Welcome to week two of my four week blogger help series. Today we'll be discussing simple things that bloggers can do to help make it easier for public relations practitioners.
1. Public relations is not marketing and vice-versa. So, here's the thing. PR is not paid media, it is what we in the business refer to as earned media. Meaning that instead of paying for an ad or commercial, the public relations department has done such a great job selling their story, that they are earning free placement in the media. In reality when you're getting these pitches for sponsored posts, more than likely you are dealing with someone in marketing. These are typically the guys that are given the budget to work with. Of course these days both departments are becoming increasingly integrated so it depends on the company. So basically, don't get angry if you keep getting pitches for "Story-ideas." This is their way of trying to reach out to someone who has access to a specific demographic that they are trying to reach. Besides, taking them up on an offer every once and a while can be a good thing. Remember, 75% of blogging is about building relationships.
2. Make it easy for them. As bloggers, we often times get angry when we open up that generic "Hi there," email but at the same time 50% of us don't have our contact information in a visible location. Make their jobs easier by putting your information in an obvious location. Also, FYI, that cute little contact form you have? Terrible idea. Please get rid of it.
3. Please be kind. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. When someone sends you an offer, and it's a bit less than expected, please be professional. Resorting to virtual tantrums that make Honey-Boo Boo look tame in comparison gives us all a bad name. If you want to be viewed as a professional, you have to behave as one.
4. Cursing can be a turn-off. Have you ever wondered why you don't get contacted by PR reps? Perhaps it's because your blog looks like the lyrics of the latest Lil' Wayne album. Often times, before even contacting you, PR reps will use software to search your blog to make sure you're the right "fit" for their brand. So, if you're in the mommy blogger biz, it's best to save the cursing for another place. Besides,
5. You can build a negative reputation. Quickly. Fun little fact, PR, marketing and advertising folks talk to each other. And you can earn a negative reputation amongts them quickly. In fact, some of them even have a nice little blacklist of bloggers. You don't want to wind up on that list. Be professional. It takes years to build credibility and only moments to destroy it.