brandops

Gift Guides and What Makes a Good Engagement (with Prezzy Box)

Hi guys,

I’m back with another brand spotlight today. This week it’s the lovely Fran from Prezzy Box and we chat everything from blogger engagement to gift guides. Before we begin, make sure you enter my new giveaway for a chance to win 1-2-1 blog mentoring as it closes next week. You can also read all the past brand spotlights here

Hi


. Now that’s out the way, let’s get started…

 

Q: Tell me a bit more about your role with Prezzy Box? In what way do you work with bloggers?

I’m Fran, PR & Marketing Exec for online gift retailer Prezzybox.com. As a creative business my role literally goes from getting us in the press, to modelling our products and even chatting on the radio. We work with influencers on all types of projects, from reviews and gift guides of our products to hosting events and panel discussions for press and consumers, running competitions and newsletter partnerships plus so much more.

Q:We met at Christmas in July where there was a real mix of press and bloggers. How do you split your time between these 2 forms of media?

Times have changed for both press and bloggers, with lots of print press also having an online platform now, TV having catch-up online and YouTube, blogs and social media being read daily by millions we have to devote our time equally between the two types, but we do look for the most innovative influencers and outlets to work alongside and try to individualise time dependent on how we are working with them.

Q:What do you think the differences are in these 2 forms?

We find a lot of the time daily print press, TV and even social media can produce immediate results in terms of sales or visits to our sites. Whereas a blog or vlog is a longstanding piece of content that can see results gradually over time, or convince a person to return to our site after reading something 3 months previously for instance – it’s difficult sometimes to monitor but we understand that different audiences shop and engage in various ways.

Just one of the many adorable items on Prezzy Box…

Q:What kind of opportunities do you offer bloggers?

We are very tailored in approach depending on what relationship we have or want to create with a blogger. Openness to ideas is key and we have done everything from your standard product placement to unique events hosted by key influencers. We’ve featured bloggers within our emails, collaborated on product ideas, and even produced exclusive content for reciprocal exposure. We try to be creative thinkers – so if you’ve an innovative idea, feel free to share it!

Q:What do you look for in a blogger you work with?

Passion. Knowledge. Punctuality. Uniqueness.

Make a good impression and be enthusiastic, suggest fresh ideas or have a real knowledge about our brand and values plus the way that you could convey that to a reader then you will stand out.

Someone that’s compatible with our brand is a must, PLEASE don’t email me if you are going to call us Prezzy bop or even our competitors name and not even follow up with the link to the blog post. Also, make sure you know the basics, spelling mistakes and having really low stats but being super demanding will make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. So target brands that fit with your blog.

Q:Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?

Should we step away from google analytics?

It’s not all about quality, it’s about quality too. Stats are of course an important part of engaging a brand with your blog, but it’s not all about how “influential” you are, as I’ve mentioned, your blog must sit well with our brand.

We want people who produce incredible content that captures the attention of their readers. You could be targeting a smaller readership but they might find it more interesting than a rushed piece of content that’s gone out the thousands.

The focus on statistics however is dependent on your main outlet, Domain authority is important for SEO purposes when linking back to us via blogs, but views on a YouTube video is important on that platform.

Q:Lots of PRs seem to be talking about ‘engagement’ but what do you consider good engagement? Is it likes? retweets? comments? How can a blogger ‘prove’ engagement to you?

Engagement for us is how invested people are with your blog and your advice regarding our products or services. Social media isn’t always trustworthy especially with sites like Instagram where people are buying followers or likes and bots can comment standard responses such as ‘great job’.

Whereas likes and views are sometimes more fleeting for consumers, unique comments and shares are usually apparent of those that are truly invested I the content. Or, if there is a link to our site that we can track then this suggests viewers are intrigued the product and have come to potentially purchase.

Proof can sometimes be how engaged WE are in a blog, if we like the appearance and write-ups on your blog then we see a value in it.

Q:Is it too early for bloggers to get in touch regarding Christmas gift guides yet?

This is the perfect lead time for Christmas gift guides – come November we’ve scheduled in most of our blogger collaborations and are thinking about Valentines!

Q:Do you welcome gift guide pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good gift guide pitch inyour opinion?

