I recently attend the Scottish Bloggers Collective meeting Glasgow about working with PRs and brands. It was the first event of its kind in Glasgow (it was also hosted in Edinburgh) and was held in the lovely Epoch restaurant in Princes Square. It was something a little different to do on a Thursday night and I got to meet some lovely bloggers. It was really nice to put faces to blogs and get to see people face to face. The event was sponsored by Old J Spiced Rum and oh my god, the spiced apple daiquiri has changed my life. My new favourite cocktail.
There was also a talk from Lauren from Wave PR on working with brands which I found super interesting. I haven’t really done much with brands before and I’ve never approached anyone myself so it was super interesting to hear about it from a PR perspective. It has definitely inspired me to reach out and put myself out there as you never know where opportunities might be! I thought I’d share five things I learnt in case anyone else is needing inspiration …
One of Lauren’s biggest tips was to just be honest and upfront. Don’t make up wild stats up out of thin air or embellish what you’ve done so its untrue. Keep things honest and authentic and you’ll instantly build up a bit more rapport. Lauren assured us that if you are using bots/paying for followers etc, they can find that out so there is no point lying about it as you are just giving yourself a bad name. Be honest about what can do, what’s within your capacity and what you are capable of.
Pitch Your Own Ideas
It is as much a collaboration and partnership as it is you working for them. Be unique and pitch your own ideas. Think about brands that would work well with the content you already produce so it will fit seamlessly in and showcase that brand in the most authentic way. Pitching your own content will help you to stand out.
Have A Media Kit
I’ve heard media kits mentioned time and time again and I have made one but albeit, it is lacking a bit. It is a bit gross to look at and Lauren’s emphasising how important it is to have one has given me to the push to set about making a better one/finding someone to make one. Your media kit should contain who your readers are and who follows you, what your blog is and why people follow you. It should also contain stats as this will give an idea about how big your reach is. Lauren also suggested including some content you’re proud of, case studies of previous works and examples of your influence and engagement with followers.
Lauren really encouraged just starting a dialogue with a PR, getting talking to someone and discussing what you can do before diving in with anything. Just introduce yourself, send over your media kit and have a look around at PR websites but don’t be impersonal. Smaller PR companies are better to start with as they are more personal. She also stressed face to face communication – there is nothing strange about asking a PR whom you’ve been emailing to meet for a coffee to boss things out! And stick to your end of the bargain, if you get sent a product to review or are gifted it, do share it! Use the hashtags, tag the brand, tweet your post. Or email saying you are not interested.
If you have campaign packages, be prepared to be flexible about what you will and won’t do for a brand. Make things work for both you and them to ensure the content you produce is the most authentic for you and how you would actually use the product if you had bought it anyway. Be flexible with your time as well. If you send an email and are told there aren’t any opportunities right now, be flexible and send another email in six/nine months time. Ask them to keep you in mind and it might happen.