5 Things Publicist Should know before pitching Bloggers
I am happy to say that I am apart of an amazing group of professional media people and have close relationships with Publicists. Heck, I even wanted to be the real life version of Samantha Jones! I have a high respect for Publicists and that will never change! But there are a few things I want my dear PR friends to know and understand when they reach out to bloggers to work on behalf of their client. And I have experts weighing in on this as well.
- Bloggers are not apart of traditional media.
We understand that the editors of Marie Claire and other popular magazine have their way of doing things when it comes to writing about topics, product and etc. When you reach out to a blogger, there is a 95% chance that you will be featured on their blog, magazines don’t guarantee that. We write, edit, pay or either take our photos, send out social media share, sharing our emailing list you via the brand you represent, and etc. Which can be time-consuming and costly.
(Marilyn from Marilyn’s Social PR & Goody Bags) As a blogger, I take special care in what I do. I don’t just focus on a brand’s onetime appearance on my blog. My entire campaign is multi-media, it is online, through my blog, I have a new YouTube channel, I am all over social media and I am out there in the public, at events, in person. A brand’s content isn’t just that one blog post. In my particular campaigns with a brand, we approach it through a multi-media process, which includes a direct response. My campaign model doesn’t leave you with questions of who “might” come into contact with the brand. Nor does it leave you wondering “if” it will even hit publication. I have some secrets of my trade, but I can tell you this, I focus on ROI and conversions.
2) Yes, we charge and prefer cash!
As I mention above, there is a large amount of productivity that goes into producing a blog post and running a blog period. Creating material and a theme, brainstorming with writing an amazing headline and catchy title, editing and proofreading, paying a photographer, lighting, etc. As a result not only are we creating amazing content with original photography, but we are sharing our emailing list/readers with you. Product doesn’t count as income, I also know some bloggers wish they can pay their landlord in jeans or lip balm but they can’t. Just think if your clients wanted to pay you in product? The conversation wouldn’t go so well.
PS fwd the email to the person in charge of handling the budget. We also disclose that the post was sponsored which something we have to do according to the FTC.
(Marilyn from Marilyn’s Social PR & Goody Bags) I spend at least an entire week crafting, planning, strategizing, coordinating, redoing, editing and other tasks to ensure the entire campaign gets the proper amount of time needed to maximize it’s effectiveness. This is in addition to the above. I also have a follow-up system, since my blogging model is a bit different, I follow up with both my subscribers and the brands. I also help cultivate relationships between the consumer and brands by engaging further in a multi media setting.
3) Have everything in writing
Most bloggers already have a contract or agreement already written up. If you have something written up and it’s been discussed via the phone or email upload it and sign it and have them sign it. If they are not willing to sign it, move along. There are some blogger out there that gives us a bad rep. Unless you’ve worked with them before, I advise against it.
(MM)Having everything in writing also ensures that both parties are on the same page as far as work and services provided and what is to be expected.
Some things that should be in this agreement/contract. This is a short list, every campaign/project is different and your specific requirements and needs may be different.
- Type of work wanted, needed and expected. All laid out in full detail.
- Turnaround expectations.
- Is it editorial or advertorial or a combination and which pieces/parts are which. Explained in detail. This actually should have been discussed in your very first contact together, but have it in writing as well.
- Services being rendered.
- How is the posting schedule going to be done? The blog/vlog, the social media schedule, how often and for how long?
- If its a paid job, explain the terms, expectations, how, when and how much.
- ROI expectations.
4) Numbers aren’t always everything.
Reach can only go so far, and most bloggers cannot afford an amazing PR like you! 🙂 So we have to do all we can with the resources that we have and what we are learning on a daily basis. Numbers takes away the fun in everything, instead ask for their media kit or some type of information letting you know who they’ve worked with, and their services. Most bloggers have recommendations/ feedback in their media or blog page.
(Marilyn from Marilyn’s Social PR & Goody Bags)
- Why numbers aren’t everything. Some people are known to pay for traffic, pay for likes, pay for followers. What you should be more concerned with is organic reach, organic engagement instead.
- Page views, while important shouldn’t be the one factor in decision making. If I changed my domain name and or servers, it actually resets to 0! (Marilyn from Marilyn’s Social PR & Goody Bags) She knows all too well about this. She started one of her blogs and within 6 months her blog ended up on Google’s 1st page – organically, 3rd link down. Which was actually the 1st link when we look at how Google’s page rankings work. The first links are always paid for, those companies paid to get positioned in those spots. So if and when you can make it to Google’s first page and do so organically, that is amazing!
- Also, if a blogger changed the theme/design of their blog, this also negatively affects their pageviews.
- Talk with the blogger, ask them about their blog, don’t just look at followers and other numbers. Bloggers are more than that. They have deep and long connections with the exact avatar You need!
- Check out their commenting section. If you look at some of those posts, see how they are engaging with their readers. Are they helping to move your avatar into your funnel or away from it?
Now when I say that their page views are negatively affected due to changing a theme, design, adding/deleting a plugin, domain and or server changes; this does NOT mean that their blog isn’t getting views. What this actually means is that the Tracking of Analytics Stops for anywhere from 48 hours to 1-2 weeks. And numbers in some situations are reset to 0.
I know most PR reps do not know this, many bloggers also do not know this… until it happens to them and they figure it out on their own.
(Marilyn from Marilyn’s Social PR & Goody Bags)
Skills are important as well. Does the blogger have the writing skills, the social skills, maybe even the sales skills needed to achieve the ROI expectations you are looking for? Can the blogger effectively communicate essentially on your behalf?
If you completely dismiss bloggers as part of your outreach you are doing a disservice to the brand who hired you. PR is NOT about “traditional” or editorial anymore, if you think it is then this is a dated way of thinking. It is closing the doors of your brand to so many opportunities. Its a disservice all around.
If you and a blogger come into contact with each other and the talk of money comes up and you were actually looking purely for editorial, then LEAD that blogger into the right direction. This is what makes a better PR person.
Please don’t be mean, rude or unprofessional towards a blogger. You will completely turn off fans, brand ambassadors and what would have become a great profitable relationship into a big fat 0. You are repping the brand, they hired you on their behalf. What you do to a blogger completely represents the brand. So if your behavior is horrible, the brand is as well. You can cause bad publicity towards you, your company and the brand who hired you.