I’ve been in the blogging game a long time now and I’ve seen a lot of changes and trends over the past eight years. I’ve seen all varieties of social media platforms, ways to build audiences, linky parties, buying traffic, and endless “hot” trends that I swear are created to just eat up my time. However, the one thing that never changes is how bloggers should work with brands and PR.
These tips are solely based on my personal experiences and are the ones where I’ve been most successful. I hope they can help you have your best blogging year ever.
How Bloggers Should Work With Brands and PR
Personally, I think this is the most important one. Strong relationship building will take you a long ways in the blogging business. Keep in touch with previous brands and pr you’ve worked with. Follow up six and twelve months after a campaign has closed to share updated statistic from your blog post and social shares. Stay in touch with the PR rep by dropping a “just wanted to say hello” email. This helps keep you on their radar without you always looking for a way to “score” another campaign.
Read Brand & PR Sites
Read material published by brand and PR agencies on their websites. Sites like Behrman Communications run by the fabulous Nancy Behrman is a great place to start. In my opinion, to offer the best product possible to potential partners you have to know what they are after and this is a great way to do it. Stay up on the trends from their end. Do your research and, in my opinion, you will be more successful in your pitches which leads us to my next tip.
Have a Clear and Unique Pitch
There are going to be hundreds of bloggers pitching the same brands you want to pitch. I mean, hello Disney, Canon, Netflix, and every other “big brand” out there. By doing your research, see the previous tip, you will have a step up on the competition. Make sure you are offering something unique to the brand. In your pitch clearly showcase how you can shine (hint: it’s not all about blog traffic) and how you’ll share the brand with your audience.
Be Respectful, Always
There will be times when you’ll receive emails from PR or brands offering you less than appealing compensation or asking you to work for free (shudder). It’s going to happen and you need to accept it’s simply part of the job. As much as you might want to reply with a snarky email, RESIST. Remember, the person on the other end of the email is only doing their job. They may currently be in a position that they can’t offer monetary compensation. However, I can almost guarantee that the rep you are dealing with today will be moving to a different brand or agency within two years. Treat them with respect now and down the road guess who they’ll remember?
Did you contract with the brand or PR to deliver one post and three social shares? Maybe you agreed to one IG and tweet. Whatever the case may be make sure you go above and beyond the agreement. In all honesty, what will an extra social share cost you? How about taking it up a couple more notches and providing even more?
A blogging friend was invited on a pretty nice press trip to Louisiana. The agreement was a number of posts and social shares. Both parties felt that was fair and posts and social shares were delivered. However, she went ABOVE what she promised and also delivered two videos. Now, before you’re offended and start saying she is setting the rest of us up for failure, think about it a minute. The purpose of your blog and social media platforms SHOULD BE, to provide your audience with information they find valuable NOT what the brand or pr “paid” for. Does that make sense? She didn’t have to make videos, but she knew that it would be beneficial to her audience. An added benefit is that she’ll be remembered by the rep.
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