Late last year I was lucky enough to be asked to join 10 other bloggers on a sojourn to Bright, a picturesque hamlet nestled amongst mountains in regional Victoria.
In the PR biz, this activity is known as 'blogger outreach' - done properly, it's the art of building relationships with bloggers for mutual benefit.
For example, if you're a fashion brand, you might invite some fashion and lifestyle bloggers to your warehouse and give them a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at your next range before it hits the shops; perhaps you're a technology company, you might get together with several bloggers who are interested in your space and demonstrate your latest app ahead of the market.
It's not always about getting immediate coverage on blogs; sometimes it's more important to build genuine and respectful relationships with relevant bloggers over time because you both share a similar audience.
If you can help the blogger add value to the relationship they have with their readers (or viewers if they're video-focused, or listeners if they're podcasters), happy days. But if you just approach it from a perspective that it's all about you and your message, that's not really cool. There's got to be something in it for the blogger (and by extension, their audience).
Bloggers tend to seek the 'experience' versus the 'news'; this is not black-and-white of course - some journalists are into the experience while some bloggers chase the news - but as a rule bloggers are immersive types who tell stories from different angles, often using multiple mediums (i.e. video/Vine, photography/Instagram, 140 character tweets etc) in addition to their blog.
Which brings us to this video interview.
The Bright blogger outreach program was given the title of 'BrightDelight' (which morphed into the Twitter hashtag #brightdelight). It was the brainchild of Bright resident Kim Abbate who runs a web design and social media business in addition to writing two blogs - 365 Things To Do In Bright and Working Women Australia.
The goal was to bring 11 bloggers to Bright and get them to experience what the township (and immediate area) had to offer - the wineries, restaurants, attractions (such as Patrizia Simone's Country Cooking School) and views (via helicopter).
In this interview Kim takes us behind-the-scenes of the #brightdelight blogger outreach program - why and how she came up with the idea; how she got it off the ground; what worked (and lessons learned) plus highlights of the program.
Kim reveals she was hoping the initiative would garner 100,000-200,000 potential impressions on Twitter, but that according to a report from TweetReach, this figure reached as high as 1.2 million.
Another highlight was that an article written by Caz and Craig Makepeace from Y Travel Blog that featured on the National Geographic website.
All up a great experience for everyone concerned, so much so there's talk about saddling up again later this year.