Like it or not, working with brands and PRs is #thedream for many bloggers. Which is good because, let’s face it, PRs need bloggers (and most of the time we love you. Just don’t do any of these).
Although it’s nice to receive one off gifts from a brand, it is much better (for both parties) if you collaborate multiple times over a long period of time, aka build a long lasting relationship. It’s easier for PRs, because we know you’re a decent human being and you’ll help us build up the brand we’re working on, and it’s better for you because you get loads of relevant goodies and you don’t need to worry about us suddenly turning into horrible witches chasing you every five minutes.
So how do you build these magical relationships? Well, I’m here to spill all my friends.
Sometimes we might not have a campaign or product that’s relevant for you, or we don’t have a huge budget, or we accidentally put the wrong name in (it happens when you spend all day on e-mails, trust).
Is there any need to be rude in response? No, there isn’t. If your first e-mail you ever send is rude, blunt, sarcastic or negative in any way, you can guarantee I will not ever bother getting in touch again, no matter how perfect the project is for you. Gutted if I end up being head PR girl of Benefit in the future, right?
A simple “Hey India, I don’t think this campaign is right for me just now but I’d love to hear of any other opportunities in the future. Have a lovely day!” is easy, quick, and nice to receive. It’ll put a smile on the PR guys or gals face, and you’ll get a lovely little note next to your name (meaning priority in the future).
Sorry bloggers, we have deadlines to adhere too. No, it’s not your job so you aren’t required to get a post up straight away, but a shout out on social media within a week or so gives us something to tell our client, and a post within a month would be amazing. Obviously it’s not always possible (I am pretty bad at this myself), so an email to give a rough date and an apology for any delays is greatly appreciated.
Speak up about any problems
If you hate a product, I don’t want the first time I know about it to be in a scathing blog post. If you don’t like the look/ feel/ quality/ anything about something, send me an e-mail – I’ll see what I can do to rectify the problem. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t; the point is, if I don’t know it’s there how am I meant to help fix it? Maybe your fault is a one off, and now I’m dealing with an angry client blaming me for bad press when all that needed was a replacement sending out.
Follow them on social media
No, I’m not just saying this to get a few cheeky follows. I almost always follow PRs I work with (as a blogger); often, they have PR accounts where they post opportunities, but even if they don’t it’s a good way of making yourself known. Even if they don’t follow you back, you can still make conversations with them – you know the answer to a question they tweeted? Let them know. If the chance allows, we always prioritise a friendly face – but shh, don’t tell.
E-mail isn’t exactly the best medium for chatty conversation, but you don’t have to be straight to the point about whatever collaboration you’re working on. Ask about the person’s day, tell them what you got up to this weekend, throw in a few smiley faces. Seriously, we’re on our computers all day and it’s nice to talk to someone with a little personality!
Check in on us
So we’re not working with you at the moment, you’re still welcome to come say hi! Obviously, doing this via Twitter or Instagram is probably a little easier (and seemingly less weird) to do, but dropping an e-mail to say hi is always welcome. If you have a post you’re working on and know we have clients in that area, say so – it could be something we can work with you on, which saves us time (something we’re short on, so we would be eternally grateful!).
There are a lot of bloggers out there, most of who probably aren’t relevant for a campaign we’re working on. It takes a lot of time out of our day finding bloggers who we can work with, so if you think you know someone who’ll be interested please tell us! Even more so if you can’t work with us for some reason, because now we’re a blogger down.
Basically, the two rules to building relationships with PRs are: be nice, and help us do our jobs as fuss free as possible. Maybe we’re asking too much, but if we like you I promise you’ll get lots of opportunities from us!