What We Learnt at #TOWIB about Working with PRs

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So, another key topic that was discussed at #TOWIB at the weekend was about how to work with PRs with your blog. So, I’m going to feedback some of the key points that were discussed at The Only Way is Blogging, along with some of my own input, since I work in PR and Marketing, I have professional experience in this area on both sides of the coin.

I’m sure this topic was of interest to everyone, because, naturally as a blogger you should want to work with PRs. Working with PRs opens up lots of fun opportunities: you get to find out about the latest releases, get invited to events, meet influencial people in the industry that you are interested in and of course, you might get to sample new products, which is always a nice perk.

As much as it is enjoyable to gain the above things to add to your blog content, it is important that as a blogger, you shouldn’t become too focused on gaining freebies and invites, see these as a bonus not a necessity. You can run a perfectly successful blog without PR input.

1. Ask for information not freebies!

As an inexperienced blogger it is very easy to think that it is ok to just email a PR asking for a free sample. This is the worst possible approach  you could have, you have to give the PR a reason to want to work with you, build a relationship so that you can work together for mutual benefit.

PRs will generally be delighted to provide you with press releases, images and answer any questions you have about a range or specific product. However, remember that PRs have budget, they do not have a unlimited supply of samples. A lot of the time, if a PR likes your content and sees that it’s relevant, they will offer you a sample without you asking.

Whatever you do, NEVER send a PR a shopping list of products that you want, this applies to all levels of bloggers.

2. It’s your Blog, stay true to yourself & your audience!

Remember, that if you are lucky enough to be sent a sample or have requested a press release, you are never obliged to write about it, if it isn’t a paid opportunity. Your blog is your space, so if you don’t like a product or it’s not appropriate to your content, don’t write about it.

Also, don’t feel that you need to be 100% positive about the brand, PRs will appreciate a balanced review, feedback is useful to the PR and the brand and will maintain the trust your audience has with you. If you want to write a negative review, go ahead, but you might want to consider your approach, is it honest, is it necessary and choose your language well.

My view is that if you have nothing good to say about a product, don’t write about it. But that might just be me being nice. I only want to write about products that I have positive things to say about, although I am still honest and balanced in my reviews. It’s also worth remembering that you don’t need to disclose stats if you don’t want to, many PRs will be more interested in passion, regular posting and relevant content than stats!

3. Do PRs contact me or should I contact the PR?

Bloggers do spend a lot of time reading blogs and researching appropriate blogs, so if they have a brand that they think is relevant to your blog they will get in touch, be sure to make it simple to get in touch with you though or else you could miss out!

However, there is nothing wrong with contacting PRs yourself, be sure to include your blog URL, a little information about you and why you are contacting that PR. Is there a specific product your interested? Do you just wish to be added to their mailing list? All you need to do is remember the points from above and be professional!

Don’t be disheartened if a PR doesn’t respond immediately, there are so many bloggers out there now, try to imagine how many emails they get! If they are interested in working with you, they will get back in touch.

4. It’s all about building relationships!

To sum up, working with PRs is a two way thing. The PRs have targets and budgets to deal with and bloggers want content and news to share with their readers. We need to be friendly, helpful and professional with each other to ensure that everyone is happy!

 If you have any questions let me know!

What do you think about working with PRs, do you? If you don’t why not?

Comment below or tweet me @JayneJRead

 

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4 thoughts on “What We Learnt at #TOWIB about Working with PRs

  1. This was really informative, great post.

    I’ve been contacted by PR companies in the past for free samples etc. but I only take them if it’s a product I want to try or would buy myself. In fact in the past year I’ve only ‘accepted’ twice.

    I like to be honest in my reviews and I do feel that certain things should be mentioned otherwise we’d never know what a product is really like. However I agree when you say that people shouldn’t go out of their way to write a purposefully negative review.

    1. Pleased I could help. I don’t understand why some people seem to take pleasure in writing mega negative posts, I don’t enjoy being negative so choose not to write about things that I don’t like. I would also only accept PR collaborations if it was relevant to me. More #TOWIB posts to come later this week.

  2. Hi jayne such a lovely post 🙂
    Full of information for new bloggers like myself .You explained nearly everything i had in mind . No PRs have contacted me yet because my blog is very new may be , but what can be the best way to contact them ?
    Through the brand website or i have no idea 🙁
    would appreciate if you could help.
    thanks
    Amna

    1. Hi Amna, thanks for your comment. Most brands will work with PR companies, so the best place to start is befriending PR agencies, a lot of them are on Twitter if you want to follow them and start conversation there.

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