I will be honest, five years of hard graft has got me to being a full time blogger and when I first started, there was really only Susie, Navaz and a few others that were making a new life for themselves.
I met all sorts of resistance when I started attending press days and Fashion weeks but now that the online industry is taking over print, me, Leroy, Cyrena and Hanna have made it effortless for the newbie bloggers of today.
As the blogging industry is changing every week(feels like it at least), I wanted to share some tips for PR’s and bloggers so you all can work together in harmony and reach a healthy understanding that is polite and professional.
PR’s are a lot better at communicating with bloggers now but at the beginning emails with ‘Dear Blogger’ as an introduction were raf.
I know hundreds of bloggers that to this day still get these horrible emails but really it should be like this.
Personal – bloggers like a proper induction of you, the brand and the message you want to deliver. If you pigeon hole bloggers in the same box, your email will be deleted and ignored forever so do your research before contacting each one.
Press releases – Most bloggers hate being on the same mail out as printed press. They see a mass email as impersonal and sadly not relevant to them.
Ask – it’s a simple thing but asking what a blogger is working on works wonders. Get involved with them, see what they are doing that could result in coverage for you and your brand.
Response – This is for both parties. There are a few bloggers that I have emailed in the past and never heard back a peep from. I would even tweet them which would also get ignored and this has resulted in me having paid jobs for bloggers and not including them in any future projects. Always respond to emails as you don’t know what opportunities you are missing. Even if you aren’t interested, just say as you never know who you are speaking to and where that contact might be in 5 years. (Fashion assistant at Grazia or PR for Louis Vuitton).
Be nice – Weather the product or brand is or isn’t for you, just be honest and approach each email with courtesy as PR’s really will appreciate this.
when I first started blogging, there was pretty much just Twitter and Facebook. Now with Vine, Instagram, Flipagram, Vbloggers and much more, Social media is very intense and is a place where people can portray whatever they want you to see.
Fake Followers – You can pretty much buy or get ads for any social media websites and the rates are cheap. Twitter and Instagram are the biggest traps as PR’s work with bloggers who have 59k followers without realising they might have bought their following just to get gifted products and cheat contacts. There isn’t a check sadly for Instagram(there will be someday)and with so many bogus accounts flying around on there, its best to use your judgment and see who has liked pictures and who has followed the blogger.
Thankfully there is a check for Twitter here and by copying and pasting the bloggers user name, you get a complete breakdown of their activity and there’s a few of them I see at events who are tricking PR’s as we speak.
Professional – Twitter and Facebook is a great place to share fun content and have some great debates too but keep your tone professional, if you slag off people, brands and even troll fellow users, you are less likely to attract any work full time or freelance.
When I first started blogging, gifting just did not happen. I started Bunnipunch as I wanted to build on my writing and post about subjects and generally wanted to be creative!
Now with a huge blogging market out there, newbie bloggers just a website just to get free shit and it’s getting worse all the time.
Research – Bloggers approach PR’s about gifting constantly. If you have been doing the game for a long time and it is your full time job, you are entitled to ask for paid projects or some compensation. If a new blogger approaches you, check their social media and more importantly what their blog looks like, stats can be fabricated so best go with your gut.
Time wasters – For new bloggers out there, don’t be surprised if you can’t get gifting straight away. Invest some time and effort with PR’s and the awards will come soon enough. I have worked with various bloggers who have given me free coverage in the past and I am now paying them back with projects, paid work and free goodies.
Guidelines – There sadly isn’t any guidelines to gifting and even if product is sent to a blogger, they aren’t entitled to write about it. If a blogger is sent something(they choose) and they disappear off the face of the earth, simply delete their email and move on. They won’t get far upsetting contacts in this throw away manor.
Exchange – If you do get gifted something and its not to your taste or doesn’t fit, say something! PR’s are generally happy to swap something that you actually want or that fits so make sure you are honest and drop them a line.
It’s something a lot of bloggers lie about to get product and collaborations and really there isn’t a sure way to know what is the truth and what is bull. If you know your SEO then you can look at how natural a blog is but there’s also some little helpful tools that can help you too.
Ranking – Moz are the SEO people that break it down and make it understandable for all. If you google Moz bar or click here, you will be directed to a website where you can download this helpful treat.
Moz bar is a pop up bar that will appear at the top of your internet page. By simply pressing the icon on your toolbar, the Moz bar will slide down and tell you the MR(ranking), PA(page authority) and DA(domain authority) of any website. It will also show you links and shares of that home page and it’s a great way to vet blogs. If you go onto a blogger’s website, check their Ranking and if it’s around 5, its a good website to work with(good stats and good link exchanges with brands etc). Bunnipunch is level pegging with Victoria and Susie at the moment but it’s a good way to see if social media also plays a part in driving people to that blog. Just because they have a high social following, doesn’t mean their actual blog matches that performance.
To this day, I still have brands and PR’s that ignore my emails & requests to be added to their mailing lists. I know many bloggers who have this situation and it can be very frustrating when you have attended the brand’s press days and even wear their product regularly. My advise would be, stop chasing. If they don’t want to collaborate with you then that brand is losing out on your readership. Sadly it seems that some brand’s aren’t doing their research on what bloggers they should be working with and at what times of the season.
So did you find this helpful? I hope it has given any PR’s or bloggers out there some enlightenment and remember just treat people that way you want to be treated and you’ll do fine.
Images from Pinterest!