This year I’m launching #BloggingSOS, a series of monthly posts helping you on the road to become a better blogger, whether it’s improving your photography or helping you understanding SEO there will be something for everyone.
I’m kicking off the #BloggingSOS series with a piece on blogger’s etiquette and how you can improve those all important relationships with PR companies.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in almost two years in blogging it is how to deal with PR companies positively and build great relationships with them. In my opinion it’s pretty straightforward; treat people with respect and they’ll return it. So far so simple, but having seen some recent examples of when a PR relationship has gone bad it would seem not everyone finds it as easy, so I’ve created a list of dos and don’ts to help you approach and respond to PR companies without getting blacklisted.
Don’t be a diva – There is nothing wrong with contacting a brand or PR company with a view to working with them but do not approach them with a shopping list. Nothing will get you a bad reputation quicker. Introduce yourself, give them your blog stats and tell them why you’d like to work with them and what you can offer. If they reply positively that’s great, if not move on and don’t lose sleep.
Manage your expectations – Remember you’re working for the brand not the other way round. Some companies are great at retweeting your posts and will keep you on your books, leading to other opportunities, but some won’t. As long as you’ve both fulfilled your obligations and any conditions attached anything else is a bonus.
Be honest from the outset – If you think your work is worth more than the brand is offering, you need to specify that from the beginning. You can’t write a post or turn up to an event then demand more than what was agreed, if the recent #BloggerBlackmail incident proved anything it’s that. It isn’t always the case that companies don’t value bloggers or want something for nothing, many just simply haven’t got a huge budget set aside for bloggers.
PR companies have other commitments – Picture the scenario; you’re approached by a PR company who sends you a product to review, you feature it and send them your link then you never hear anything more from them, not even a thank you. In all honesty whilst it’s rude you can’t really call them out for it all over social media. PR companies are busy, they have other brands they represent and other bloggers they work with. If they forget to reply to your email move on. It’s not worth ruining a relationship over.
Don’t count on anything – Brand launches are unpredictable; sometimes dates get put back and that promised collaboration doesn’t happen. My advise would be to never count on a brand sending you something. If you’re offered a necklace to review, don’t rush out to buy a whole outfit to wear it with for your blog post. Wait till you have it in your hands first.
I hope you found my first post in the #BloggingSOS series useful and if so do pop back next month for another installment where I’ll be looking at blog design.
If you have any questions relating to today’s topic or you have any addititional advice for fellow bloggers please do leave a comment below!