BLOGGER OUTREACH: PERSISTENT VS. PUSHY PUBLIC RELATIONS
Beginning my career as a beauty and spa writer, to this day, I have a blog to keep my writing sharp and it also helps me stay up to date on the latest and greatest in the public relations world. This not-so-conventional perspective has shown me the good and let's just just say not so good tactics of PR pros.
When it comes to blogger outreach versus traditional editorial pitching, the game changes a lot. Most magazines, newspaper and digital publications have a staff of paid writers. Unless monetized, many bloggers write as their side hustle or hobby. Therefore, they should be managed differently.
As a publicist, there are times when you get pressure from clients to get media hits fast, especially if the post is in exchange for product samples. Blogger packages not only cost brands money, also take into consideration they have to pay for shipping and have a PR person on the payroll to find, pitch and coordinate with bloggers. It's definitely an investment.
On the other hand, most bloggers have a full-time job to pay the bills, have kids and not to mention sometimes 'life' happens on top of managing their blog. Therefore, cut them a little slack.
Dealing with beauty products, I can't just pop out a tried-and-true review without a little time. I need to receive the product, test it and report on the results. If you want a good review, give the blogger a few weeks to craft a well-written post with quality (and hopefully professional) photos. With all of this in mind, it's unrealistic for a blogger to post a review the day they receive their shipment.
Being on both sides of the fence, I have also sent product samples and packages to bloggers who never respond to your check-ins or their post goes up months after the product has arrived.
The bottom line: let's have a little balance. Here are my top three tips for publicists to land quality reviews for clients while building lasting relationships with bloggers and influencers:
1. Be helpful, be friendly and remember that you are a liaison for a brand. A good PR person has a system to track what bloggers they have contacted, when they have contacted them and the dates samples have been sent out. Use this information to check in with bloggers. Ask how they are liking the product, offer high-res images and be there to answer any and every question they have.
2. When it comes to a product review, it's completely ok to check in with the blogger to make sure they received their package. After that, give them about two weeks to test out the product before you check in. This will yield a better quality post.
3. If your client needs a post date, ask nicely. Don't be too pushy or aggressive. That means that phone calls during the workday or too frequent check-ins are not the best option. Send a email and be someone who the blogger can count on and trust.
At the end of the day, your job is to secure coverage. Also, keep in mind that you are representing your client, their company and their reputation. Brand experience is extremely important and can make or break a great review.