Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Winning With Brands And Working With PR's

Whilst I was at BritMums this year, I went along to the session about working with brands and PR. okay - I thought to myself, I work with a few brands, I approach them with pitches and I hope I have a good relationship with the brands I work with. So I wondered what I could actually learn from the session!

Truth is that I learnt so much that my head was buzzing by the time I left the session! so much so that I thought I would share some of the tips that came from the brands and PR's with my readers, who are also bloggers or thinking of starting to work with brands.

So this is what the PR’s had to say.

21% of PR’s say that bloggers don't understand how to work with brands - Yes I agree with this, there are so many people that get the products and don't blog about them properly or even worse, they don’t blog about them at all. Lots of people don't realise, especially when they are starting out, that PR’s work with more than one brand, they work with a handful of brands and if you don't understand how to work with the PR on one brand, you could lose out on another better and bigger brand. So if your going to start out on approaching brands, do your homework about them and what they expect from you.

Bloggers these days are recognised more and more as valuable influencers in the world of advertisement. We are recognised as valuable sources of insight and how we influence the readers of our blogs.

Because of Bloggers being recognised more this year, there are also bigger budgets out there for us than this
time last year.

Take products offered for a small value, this way the PR's get to see your style of writing and get to know you as a blogger. This will lead to bigger and better opportunities in the future.

Sponsored post put a PR off working with you because the posts are often duplicated across a few other blogs and this shows up as spam with Google! brands don't want to be associated with blogs that flag up as spammers. Even if you write your own post, the anchor text is often flagged up as spam, especially if the company asking you to post have told you what to write, They will use the same anchor link across several blogs.

So What do PR’s get irritated about when working with us?

  • Typo’s and factual errors within a blog post, this can be embarrassing for them as well as us.
  • Diva behaviour, If you act like a princess, then you will lose the relationship you built up with the company, after all there are many more bloggers out there!
  • When bloggers are slow to respond to emails, I know quite often they can be slow - but they might be working with 100 other bloggers that day too. 
  • When a blogger is a no-show for an invite, There are normally limited spaces at events and when you accept an invite and don't turn up, they have lost a valuable advertisement outlet and another blogger has lost out on a chance of attending the event in your place. And anyway, think of the goodie bag you might get!
  • Unreasonably high fee’s, I know that we all want to make as much money as we can, but when a brand has a small budget and one bloggers wants 30% of that budget - it just isn't do-able. But speaking as a blogger, when brands approach bloggers with different fee’s, that can be irritating. I can be offered £25 for a sponsored post and my friend may have been offered £50. Bloggers do talk and brands do get blacklisted by them for doing this.
  • Cut and Paste, rather than personalised content written on a blog post. We all get sent press releases when we get sent a product, or we get directed to a website. These are tools to help us write our own content. Copy and paste is lazy and it doesn't show you to be a creative writer. There have been occasions where a company has asked me to share a press release, but I will ask them if its OK to copy and paste as I don't have time to write a post. I accept no money for these posts and I do them as I feel i have a great relationship with the company. 
  • Missed deadlines! This is a big No, No. It is important that we get a blog post out on time as it may affect company sales, or they might want it to coincide with a big announcement. Most PR’s don't give you a deadline, but if you say your going to put it on within 24 hours, then please try and do it. There is nothing worse than having a PR chasing you for a piece of work.
  • Failure to include the campaign message. If your sent a packet of Huggies and you don't post any pictures of your child wearing the Huggies, and you just write a post about bedtime and your child wore a pair of Huggies to bed. Then you write nothing else, then that is not getting the message across, you need to write about how they felt, what they looked like, where you buy them from, what size they are etc etc. Add loads of photos, because people wont read a post without photos,
  • Failure to deliver value for money, If they send you a really expensive product or pay you a lot of money, then its only fair for them to expect value for money. Write a post, share it on social media, keep up a good relationship with the PR or brand. Let them know they have invested well in your blog, it could lead to them recommending you to another agency or brand.

7 Ways To Win With A Brand

  • Be pro-active
  • Use power of the relationship you have with the brand
  • Act like a partner with your brand or PR
  • Use Integrity
  • Produce good quality
  • Don't be a princess
  • Stick to deadlines

Hopefully this will help some people looking to working with brands and PR's. I know I wish I had more help when I started out. I would also get a media kit sorted out for the brands to see what you offer.

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