Tips for working with PR agencies

pinkandgoldofficeAs bloggers, it’s very often that we work with PR and media agencies. Now, being someone who is currently both blogging as much as possible and also working full-time in PR, it’s been so interesting to see both sides of the coin. I’m lucky to have worked with a wide range of PR agencies whilst blogging and think my experience in the industry helps in the way I respond to queries and when forming ongoing relationships.

So, speaking as someone who’s got experience on both sides of the fence, here are my tips for getting along just peachy with PR and media agencies and getting the best out of your blogging experience!

DO

Be friendly
We’re all supposed to be friends in the blogging community and that extends out to PR agencies. This should be rule number one. Be kind, courteous and professional. It’s unbelievable some of the rude emails I get as a PR consultant – no need!

Be contactable
There are a LOT of blogs and agencies aren’t going to waste time fannying around on your site looking for an email address. Either have a clearly marked ‘Contact Me’ page, or pop your links into your posts for easy access.

Network
Get out there, start talking. Introduce yourself to companies, brands and bloggers alike. You’ll begin to make a name for yourself as one of the ‘good ones’. Don’t be scared, the worst they can do is say no. Try and make it to events too, it’s great to put a face to the name. There’s so much competition – this is how you can stand out.

Ask for compensation…within reason
Although a simple hobby for many, for others this is how we make, or supplement our income. And blogging takes time. When you’re given compensation, the PR agency or brand is not only paying for coverage for the client or product, they’re also paying for your time. It’s often that the product you’re reviewing can be kept as ‘payment’, but sometimes there’s room for a little more. There’s a fine line here – you shouldn’t be expected to do something for nothing, but at the same time shouldn’t EXPECT something every time. More on this below in the ‘don’ts’.

Be honest
If you don’t like something very much, i.e. a product – say. There’s nothing worse than a feed singing the praises of absolutely everything – it comes across as pretty inauthentic. That’s not to say completely rip it to shreds in a massive tirade, but no harm in some constructive criticism. On the same lines as being honest – when are you going to post that blog? Tell them. It’s SO helpful, you don’t even know.

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DON’T

Be rude
Sorry but who do you think you are? There is no room for rudeness here and you WILL get put on the ‘naughty list’. Be a nice human being and extend your courtesy to PR agencies as you do your IRL friends.

Disappear into the ether
Asking PR agencies for products just so you can take them and run? Big no-no. You’ll be chased sporadically for your post but then will be written off – and not engaged again.

Write shitty posts
Even worse than going off the grid. This happens when bloggers receive products and then do a tiny, inauthentic write-up of it. No one will thank you – your readers the least. Try to think of them every time you write a post – and would you, yourself read this?

Take the piss
Be realistic. Don’t go demanding £££ for sponsored posts if you’ve not got statistics to back up why this is worthwhile to the company. That said…don’t…

…focus too much on statistics
Everyone started from somewhere and everyone’s blog has value in some way. It doesn’t matter if you get a million views per day, or just 50 – if you’re getting views and engagement, you have an audience that’s reading. That’s the value, right there.

Have you got any questions? Feel free to ask me about my work in PR, or tips on working WITH PR agencies as a blogger at ella.delancey@gmail.com, or drop me a tweet at @ellalucie_

Happy to help!

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