If you are a blogger and think you need to be an A-lister to work with a PR agency in order to drive remarkable content and bring brand awareness to your readers — you couldn’t be more wrong. Take me for example. I don’t have half the numbers many bloggers out there have, and yet I’ve worked with some of the top brands in this country for the past five years. How? It’s no big secret. The answer is actually quite simple on how bloggers can with with PR Agencies Properly.
1.) Building Effect and Honest Relationships with the PR Agencies That Pitch You
I get pitches all the time via email, and yes we all know time means money. However, more important than receiving compensation for the work you do is the relationships you build with those you work with. You can help guide those relationships by doing a few simple things.
- Be upfront and honest about what you expect and ask for the same in return.
- Meet your deadlines (always) and communicate if something comes up so the agency knows you as a reliable source they can trust.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something.
2.) Knowing the brands Agencies partner with is important along with their marketing strategies.
- More than just great communication, it’s important for a blogger to know and understand how a PR agency works and what their marketing strategy is when working with brands you are going to represent.
- Check out the agencies website or Facebook page to see how they go about promoting the brands they are representing, photographs they use and the ways they go about marketing products.
- Reach the agencies own blog to get a feel for the voice they use when representing a brand and how they effectively engage their readers.
3.) Don’t Sign On For Something You Don’t Believe In or a Product You Cannot Endorse.
I can’t tell you how many campaigns I have turned down simply because the product being represented is not something that is suitable for my readers, nor something I can promote. Being able to promote a product makes writing about it much easier.
- Before accepting a campaign, go over your blog and readers insights to see whether or not the brand or product makes a suitable fit for your blog.
- Visit the brands website to discover all you can about the brand and their voice of direction before accepting any campaign. For example you wouldn’t blog about foods that have GMO’s if you are against GMO’s.
- Lastly don’t be afraid to say no. It’s okay to tell a PR agency, yes you are interested in this campaign but not this other one. Give a short but detailed explanation as to why. For instance, I turned down a campaign for a brand I had nothing but negative comments due to my actual use of their products.
4.) Important Question Every Blogger Should Ask When Working With a PR Agency on a Campaign for any Brand.
Just like bloggers, PR Agencies have guidelines to follow when working with brands. So the more prepared you are, the better you serve your readers in the content you write, along with the agency you partner up with. Being prepared is important. Here are some questions you can ask.
- What is the angle for this product? (ie: what part of the product does the brand want showcased?) Example Finish Dish-washing liquid, key promotion on how it leaves dishes spot free due to the inclusion of Jet Dry.
- Do you have hi-res photos you wish to include in the promotion or would you like the blogger to take their own?
- What is the deadline for posting? Ask for a time as many agencies are in a different timezone so this may vary. (ie: PST, EST and so on) And make sure you post on time.
- How is your post going to be promoted by the brand or PR agency? (ie: on the agencies FB page or social networks, or the brands social networks.)
- Is there a hashtag (#) the brand is working under? Hashtags are being used more and more often as a way to track engagement. So if the brand is using one, make sure you include it in your post title and all social network shares.
- Will you be collecting insights for the campaign? This is also important so you can add a filter for Google Analytic to track your engagement to share with the agency as they are often asked to share with the brand.
- What is the compensation for the campaign? (ie: products, sponsored and so forth) and what is the time frame expected for compensation Example (60 days, 90 days or products in the mail.)
- Can I contact you about future partnerships? Some agencies work with a blogger one time, while others like the ones I have worked with over the past five years.
If you are receiving products for a brand campaign, follow up with the agency to let them know when you got them. The follow up again with your blog links, insights or anything else they asked for.
Bloggers can build effectively relationship with the PR agencies they deal with and in doing so, it not only helps your blog but your reputation as a blogger who understands the importance of product marketing, brand awareness, guidelines to follow which in turn will help make your content King and your life as a blogger run more smoothly.