PR opportunities can be a bit of a taboo subject in the blogging world, especially when it comes to the Twitter chats, but it’s something that can’t really be ignored. I’m not going to be preaching about how to go about blagging freebies but I thought it would be useful to discuss some of the important points to consider when building relationships with PRs who you are in contact with.
ATTITUDE AND ETIQUETTE
Having the right attitude is essential in life, never mind blogging. When working with people from a public relations company it’s really really really important to remember that this is their job, they are trying to get exposure for a brand. It can be frustrating when an e-mail is addressed incorrectly or your name is spelt wrong but chances are you are not the only person that e-mail has been sent to. At the end of the day you have still been including in the list of recipients, and you should be happy about that. The opportunities that PRs often bring are perks, not rights. They are people too!
If you’re not happy about something, deal with it privately. It’s not proper social media conduct to blast people publicly all over your social media profiles. I am guilty of a rant from time to time, but on the whole I try to avoid naming and shaming. A lot of the time, it is not the person you are directly in contact with’s fault but some sort of restraint set by a client that is causing an issue. Whilst you definitely shouldn’t underestimate your worth it’s also important that you don’t throw a total Mariah Carey diva strop when you don’t get what you want. In the future they may have an opportunity that is better suited to you, so being polite and respectful is the best way to maintain the relationship. Laura penned a pretty great post about some do’s and don’ts when working with PRs here.
KNOWING WHEN TO SAY NO
Not every opportunity is the right fit for you, and as tempting as it can be to write a post about *totally irrelevant thing* for £*rather attractive sum* it’s not really worth it for either party if you’re not passionate about what you’re writing. Your readers can tell if you’ve just whacked out a quick post that you do not care about in the slightest – it will be totally transparent and I personally find it pretty off putting. You alone know what you love, you know what your readers will find value in and you know what is worth putting the effort in for. On that note, it’s also important not to undervalue your time and effort when writing posts. Is a chance to possibly (but probably not) win something really worth it? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. It’s your choice! I can’t pay my rent with posts shared on social media, nor can I solve my skin issues with competition entries. Know your worth and make sure it is appreciated.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Make sure your contact details are visible and it is easy for people to get in touch with you in order to discuss potential opportunities (or just have a nice chat – I do love a chinwag)
- Be professional – being rude gets you nowhere. It’s polite to show your gratitude for the opportunity, even if you’re not going to take it.
- Honesty is the best policy, don’t pull a figure for your stats out of thin air. If something isn’t right for you, say it.
- Try and avoid the green eyed monster, there are limited hours in the day and limited budgets for samples but a seemingly unlimited number of bloggers out there.
- Network! Sometimes I’ll get an e-mail about something that I don’t think will work for me, but might be great for someone else I know. If that’s the case then I send their details across just in case!