I recently met with a PR rep from a big company and we spoke candidly about what PR reps look at when they want to work with bloggers. I’m going to let her remain anonymous, but let’s say she knows what she’s talking about. When we spoke, I was mostly looking for tips for myself, but she gave me such good stuff, I thought it would be worth sharing.
- Always respond to emails. My reaction to this one was a snort. I get a lot of stupid emails every day. I write about food and kids and “mommy” stuff so when I get an email asking me to promote some tech widget for free, I get cranky. She reminded me though that the PR Rep promoting the tech widget today might be promoting a kitchen gadget tomorrow, and will remember the blogger who sent a polite “thank you” note over the one who ignore his or her email.
- Provide honest feedback. Nobody trusts a blogger with nothing but glowing reviews. Be honest in your reviews! Nothing is perfect, and when you claim everything is the best thing ever, your opinion carries no weight.
- Remain professional. If you read my blog, it’s pretty NSFW. I like the swears, and that’s my stchick, so I wondered about this one. “Professional” in the blogging world is different than in the corporate world (Thank God) so instead of pantyhose and heels, this means responding to emails, getting things done when you say you will, doing your best work and staying honest.
- Do your homework. Before you approach a brand, do some research. Know what’s going on with them currently in the media and try to discover what’s next. If you can show that you can add value to their next campaign, they will be eager to work with you!
- Midsize local companies are great opportunities. We all want the Disney/Coca Cola/ McDonalds gigs. They’re pretty awesome but few and far between. It might be more efficient to reach out to a smaller, local company and create a real relationship.
- Don’t expect gifts or payments. This was her advice and I’m not sure I agree with it. PR reps don’t work for free and neither should you. However – if you are invited to an “experience” – a day at a waterpark, or to tour a factory, the experience is your payment, and to expect swag or cash might be a little greedy.
- Quality content beats numbers. I was skeptical of this one. Numbers do matter. But if your numbers are just “okay” and you post quality content consistently, you’re going to fare better than the blogger with one viral post and then a whole bunch of crap. Focus on content, always.
A lot of this information isn’t new – some of it was a refresher but it was all stuff I needed to hear. If your goals as a blogger include working with PR reps, I hope this helped!
Do you have any tips you’ve learned? Share in the comments!