than just reaching out to bloggers. It generates word-of-mouth communications and partnership value through outreach to digital publishers and influencers, including Web site editors, bloggers, online community leaders, and traditional journalists who also publish online. This is an area that will continue to grow and evolve, so if you have questions and comments, please feel free to post them below.
Originally posted: Jul 7, 2008