Personally I hate it when I get a standard email for ‘I’m now working on my gift guides, please send x…’. What is different about your gift guides, why should a reader take advice from yours over another bloggers? Think outside the box. Last year I had someone feature two different watches from us and another retailer in the same gift guide (not as a comparison) just two watches, two outlets and little review or reason to buy either. We were disappointed.

Q:A question from one of my readers: When sending emails to Prs, is it helpful to include information on things like other publications we write for and about us? Or are you strictly looking for key stats?

Yes, it’s always fab to hear who you’ve been working with, maybe tell us more about those collabs and why they worked. Key stats is great, but we can mostly figure these out ourselves – we want to know about why we would be a good match!

Q:Are media kits helpful? Or do you prefer a more personalised email?

Media kits are helpful (so always keep one to hand) but I tend not to work off this basis, I am inundated with media kits daily and sample requests with no information on what they are intended for or when I will see the coverage. The personal approach is best.

Q:Finally, how can bloggers get in touch?

Simple, fran.prince@prezzybox.com, or any of our social accounts!

 

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Join my mailing list:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

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Brand Spotlight: Interview with Fetch Friends

I’m back with another brand spotlight! This week I am chatting with Emma from Fetch Friends. She is an ex-blogger so was really informative and understood both sides of the coin! I also couldn’t resist asking a question about gift guides too!

Just before we begin, this week’s Sunday newsletter sees more brand ops than ever before! So do make sure you’re signed up!

 

Q: Hi Emma! Tell me a bit more about Fetch Friends? In what way do you work with bloggers?

Fetch Friends is a social influencer outreach agency, working with clients in the film, luxury and toy industries. We work with influencers on a diverse range of projects, from screening events, launches, features, product placements and reviews – the list is endless!

Q:As a past blogger yourself, what do you think are the common miscommunications or barriers between brands and PRs?

I think the biggest barrier is that it’s all about timing – a blogger who is absolutely fantastic could get in touch to work with us, but it might be we don’t have the perfect project for them just yet. Checking in every so often is a great way to stay on their radar though for when the perfect opportunity comes up.

Q:What do you look for in a blogger you work with?

We look at a number of elements depending on the project such as DA Rating and engagement levels, but if a blogger is passionate about the project that really wins through.

Q: Great to hear! Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?

We tend to focus on engagement over following count, but a blogger’s niche, DA rating and passion are just as important.

Q: It’s so difficult to understand rates and when you should charge. Any tips you could offer us on how to broach this with PRs?

 

I think the best advice would be to stick to your guns and a price you think is fair for your following.

Q:Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?

We love to hear from new bloggers. When it comes to pitching, it might increase your chances if you can research the brands a PR represents in advance and share any ideas you think would work well. We would also recommend joining our mailing list and Facebook group to pitch for specific projects.

Q:Have you ever had bad experiences with bloggers?

Our experiences with influencers have been really positive so far! We often build relationships with influencers and work with them long term.

Q:How can bloggers get in touch and discuss working with you?

Bloggers can find out more information via our website fetch.fm/FetchFriends, or they can email me directly at emma@fetch.fm

Q:Finally, is it too early for bloggers to get in touch regarding Christmas gift guides yet?

It’s the perfect time! We’re actually looking for influencer gift guide placements for a toy racing set over the next week or so. If this sounds like something you would be interested in please do get in touch.

Make sure you read the rest of the brand spotlights here

 

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join bloglancer newsletter:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
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My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
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Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

Brand Spotlight: Emily from Spring and Tonic PR

Hello! We’re back after a little break and this week I am interviewing one of my favourite PRs: Emily from Spring and Tonic. I got in touch with Emily after realising she represents pretty much all the health brands I use! She has been a pleasure to chat to so I know she’d be absolutely perfect for those health and food bloggers out there. Let’s dive in…

Q:Hi Emily, tell me a bit about Spring and Tonic and the brands you represent?

A:Hello!  Spring & Tonic is a little PR consultancy run by myself and Jess, two friends with a shared love of all things food and drink.We look after a range of healthy food and drink brands including Pip & Nut, Doisy & Dam, Ugly Drinks, Hippeas, The Coconut Collaborative and Ugly Drinks.

