For regular readers, you might remember when I interviewed PRs and small brands on working with bloggers. I interviewed Icelolly.com about press trips, Fran from PrezzyBox about gift guides and Sam from Socially Sam about engagement, pitching disaster and everything else PR deal with!
Today, I’m back- and interviewing the lovely Alex-Account Executive at CCD PR who look after all sorts of lovely natural health, food and wellbeing brands. Alex shares such amazing insight which I know you’ll all find so useful!
Before, I begin, just to ask if you could (if you haven’t already!) fill out my big blogging money survey-to help me share how much bloggers charge for sponsored posts.
Q:Hi Alexandra, thanks so much for chatting with me today! Would you mind briefly introducing yourself, your role at CCD PR and a few of the brands you represent?
I’m an Account Executive at CCD PR working across natural health, food and wellbeing brands, I work across brands such as Nairn’s, Ombar and Equinox Kombucha . As an account executive my role encapsulates everything from getting our products into the press, working with bloggers and influencers, hosting events and brainstorming campaign ideas.
Q: All of my favourite brands (sidenote: If you haven’t tried Ombar, please do immediately!) How much of your day-to-day work is working with bloggers?
It often depends on what we’re working on with our clients. If we’re creating campaigns with bloggers or putting together a series of blogger reviews it can be a big focus of my day-to-day work. I think the work we do with bloggers of all sizes is definitely growing and brands are increasingly open to working with them.
Q:We’ve discussed projects that would suit both my blog and the publications I write for. What are the differences between the two pieces of media do you think? What are the benefits and the drawbacks of getting something in front of bloggers instead of traditional media?
We constantly work to get our clients in the media as it lends a recognised authority that people will trust and respect, also these days a greater number media outlets now have social media with hugely influential followings, so we do have devote a lot of our time to gaining exposure through these channels.
However, working with bloggers can add a more personal touch, so we’re always on the look out for innovative bloggers and influencers to work with who will help introduce a brand to more specialised and dedicated audiences.
Times are definitely changing and I think a lot of PRs now aim to get a balance of both blogger and media exposure for their clients, as we do find that blogger exposure can have a longer-lasting impact for brands.
Q: Very true! Us bloggers are constantly told brands are looking for good engagement-but what does that really look like to a PR company?
Engagement can come in many different forms, but essentially, when I look at a blogger’s engagement it’s to make sure their following isn’t just a number but rather an audience that are genuinely receptive and involved with the content that is being published.
When I look for engagement I often look for bloggers who engage with or work with other bloggers, produce beautiful imagery, have interesting or unique angles for their blog posts, and those that evidently engage with their readers, whether this is replying to comments on their Instagram and blog posts or through Instagram stories.
I also usually look at how they’ve worked brands on previous projects, I’m always really impressed with bloggers that create multifaceted campaigns, even on a small scale, where they showcase brands on both their blog and social media in a way that is unique to them.
Engagement works on lots of different levels! So don’t be afraid to plan creative content.
Q:That’s so useful! If bloggers pitch to you via email, what do you think makes a good pitch?
I think the best pitch emails are ones where we get a sense of who you are, a bit about your blog and why you’d be a good fit to work with one of our brands.
It doesn’t have to be too formal and make sure it doesn’t go on for too long – we don’t need a history of your entire blog just something that will reel us in. I always think if bloggers can grab a PRs attention with their writing then they’ll be able to do the same with their readers.
For more tips on pitching, why not read…
Q: Are media kits useful for a blogger to attach to an email- or are they just a bit of a hassle to download?
Media kits can be really useful (make sure there no more than an A4 sheet) but at the same time it’s absolutely no problem if you don’t have a media kit, I’d never make a decision to work with a blogger based entirely on their media kit so I’d hate for a blogger not to get in contact just because they didn’t have a one, I’d say the personal approach is often best – if you send over your media kit alone then there’s a high chance I won’t respond.
The easiest ways are often if they’re sent over as a PDF, JPEG or Word doc.
Q: Good to know! With so many bloggers around, how can a blogger stand out for you?
The best bloggers are the ones understand a brand’s key messages and combine this with unique and fresh ideas that will capture the reader’s attention and make them want to know more.
I’d rather work with someone who can create fresh and engaging content that will reach a few hundred people than hurried uninterested content that will go to thousands.
One of the best things about working with bloggers is their knowledge of what their readers want to know, so I always love it when bloggers come up with creative ways to work with our brands. However, don’t get in touch just because you think it’s a good brand, the bloggers I’m most likely to work with are ones who have evidently thought about why they think a brand would work well on their blog and why it would be appealing to their readers.
Try to offer something unique-that nobody else is doing!
Q:Budget is such an awkward topic for many of us. Obviously, not all projects a blogger works on would be paid, but if they feel they should be paid for a certain project-how can bloggers approach the issue best with a PR company?
I’d say the best thing is to be up front, if you’ve recently gone freelance or feel you want to be involved in a paid partnership it’s best to let the PR know as soon as possible. Even if we might not have the budget for one project, we can always keep your details for a bigger project in the future.
Side note: If you’re struggling to decide how much to charge, read ‘Help! How much should I charge for sponsored posts!’
Q:Let’s discuss email etiquette. When’s the best time for a blogger to email a PR? And how long should we wait to gently follow up unanswered emails?
I’m always happy for bloggers to email at any time during the week. If you haven’t heard anything I’d wait 2 – 3 days and then send a little follow up email. Never worry about being pushy, we email journalists with follow up emails all the time! However, I’d say never follow up more than twice as you can make a name for yourself for the wrong reasons!
Q:Finally, how can bloggers and writers get in touch if they’d like to work with or learn more about one of your brands?