If you haven’t included blogs when you develop a media plan, you should think again. Bloggers are always thinking about it. Do a quick search on any blog search engine and you’ll find someone talking about your company or your product.

Some companies are taking steps to embrace blogs, while others are shying away, hoping they don’t get bitten. Others aren’t sure what steps they should take.

Whether or not you include blogs, it’s a good business practice to consider blogger relations during planning. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association provides guidelines and an ethics policy when reaching out to bloggers.

The Washington Post recently covered blogger relations during new product launches. The same has been done not only with products, but with news and company announcements, too.

Companies are beginning to cater to bloggers just as they would the media. A year ago, Boeing had a special flight for bloggers to test out the company’s new in-flight WiFi. A few weeks ago, General Motors was a major sponsor of the BlogHer conference and provided attendees with test drives. These moves have generated positive buzz online. Of course, not all buzz is positive. Instead of ignoring blogs however, you have a better chance of building positive relationships if you reach out.

— Janet Tyler