Image result for hippeas

 

Q: That’s like 90% of my diet right now! So tell me, what percentage of your time is working with bloggers compared to traditional media?

Bloggers have become increasingly important in the world of PR and marketing…we split our time across them and other traditional print and broadcast media outlets.

Q: When did you start working with bloggers as part of your PR strategy and what was the decision behind that?

We’ve worked with bloggers since we started just over 3 years ago – and before that in previous agency jobs.  It’s part and parcel of what we do in order to engage with consumers as people place increasing importance on the online and social media channels for information and endorsement.  Building awareness and credibility for our clients is key, and this is why we love working with bloggers.

Q: You work with a lot of health brands. How important are food and health bloggers to you for raising brand awareness?

Vital, they speak honestly and directly to our key audiences, an endorsement from blogs and bloggers that are trusted and respected help to build the brand and in turn drive engagement and ultimately sales.

Q: What kind of opportunities do you offer bloggers?

We like to tailor how we work with each and don’t like to use a blanket approach.  We read the blogs, follow their social channels and ensure that we offer each something that will work for them – whether that’s editorial content ideas, competition collateral, interviews or straight up product review opportunities and a chance to try the brands we look after.

A tailored approach is so important to brand and blog collabs.

Q.That’s great to see your approach is so personalised! What do you look for in a blogger you work with?

Credibility, engagement, and content that fits with the brands we work with as well as lovely people to speak to! 

Q: Many bloggers I speak to have no idea when they should start charging for their services and how much to charge. What do you think is the best way for bloggers to chat with brands and PRs about fees and money?

This is a tricky one – we get lots of bloggers approaching us with media packs and asking for fees for Instagram posts or blog reviews, sometimes with little insight on their readers and engagement rates.  It’s not normally a route we like to go down to start the relationship – we prefer to work with people that have a genuine interest in the brand, the product or the back story and take it from there.  Some of the bigger brands and agencies have a dedicated budget for ‘paid for’ content but clients always like to be clear on the return on investment before committing to pay for something.

Q: That makes sense. Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?

Not everything – but helpful.  There are so many blogs that are so well read and trusted by us and our clients that we don’t need to know the ins and outs of the readership figures, however, this does help us put a case to clients for paid for content.  PR historically is about providing editorial ideas and content that get cut through as a story or review without paying, so it’s always good to understand why someone is good to work with if they are new to us.

Need some help in growing your traffic? Read my guide to using Pinterest to boost your views.

 

Q: Do you look for great photography or well-written content? Which do you think is more important?

Both – pics are always so important particularly in food and drink but the content is also key.

Q: Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?

Absolutely – we love to hear from new people.  It’s always good to keep it concise and share examples of previous work / brand partnerships.  When we approach bloggers we like to make sure we are familiar with what they write about and what will work for them, it’s the same for us.  We always prefer it when people approach us to try the products before they send us a rate card.  Asking for money with little insight on the blog itself and the support they will offer makes it harder to understand why it would be a good opportunity for the brands we look after. 

Q: That’s good to know as I always tell people to share brand partnerships they’re proud of. How can a blogger stand out from the wave of new blogs that are launched every day? As a health blogger it feels like the area is growing rapidly!

By taking the time to research who we look after and sending us a tailored email – not sending us a blanket email that goes to other PR companies.

Q: How can bloggers get in touch if they want to work with you?

Drop us a line/tweet us / message us on Insta…we’d love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this, you can read my other brand and PR interviews here.

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join my mailing list:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

Brand Spotlight: Richard from YuYu Bottle

Today I am excited to be chatting to one of my favorite brands. I have worked with YuYu bottles over the last few years and am a massive fan of their product (as someone with Crohn’s disease, a luxury wrap around hot water bottle is perfection). However, the reason I asked to interview Richard is that he is actively engaging with bloggers with chronic illnesses. As the bottles are stunningly beautiful, it would be easy to work solely with lifestyle or fashion bloggers but Richard has decided to select bloggers whose products make a massive difference to their everyday life. So, without further to do, let’s learn more about Richard and get in touch with him if you think it could be the right fit for you and your blog.

