Friday, 29 August 2014

Blogger & PR Collision

First of all, lets have a quick life update. And when I say life update I mean sit down and listen to how my life is utter chaos. I'm kinda working 3 jobs. Kennel life, PR life and my own blog which at the moment feels more like a job than a hobby PLUS trying to secure a full time job. I had a real crappy bank holiday as I worked ALL of it from Friday to Monday 9-6 and we were severely understaffed....I may have cried a few times....MOVING ON. I do apologise it has been 8 days since my last post and that sickens me. I hate to hurt you like this. Can you forgive me? 
So I have been given a wonderful opportunity to do a bit of blogger outreach for a PR company. I am really enjoying it as it is providing me with great insight into the digital PR world and I am learning lots. It has also opened my eyes to the PR to blogger side of blogging. Having only experienced the blogger to PR side with my own blog, if I am honest, I feel like I have been let in on a big dirty secret. Okay so it's not a dirty secret but that just sounds more dramatic. Anyways, it inspired me to write a post on advice for bloggers and PR/Marketers based on personal experiences. All in all, this shall confuse you and cause more mess than success ;)

When I started blogging I never ever ever ever (Getting back together! - Sorry had to drop a bit of Swift in there) thought I'd end up working with PR/Marketing agencies. I just started blogging in the metaphorical dark and stumbled into the light of PR eyes. Okay how lame was that sentence? So as per usual, I had no clue what I was doing and ungracefully bound head first in. Anyways, this is what I have learnt as a blogger working with PR:
  • Don't sell yourself short: In other words, don't just accept it because it's a freebie. I have turned down PR in the past because what they were asking I felt wasn't relevant to me or my blog. Just politely explain why you can't work with this campaign but offer to be happy to be contacted in the future for further campaigns.

  • Make yourself easy to contact: When looking for bloggers I love the ones who have a good structured contact page or have their email address on their home page. If you're easy to reach then you're more likely to be contacted. You don't have to advertise yourself as 'PR friendly' you just have to be there. Cause I'll be there for yoooooouuu....Can we please just turn this post into one big musical??

  • Location: Location is a tricky one. I myself try to avoid advertising where I am from based on old school safety, so this is an optional choice. To be invited to blogger events depends on how you publicize your location. If you're happy enough to declare you're from Essex or York or Cardiff etc etc then you'll stand a stronger chance of being pinned down by PR and a stronger chance of being stalked and buried under a patio by your biggest blogger fan (JUST KIDDING!!). I have been invited to events in London before but being a gazzilion miles away and the cost of transport I have had to turn the opportunity down. If anything I just feel bad for wasting peoples time. So it's up to you on location, I'd love to hear your thoughts for this one.

  • Do what you believe is best: At the end of the day it is YOUR blog. If you feel it is appropriate then do it regardless of what anyone else thinks. I have posted stuff on my blog before for PR where I gained nothing from it apart from writing the post. I believed in the cause and therefore wanted it on my blog.
  • Watch your back: I count myself lucky to have had little or next to none negative experiences when it comes to working with PR. However I have seen horror stories within the blogging community of how PR can turn nasty and things get unprofessional. Always be careful with what is exchanged and keep record of your emails when exchanging between companies.
  • Get things straight: Always establish what is required for the task in hand, what points should be covered and any other details such as how they would want it promoted e.g. specific Twitter accounts. I like to have a clear plan of how to tackle what is required and to make sure I do what the agency wanted. Some may say, I am extremely efficient....others....well they call me OCD.
  • Have fun: As lame as it sounds, enjoy it. Your blog and yourself has been recognized as a valuable platform for global campaigns, soak it all in and enjoy yourself! I have worked with some lovely PR agencies and have made some lovely contacts and even friends. I love collaborating, it's such a learning curve and great experience, make the most of it!

  • Know your market: This applies to all of those PR/Marketers who DO NOT read into their bloggers. Nothing is worse for a blogger than receiving a generic email saying 'Hi blogger, we want to advertise our brand so please write about us or post our info on your blog'. Are you serious? Do I have a sign on my head that says 'Open to free advertisement?!'. Also take basic note of who you are contacting such as what they blog about, maybe even read a couple of their most recent posts and address them by name! It shows you care about the blogger and not just the brand. Bloggers are people to!

  • Do as you're told: Not. Okay so it's great when a company wants to advertise on your blog however if they tell you how to write the post from a 'You should write this' perspective, back away. Always be true to your content. Obviously suggestions are great such as 'You could take this approach' but at the end of the day if you're reviewing a product you should give an honest answer and not write a post because you were told to. That is basically lying to your readers. How very dare you. 
So there we have it, a few random ass thoughts from my experiences as both a blogger and a blogger outreach assistant. I am always looking for advice in this area as sometimes I personally feel overwhelmed when my inbox is brimming with future collaborations so if you have any top tips, blog posts or thoughts in this area, please leave a link/comment :)! 

And on that bombshell I will leave you to feel confused with the chaos that is this post (Did you read that in Jeremy Clarksons voice because I so did?!). 


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8 comments

  1. Thank you Laura! I started blogging on a regular basis in June and since then I get contacted nearly everyday by agencies. Your tips are helpful and I am glad I found your blog this way.

    http://www.germangirlinlondon.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Awh thanks Nadine! Happy I could be help!!

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  2. This post was really interesting and useful. I also really love your style of writing, such a funny easy read!
    xx

    http://chloeharriets.blogspot.co.uk/

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  3. Great post. I think it's really bad when PR companies essentially tell bloggers what to say in their posts as it's always so obvious that it never seems genuine. I really like your blog btw!

    vvnightingale.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

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