Samples and new product releases are common in blog world now. It’s not expected by everyone, but they are considered a bit of a perk of the job and it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to try new things. Though, I must admit, some seem to think that PR’s and agencies have an endless supply of products to send out to bloggers and this simply isn’t true. There’s no magical sample closet and if you ask for or receive a product, it’s good to think of the process behind it from a PR point of view.
So, in today’s post I’m going to run through the main points that PR’s may have to consider before they can send a sample out to a blogger as, please do remember, it’s all a business and it’s their job at the end of the day.
Client Requirements | As someone who works in marketing, I’m well aware of client requirements and the procedure behind it. Either the client will require a one off promotion (ad hoc – eg. a new product launch) or they have a monthly retainer with an agency, where they have set requirements every month. This could be anything from sending a certain number of samples out or gaining exposure through press releases or boosting social following. But, typically, what they want they get so remember it’s not all down to the PR.
Budget | Following on from the above, they usually have a set budget for promotion. Samples cost money and promotion costs money and clients pay for time and resources. They may set aside a limited budget for samples and distribution (this includes postage) and some are very small.
Limited Supply | Again, following on, some (especially new brands) often have a limited supply of physical samples to send out for promotional means. There is no Narnia style cupboard or giant mail bags of samples going out every single day, so if a product is only sent to 10 bloggers then it’s probably because they only have the budget and supply to do so.
Exposure | Ultimately all a client wants is exposure. They want as many people seeing their product as possible as, in theory, that turns into more potential sales. Have you ever wondered why ‘big’ blogs get more samples? Exposure. It’s plain and simple. So instead of going ‘well x blogger got that item and I didn’t’, stop and think why. Clients want to know numbers and it’s a great way for PR’s to determine…
Return on Investment | Good old return on investment. It’s a really key term in marketing and any client based work, as they want to see exactly what their money has got them, otherwise that PR company or agency may be out of a job. It depends what was outlined in the client requirements, but things like exposure or increased traffic or more sales or even a boost in social media followers has to be reported back and proven to the client. I’ve got six reports to do myself next week *sobs*.
Results | Similarly to the above, ultimately it’s about results. You may get a pretty eyeshadow palette or some beautiful jewellery out of it (and no, I’m not dismissing the work that goes into it on our end, as you all well know I work every single day on my blog as well as working full time) but you’re also helping someone do their job. So, report back to people, let them know when posts are live and generally make a PR’s life a bit easier. You get them results = you get to potentially work with them in the future. It’s a win win.