Contrary to popular belief, it is actually ok to contact brands first. A lot shout out for bloggers on social media (make sure you follow lots of them) and it’s always nice to do the legwork. I’ve been on the PR side of putting together blogger lists quite a few times now, and believe me, it’s a long and rather tedious process. So, often PRs do actually appreciate being introduced to a blogger who is relevant to their client.
As I’m now an account manager who focuses on marketing (and PR) so deal with this from both sides of the coin, I thought I’d jot down a few ideas to note when contacting brands. There’s a lot of pet hates (from a PR point of view) and no one wants to accidentally give bloggers a bad name (looking at you blaggers out there).
Tip One: Avoid The Shopping List | It’s easy to get overexcited about the idea of working with a brand, but do try to avoid sending a shopping list. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with introducing yourself, but going in with ‘Hi, I’m suchandsuch from this blog, I’d love to try these ten products’ is just a giant red flag. If you were a brand, would you wanna work with that person? I sure wouldn’t. Don’t be a beg. If they ask if you wanna try products after you’ve introduced yourself, then that’s the appropriate time to say ‘can I try these if possible please?’.
Tip Two: How Do You Fit In | Before embarking on your PR quest, as yourself: ‘does my blog fit in with this brand?’ It’s a super important question and very much a two way thing, really. Brands want their products on blogs that reflect what they’re selling and bloggers want to post relevant content to their blog topics. It’s flattering working with someone, but why would you email to review a iron if you’re a beauty blogger? Y’get me bro.
Tip Three: Remember To Include The Important Bits | Silly as it sounds, but read through your email before you send it and do a mental checklist. Do you have: your name, your blog name, your URL (please link!) and what your blog is about. Ie. ‘I’m Helen from the personal style and beauty blog thelovecatsinc.com‘. You don’t have to phrase it like that, of course, but some will delete your email if you can’t be bothered to link. PRs are busy people, folks. Make their job easier for them.
Tip Four: Get To The Point | No one likes to read an essay of an email. No one. So try to make your introduction as snappy and to the point as possible. Include the basics above and how you can work for the brand. If you’ve got a decent readership, say so. If you get good interaction, mention it. You’re awesome on social media? Shout about it. If you’ve posted about the brand before, include a short sentence and a link or two. Just don’t waffle on (speak for yourself Helen, stop typing already) and round it off politely. A good ‘just wondering if I could be added to your press list’ or ‘please don’t hesitate to contact me if you think my blog would be suitable for any upcoming collaborations’ would be nice endings. Put the ball in their court.
Tip Five: Always Say Please and Thank You | Being polite costs you absolutely nothing but goes a looong way in the marketing/PR world. Be nice, but not ‘omgz I can’t believe you like my blogz fanx so much’ overbearing. Say please and thank you, even if they’ve said no (hell, even if you say no) or something hasn’t worked out. You never know what may crop up in future and being nice always works out better than being a bitch. Thank you very much for your time.
Hope some of you find it helpful! I’ll get back to any questions in the comments.
Remember you can win the rose gold GHD styler and hairdryer in my latest giveaway!