Tuesday, July 12

What Australian Bloggers think: Bloggers give advice to PR's - the 'Always' and 'Never' ways to work with bloggers.

Us bloggers have these thoughts and sometimes we'll even externalise them into a blog post, a forum post or (even!) a 'real life' discussion.  I decided to bring together a group of bloggers of different genres and experience together to understand what Australian Bloggers think as a community, of themselves and of others, their relationships with brands, PR's, blogger platforms and few other things... stay tuned each fortnight..!

I have luckily almost always had fantastic interactions with PR's - I like to work in a transparent, professional way - I'll be upfront about what I think  will work with my readership and if I think it will work will help the PR as much as possible - it's a two way street!

There have been times I have had 'pitches' where I wonder if they've read my blog, missed my name or landed on another planet.  But at the same time I acknowledge that blogs are a new territory for many PR's and it's a learning process for everyone.  The key is to stay professional, polite, and to the point.

Today's question is : 
f you were to give a PR agent a sage piece of advice of a 'what you should ALWAYS and NEVER do with a blogger' - what would it be?

Always read their blog! Even if it's just their 'about me' and a few recent posts. We can sense those pitches that are a blatant attempt to get us to do something that will represent an agency for free. Second of all, if you're to pitch to a blogger, make it relevant to their readers, and worth the blogger's time...
Stacey, Veggie Mama [food, parenting] [15 months blogging]

Always be patient, they will get to your stuff but most of them are working at other jobs, their sites are often a consuming hobby.  Lead time (for me) can be longer.

Link exchanges are stupid and out of date.

Think what value they can give to the sites readers.  Products, competitions, relevancy.

Pay and don't squabble about the rates.....
Frank - Our Hiking Blog,[outdoors/hiking] and Cradle Mountain [tourism] [8 years blogging]                                                                                                           

Always make sure that the information you are sending through is relevant to my blog - oh and READ my blog before you contact me!!
Never dismiss me - you do not know me or who I talk to every day, or how big my blog is going to get so please be nice to me (especially me, since I used to be a PR! :) )
Caitlin - Chasing Cait [Fashion, Beauty] [9 months blogging] 

Always: Do your research: you'd be amazed how much more amenable I am if you can use my name and spell it correctly.
Never: Do not assume I am going to be so excited about your new idea/product/website that I will giddily pass on this information to my readers. As far as I'm concerned there are only three things I'm going to be comfortable with:
1) Sponsored post
2) Product review (usually with an admin fee and an incentive for my readers with a giveaway)
3) Opportunity to try out the product or service with no requirement to write about it
Zoey, Good Goog [personal, parenting] [2 years blogging]

Always treat all bloggers as individuals. 99% of the time a mass mail out is not going to work for you. Offer me something to make it worth mine or my readers time.
Never treat them like a journalist... We don’t get a wage to write about your clients products.
Amy, MahliMoo  [craft, parenting] [6 months blogging]

Always address your pitch to that particular blog; do not email fifty bloggers with the same pitch.
Never offer the same giveaway to bloggers in the same genre at the same time.  Readers in that genre will get bored and not respond as well as they may have to your client's product.
Nikki, Styling You [Fashion, beauty] [3 years blogging]

Always be short and concise in explain why your brand or product is useful for that blogger. Actually read their website to get a feel for the bloggers core values and messages and them approach them if your product/brand can tap into these.
Never expect a blogger to bend over backwards for you just because you offer them something you think is too good to refuse…you could be very wrong.
James - Aussie Green Thumb  [gardening] [6 months blogging]

Always make it worthwhile for everyone. Because asking a blogger to mention life insurance on their blog for nothing won't be done:)
Never make bloggers compete against each other for a product.Not cool.
Corrie - Retro Mummy [craft, family] [5 years blogging]

Always be friendly and warm in your email and explain what it is you are asking or offering.  There's a really lovely PR lady that emails me every so often and I always read her emails because she takes a minute to ask how the weather is in Tasmania and how I'm doing.  Just taking that little bit of extra time to say something nice goes a long way - for me anyhow :)
Never send an email out to a blogger that begins with hi or hello, take the time to look on our blogs and find out our name, it's not difficult!   To be honest I always delete PR emails that start with just hi or hello.
 Melissa, One Crafty Mumma  [craft,family] [5 years blogging] 

Always treat them how you would any other client - with respect and professionalism.
Never take them for granted.
Amelia, Wedding, babies Everything [family] [6 months blogging]

Have you got anything to add or contribute?  Tell me your good news PR story or your Barry-Crocker-Shocker!

If you are interested in taking part in this series as a blogger in either the technology, travel or sports arenas or a PR please don't hesitate to email me!
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5 lovely comments:

Amy on July 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I am loving reading everyones thoughts on this Liss. You have done an awesome job putting all this together.

Thanks for your hard work!

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• on July 12, 2011 at 12:08 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great advice Liss, even I learned what not to do in accepting PR pitches and what to suggest next time.

I've had a few address me by the name of my stillborn daughter - clearly they have only looked at my blog for 5 secs. I understand they are busy but still ...

Ingrid on July 12, 2011 at 12:14 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Very interesting Liss! It is new territory, but surely a bit of commonsense, manners and professionalism goes a long way!

Thanks for this post. As a fledgling blogger it is great to get this perspective on how people are handling these new situations.

Corrine/Frock And Roll on July 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

A FANTASTIC article! Hear, hear ladies!

Corrie on July 13, 2011 at 6:18 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

great to read everyone's answers!



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