I’m going to start this post but saying I’m not a full-time PR although the job would be amazing, but I have developed PR within my marketing role and brought blogger outreach to my company who previously had no experience in the area. Over the past year to 18 month’s, I’ve worked on an array of campaigns with hundreds of bloggers and it’s really opened my eyes up to how some people in the blogging community handle themselves with PRs. I think we all assume that everyone else acts how we do but sadly that isn’t always the case (although the majority of the people I’ve worked with have been fantastic so thanks to all those people).
Here are some tips from someone in PR to bloggers on how to work together:
Check if you’ve worked with the PR before
I know I always ask for new bloggers for each campaign because I don’t work for an agency dealing with multiple clients, I work with just the one, my employer. So when I ask for new bloggers who I haven’t worked with before it amazes me how many people fill in their details when we’ve already worked together which means I have to spend time checking each and every one. As a blogger I have a list of all sponsored content I have run which means if an opportunity arises with these specifications I can check my list for the PR’s name and know if it’s worth applying or not.
If asked for your DA re-check it so your details are up to date
Most opp’s will ask you what your blog’s DA is and if this is the case make sure the figure you quote is accurate, ideally re-check it then and there as Moz does like to make changes on the fly. So many times I get people filling in forms saying their DA is one thing when it’s a completely different score, sometimes this might be accidental but sometimes I find it’s on purpose and have people say ‘Oh well this is what it was before the drop last month’. While it’s sad when drops happen it’s one of those things and you need to be honest with your stats.
Don’t reply straight away to begin with then take days to reply
I am pretty good with my emails and it’s very rare that during office hours you’ll have to wait more than an hour for a reply (and that’s generally just because of lunch). While some bloggers I know work full-time alongside their blog it can be annoying when you email an opp, they reply within ten minutes, then when you email back you hear nothing for days. When there are deadlines on opportunities I like to know who I’m working with as then I know what budget I’ve used and what I have left. I’ve seen bloggers complain when they don’t get replies from PR’s and they seem to disappear, but the same rules apply the other way around.
If a PR wants to work with you then you want the whole process to be professional. I’m pretty relaxed in the way I email but I have had a few too many times when bloggers can get a little fiery. I am always very open with my requirements and if you put Yes you’d offer a follow link in the form you filled in don’t go having a go at me when I ask for one and you argue why you don’t offer them. I understand why bloggers don’t do them but if that’s the case be open about it. At the same time, I’ve had times when I’ll offer a particular amount for a collaboration and the blogger wants a higher figure I can’t stretch to, I understand everyone has different rates but don’t have a go at me if I can’t offer you the amount you like.
Proof-read your post before sending the link to a PR
This one is such a pet hate of mine and something which is so easy to avoid. I understand people want payments to come through quickly but please proofread your post and check formatting/ layout etc before you send me the link. It doesn’t look good if your post is riddled with spelling errors, or there are random page breaks throughout the post.
Please confirm when payment has been made
Again I’m always very open with when payments will be made and any details, and I always ask people to confirm when they’ve received a payment because yeah sometimes errors happen so I like to tick off my list when someone has been paid. It makes me feel better and I know I won’t get someone chasing me weeks later when it’s a bit late. You’d be surprised at how often people don’t bother – more than half the time I don’t get confirmation – and it’s a shame as bloggers complain when PR’s stop replying near the end of the relationship, so it should be applied the other way around surely?!