how tobuild lasting brand relationships with influencers

There’s a fine line between persistent and pushy. Here are both sides of the influencer vs. publicist struggle from an actual PR professional + part-time blogger.

When it comes to influencer outreach versus traditional editorial pitching, the game changes a lot. Most magazines, newspapers and digital publications have a staff of paid writers. Unless monetized, many bloggers write and post photos as their side hustle or hobby.

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 an investment to say the least.

On the other hand, many influencers hold down a full-time job to pay the bills, have families and sometimes 'life' happens on top of managing their blog. Bottom line: keep that in mind and consider cutting them a little slack. 

As a just for fun, side-hustle beauty blogger, 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, well-edited 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 also send product samples and packages to bloggers who never respond to check-ins or their post goes up months after the product has arrived. 

The bottom line: balance.

Here are my top three tips for publicists to land quality reviews for clients while building lasting relationships with 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 influencers they have contacted, when they were contacted and the dates samples have been sent out. Use this information to check in with bloggers reasonably. 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 an influencer 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 hard post date, ask nicely. Don't be too pushy or aggressive. That means that phone calls during the workday or check-ins at 5 a.m. are not the best option. To build a relationship, you want to be there for support, not a hard push two days in.

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. Be nice out there in the interwebs - you never know who will be on your media lists in the future.

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Influencer Marketing Tips for PR People