Last week’s post about how to work with PRs certainly grabbed the attention of bloggers – and I’m sure was read by a few PRs as well.
Well, I know it was read by one (thanks Claire):
I think any PRs that ‘avoid’ bloggers will only suffer the loss of great coverage and consumer awareness down the track.
Claire makes a relevant point but, even so, I do get that it’s a tricky path for most PRs to navigate. Unless they or their company are actively involved in social media channels, then they are unlikely to “get” bloggers and what we can bring to the publicity table for their clients.
I was asked on Twitter (and sorry, I thought I’d saved the tweet – please let me know who you were so I can link you!) for some tips for PRs wanting to work with bloggers. And as I love a sequel (well, actually this is a three-quel if you count the post from which the discussion started) … so here goes:
1. Read the blog of the blogger you’re pitching too. Ah, duh! Would seem like a simple thing but it still amazes me that someone would email with an idea or a product that has absolutely no fit with my blog and what I typically write about.
2. Please email me with Dear Nikki, or Hi Nikkki – even if it is in a mail merge program – I’ll feel way more loved than a Hi there! And I might actually think you’ve read my blog first.
3. Please understand that for most people, their blog is a labour of love. They are either working full-time in another job, juggling a business, have kids … or all of the above. We are independent publishers and not paid a wage to write. This does not mean we do not care about what you are pitching but we may not share the same fever-pitch levels of excitement in the product you are trying to promote.
4. Bloggers are connected with their readers – and in my case that’s grown to quite a large readership (100,000 page views in the previous month). The reason readers connect with bloggers is that bloggers ARE more accessible than journalists (I know this because I was a journalist). The answer comments. They Tweet and Facebook with their readers. Their readers trust that the blogger has actually tried the product he or she has reviewed. So if you pitch me a new beauty product but tell me there are not any samples available for trial, I’m sorry, your product will not get a run. I can’t lose that reader trust.
5. Bloggers and their readers love giveaways. It’s a win-win for PRs, brands and bloggers. But please, please, don’t offer me a $20 prize and expect a “featured” blog post exclusively about that prize. Our online space is valuable. Please value it too. If you do offer us a giveaway, please talk to us about who else you are offering it too. It’s not that we necessarily want an exclusive, it’s just that as bloggers we can work together to make sure the competitions are not all running at the same time. Which, when you think about it, offers more value for you and your client too.
6. Consider whether your pitch will add value to the blog you are pitching too. Yes, I know if we run something on our blog it will add value for your client but if the pitch is for me to blog about a company who is currently running a competition of their own – on their own website or Facebook, there is honestly nothing of value in that for me – and little for my readers. This is more of an advertorial and should be pitched as a paid sponsored post (the equivalent of an advertorial or promotion in print media).
7. Please include all relevant details and an image with the media release you email. Often we blog at night time and it’s so annoying to not have the image on hand – or price and stockist details. It could be the difference between us including your product or not.
8. Get to know us. The Australian blogging community is an exciting place to be right now. You have the opportunity to connect with some incredible people who are passionate about the niche in which they write. Talk to us. We won’t bite. Really.
9. Invite us to your media events. Ok, I realise that not all events have the budget for this but increasingly there are bloggers out there with just as much sway and influence as a magazine journalist or online website writer. We’d like to be in the know just as much as a magazine fashion or beauty editor.
10. Send us media releases at least one month prior to launch. Yes, blogging is an immediate publishing tool but (referring back to point three), we plan ahead to ensure that we have the time to write quality posts with diverse content.
That’s it, folks. As I said last week, I’m really lucky to work with some amazing PR companies but there are still companies feeling their way with this game they call blogging.
So, tell me, have you been pitched an idea from a PR company which clearly had not read your blog first? And if you’re a PR, shoot through any questions or concerns. This community is only to happy to help out.
Looking for a new WordPress theme but don’t want to spend any money?
If you’re new to the fashion and beauty blogging world or a little bored with your current WordPress theme, then you might be interested in this.
Westfield has developed a WordPress theme (a “theme” is design template for blogs) that is free to download and has a lot of features that you might normally have to pay for in a theme. It’s also really user friendly and easy to customise (you can change the colours, font, etc). There are more details on the site.
I love this theme – it’s clean, fresh and super stylish. What’s the catch? The developers “do humbly request, as a thank you to our development team, that you leave the link to Westfield in the footer in place”.
The developers are getting the word out about it now and also taking feedback so they can make it better. If you need technical help installing it, let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction.
This post was selected for inclusion in the IFB Links a la Mode: Tech Weekly Roundup
Edited by Vyque of Fasshonaburu
If you’re a fashion blogger, or even just an avid reader of fashion blogs, you’re probably already on the technology savvy side. But, while you may be more tech-telligent than the average person, it’s important to never get complacent! You constantly read style and fashion blogs for inspiration and news, but how much time do you devote to the latest new and innovations in technology?
It may be near impossible to stay on the very top of two separate industries, (three if your full-time job is unrelated!!!), but IFB is here to help! Always the most relevant information for the fashion, hopefully ChicGeek will not only keep you up-to-date on technology, but help you constantly improve your blog.