The other day my husband sent me a word cloud that compiled several of my recent posts into a cloud. I had a really good laugh because among the largest words was “Valerie.” You can tell that I mention Valerie Simon quite a bit as she is the other co-founder of #PRStudChat. This got me thinking about how you can use a simple tool such as Wordle to find out a little more about yourself and your influencers.
I talk a great deal about listening to conversations to see who is talking about you, your organization or your products and services. My book with Brian Solis, Putting the Public Back in Public Relationships, stresses as central theme that listening is critical to building relationships with people. An excerpt from Chapter 7 on Blogger Relations points out the importance of doing your homework and knowing exactly whom you are reaching out to:
“… there’s a difference between spam and prequalified blogger outreach, and it’s all rooted in genuine intent and execution. Nothing beats homework and real one-on-one conversations that show some important credentials:
- You know who you’re talking to and why what you represent matters to them and their readers.
- You specifically packaged the story to their preferences.
- You are an expert in the field in which you work and you are knowledgeable about the playing field and the players who also define the space.
- You’re positioned as a resource instead of as a PR spammer.
Through social media tools, we have an easy means at our disposal to see what interests our influencers on a more personal level in their blog communities. I decided to randomly select one of my favorite bloggers, Valeria Maltoni, who I hold in high esteem, and generate a word cloud for her blog, Conversation
Age Agent. I conducted this simple little experiment using five of Valeria’s latest posts to give me a better idea of what interests her and the most meaningful topics she discusses with the members of her community. This very same experiment can capture any number of posts depending on the period of time you want to analyze in the word cloud.
Here’s what I did to generate the word cloud for Conversation
Age Agent (you can do this process for as many influencers as you like).
- Went to the Conversation
AgeAgent blog and identified the number of posts that I wanted to capture.
- Simultaneously opened Wordle to begin the world cloud process.
- I cut and pasted the last five blog posts written by Valeria (however, I did not include the comments from each post) into the area that says, “paste in a bunch of text.”
- Next, I hit “go” to generate my blogger word cloud.
Here’s what Valeria’s word cloud looks like (see graphic below).
I can tell immediately that Valerie has been discussing these top five topics of interest:
The information from the word cloud helps quite a bit because it enables me to determine the information and ideas that would be relevant to Valeria and also would be meaningful to her community. I thought that this was an interesting exercise and I suggest you try to do it first for yourself to see the topics that you’ve been discussing the most. Then, you can generate the word clouds for your influencers, so that you can have better conversations with them and offer more valuable content for their communities.
Good luck and let me know if you think the word cloud experiment is helpful as you continue to learn more about yourself, your influencers and how to communicate more effectively.