Monday, 22 September 2014

Blogging Advice: PR & Working With Brands

When I started blogging, PR companies were about as likely to send a blogger a freebie as Kate Middleton is to name her unborn child 'Shaniqua.' However, in recent years, the blogging industry has boomed and PR companies and brands are realising our influence and worth. People invested more and more into sending out samples to bloggers and inviting bloggers to events but bloggers themselves 'kept Mum' about the whole she-bang. The questions began arising- 'how do you get free samples' and  'how do you "get know" by PR companies?' Although I wouldn't class myself as an expert, after 4 years of blogging, I think I know a bit and now its time to impart my knowledge upon my readers!

1) Social Media, your butt off.
Every time you feature a product or review something, tweet the brand letting them know, post the link to their facebook page and if you are feeling brave, send an email to the company (their general info emails can usually be found on the companies websites) letting them know and linking them to your review/feature. This is totally acceptable and in my experience, brands love knowing when they've been blogged about! If you are lucky the brand may retweet your post or follow you and perhaps keep you on their books for future blogger samples/event invites.

2) Net to the Work.
Talk to other bloggers, brands and PR companies on twitter (not in a 'look at my blog/promote me/follow me' peacocking manner) but replying to tweets and getting involved with '#bbloggers' chats. This will plant your name firmly in brands heads so when they plan things like events and samples being sent out, you may be at the forefront of their mind. Befriending bloggers can be just as useful as befriending brands themselves. Blogger buddies can get you plus ones, contacts and recommend you to other PR companies- so be friendly!

3) Know the lingo.
When brands start to build relationships with bloggers they will want to know a few key things and this is where a certain amount of technical lingo maybe thrown around. Its important you know your blog stats, which will usually mean, most importantly your 'Unique Users Per Month.' This can't be found out if you are on blogger.com and you will need to go through a second party, such as google analytics. You should also know the difference between a sponsored post, 'c/o' review, sponsored review and guest post. A sponsored post will involve anything in which the blogger has received money for a review or for a link in a post. In this case, you will need to make your link 'no follow' in the Html coding, (blogger has an easy tick box when adding a link to do this) so that you comply with googles policies. 

4) Professionalism.
Finally, remember that if you want people to work with you, you need to remain professional- both on your blog and your social media. If you have a tenancy to rant or use obscene language on Twitter, perhaps think about having a separate blog and personal twitter. Think 'would I want this person to work for me' before you sub-tweet!

I hope this helps and if you'd like more blogging help and advice style posts- tell me below and be sure to share this on Twitter, I would greatly appreciate it.


Amy x
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