Alternate title: Winning at Social Media by putting the effort in. I wanted to mention Greg Hounslow‘s West Jet efforts to do some blogger outreach before West Jet’s website launch (it’s easier to use, btw, check it out). Here’s what I thought West Jet got right when they invited in bloggers to preview the launch:

5. Greg invited a small group  of people. This wasn’t a big media event, it felt like a small group of friends. We spent the whole morning at West Jet and by the end, I felt like I’d made a few new online buddies. I know I’m not actually a big deal, but it certainly is nice to feel special. Don’t discount that when you are considering how to get some Internet kids on your side.

4. The whole event wasn’t a pitch. Of course, there was a pitch, since that’s why we were there, but Greg also made sure there was something in it for us. I’ve always wanted to check out the West Jet campus and we got a full tour. It’s good to think about what you can offer people in return for them sitting through your canned, “Look how great we are” pitch. Only downside to this: I wish I could work in a building like that 🙁

3. West Jetters love West Jet. I’ve never seen a group of people so excited about the company they work for. The enthusiasm is sincere and it makes writing about the company less arduous. 

2. Greg made it easy for us to write about the website launch. He gave us USB sticks with images for us to use. He also gave us a one-pager with info about the company we could pull from (all written in third person, you’d be surprised how many people write “we” and “our” which makes it annoying for bloggers to cut/paste…WE ARE A LAZY PEOPLE).

1. We got treated like we were part of the team. There’s wasn’t any fancy show, West Jet was really looking for feedback on what they are doing. We got a inside look at where they plan to go next and an invitation to come back with suggestions. 

Greg also thanked us for our time both in person and over the Internet. A little thanks goes a long way.