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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Advice for PR Companies from a blogger's perspective ...



I am writing this article , not because I am frustrated , not because I have bad relationships with any PR or media companies , in actual fact it is quite the contrary.

Many bloggers ask me how and what I do to get opportunities and all I can answer is ... Be yourself , be honest, be courteous and be loyal .... Build relationships  ...do not use and abuse PR/ Media companies and most of all be THANKFUL and APPRECIATE the opportunities that land at your door.

In the same light I am going to offer up some suggestions based partially on personal experience , partially on feedback from others ... In the hope that it gives some insight and understanding from a bloggers point of view to the PR companies.

NB - I did run this by a few PR friends first to make sure I was remaining objective and on point ...

'This is fantastic. Clear and to the point, but very insightful as many of the things you mention I don’t believe PR people know.' Sonette Donker - Strategic Communications Manager

'I found your ‘Tips for PR and Media” quite insightful. Good to see what it looks like from the other side of the lens and I believe it will make everyone’s life a bit easier. Have shared it around the office' Wired Communications

  - know the blogger and her/ his blog
By doing this you will understand the ethnicity of the person , their brand , their age and their audience
**too many a  time, a blogger will receive merchandise to review that is the wrong size , the wrong skin colour , the wrong skin type,  a product they don't align with which results it the product being passed on and never reviewed.

- introduce yourself as a PR/ Media person
Too often Press Releases will land up in our inbox with no 'hello' , no introduction ... Just a Press Release
** bloggers are people not machines and normal societal politeness is required or else you will inevitably find your press release lands up in the deleted items. (I personally filter and delete more than 100 emails/day)

- yes bloggers are spoilt , but they are also abused by brands
I personally have worked with two big brands in SA,  to market and cover new releases or in-house events... but when actual media functions , promotions and/or campaigns came out, I have been blatantly excluded and to this day continue to be over looked. I have heard of this happening to many bloggers and it really does leave a bad taste in ones mouth.
** I personally blog for the joy of it , but nothing makes my heart happier than to build a relationship with a brand and I will often go out of my way to continually support the brands that support me , it really is quite offensive when you feel abused ... Would you like it?

- Sorry but NO , you will not get a review of a product if I have never tried the product

No blogger is going to breach the trust and relationship that they have built with their following by posting a review of a product that have not personally tested or tried out. If they do ... To be honest I would not trust their reviews ever again.
** we spend years nurturing , growing and building a community based on transparency and honesty and we will not misrepresent ourselves and/or mislead our followers  ... Sorry but no!

- expectations , what are they and what are the guidelines
I have worked with two companies recently, signing a contract and in both cases it has been the most fabulous experience. They were both clear and concise in what they required and they put it on paper ... No grey lines = fabulous!

**  If you are clear and explicit it leaves no room for dispute or disappointment on either parties side

 

- events
Many bloggers actually work a full time job , it is only media personnel and  stay at home mums that can attend daytime events. It would be so nice if more people would consider those of us who can only make after hours events
** what is nice however is that more and more events are being held at around 3pm making it a little easier to take the occasional few hours off in the afternoon.






- location , location , location
You have no idea how often we get invited to events in the wrong parts of the country ie. Johannesburg and we are based in Cape Town , please get to know the location of the bloggers

- interact with me on Social Media
If we interact on Social Media , we will create a buzz , engage others and stir up some excitement. This communication will be of great benefit to you and the blogger.
** I once ran a Q& A Session with a large skin care brand and a group of bloggers on skin care, we had such fun and the time went way to fast for the slot or window period we chose.

- bloggers are not editors

We often get asked to submit our 'briefs' , but we are not beauty editors , we do not work according to seasons , guidelines or requirements ...


We are whimsical writers that love a spoil and surprise. We are not used to submitting or pitching an idea and waiting to see who contributes ...


In fact ,there are more often than not two outcomes in this regard:
1. The bloggers will be too scared to offend you as brand and seem desperate as a result  they will never ask for anything for fear of offending you.
OR
2. The blogger will take total advantage and abuse the opportunity, leaving a bad taste in both of your mouths.
** just surprise them with something every now and then you'll be amazed at how great it works.


So there you have it. I personally just want to thank the brands that make my life an absolute pleasure to work with and that continue to loyally support me and work alongside me ... You guys are amazing!

Philosophia Botanica , Dermalogica , Dermaceutic , Ster Kinekor , Hills Pet Nutrition SA , Mio , Juliette Armand SA , Inoar SA , Retail Box , Style Bar SA , City Lodges , African Pride Hotels , Protea Hotels , Evolabs , Revlon SA , Avon & Justine SA ,Go Beauty , Hey Gorgeous , Tropitone , Penguin Books, Aromatic Apothecary, Shimmer Accessories, Rain , Dr Gobac , Ren Skin Care, Filorga , Bio Oil, Skin  Renewal/ Health Renewal / Body Renewal, John Frieda , Blend Box ,Love Milo, MD Lash, The Laser Beautique, Skinny Tan, Bedouin Cafe and Deli and I am sure there are more that I have missed.

THANK YOU all from the bottom of my heart , my blog and I wouldn't be what we are without you.


 

1 comments:

Candice Petersen says:
at: 6 November 2014 at 01:15 said...

Such a great post Heather, I am a new blogger for 10 months now so I haven't been approached or worked with any PR companies yet.

Candice | Beauty Candy Loves
xoxo

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