Q: Hi Richard, Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the brand you work for- Yuyu?

A: In 2010, I started a journey to design the best made, earth friendly & most luxurious hot water bottle the world had ever seen. I love the heat aspect of hotties as I’m not one that likes the cold too much. I was tired of having to move my hottie from one painful or cold spot to another. It was important that the length didn’t increase so much that I’d have to wait to boil a second kettle of water, so the YuYu Bottle is still fillable with just one kettle.

In December 2012, I jumped on the tube to Knightsbridge and strolled into Harrods. I wanted the best shop in the world to sell my invention, and I proudly carried in my product. It was quite hard to miss me, as the box was and still is an 85cm long, very stylish gift box with a gold foiled mark on the front of the box which reads, ‘YuYu Bottle, The World’s First Long Hot Water Bottle’. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Brand Spotlight: Interview with Sam from Socially Famous PR

Happy Friday everyone! Today, I am interviewing Sam from Socially Famous PR     Sam runs 2 blogs (sociallysam.com a business blog and a lifestyle blog which is currently being revamped.) as well as running Socially Famous PR. Not only did Sam help me out by answering these questions super last minute; she was incredibly honest and there is so much value in all of her answers. So get a notepad and a cup of tea at the ready!

If you enjoy this interview, you can check out all my chats with PRs here. 

 Q: Hi Sam! Tell me a bit more about yourself- what brands do you represent?

We started out purely as a social media marketing agency but because I’ve been a blogger myself for nearly 10 years now I found I was getting my social media clients asking about working with bloggers. It became natural to add that as a service. We tend to work with smaller brands who have more niche products on the blogger’s side. At the moment we’ve got a skincare brand, a pet product, a wedding services business and we have a new health food product that will be launching later in the year.

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Brand Spotlight: Interview with Every 1 PR

Hi everyone! After the success of last week’s interview with Icelolly.com about travel blogging, today we turn to Every1 PR. I’ve worked with these ladies before and found them to be really lovely. They also seemed to know my blog inside out and I’ve seen them recommend my gut health content to other bloggers which is amazing! So I decided to pick their brains about what they look for in bloggers, the importance of stats and pricing! Make sure you join these ladies’ newsletter and send them an email. For more tips on emailing Prs, you can have a read of my blog post on pitching and my pitching toolkit!  You can also join my mailing list for exclusive weekly brand ops.

Q: Hi Ladies! Tell me a bit more about every 1 marketing- do you just work with blogger outreach? what brands do you represent?

Lauren: Every1 is a full service agency based in Preston. We offer clients digital marketing packages that include web design, CRO, SEO and Digital PR. We represent a range of different clients including FSB, Chemist4U & Simon Jersey.

Q:When did you start working with bloggers as part of your PR strategy and what was the decision behind that?

L: I started working with bloggers 6 years ago as an SEO Apprentice in the dark days of bulk link building. After seeing the worst kind of outreach, I now run the every1 outreach department and I like to take a more balanced approach that incorporates SEO and PR. Bloggers can help boost a brand’s online presence in multiple ways so it really is a no brainer for clients.

Hannah:  I’ve been working with bloggers for about a year now as an at every1. From what I’ve experienced, bloggers are really lovely to work with and great for boosting our client’s exposure online. The blogging network is growing bigger and stronger everyday through social media and the amazing blogs themselves! I think working with bloggers is only going to become more effective in the future.

Q:What kind of opportunities do you offer bloggers?

H: We mainly do sponsored post collaborations but we also work on creative campaigns with clients so we do product reviews, events, competitions. We are also starting our own blogger roundtable event for local bloggers to discuss industry news and get advice from us.

Q: Amazing! What do you look for in a blogger you work with?

L: This depends a lot on client requirements. If a client wants to boost the authority of their website we look for strong Domain Authority but, if they’d rather gain exposure then we look for bloggers who can offer an honest review and have a loyal following. I also love when I can have a good chat with a blogger or get completely engrossed reading their posts for an hour!

Q: I ask everyone this: Is it important for bloggers to have a niche?

H: Having a niche sometimes makes it slightly easier for us when working out which bloggers are best suited to our different projects with our brands. However, I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily important as some bloggers blog about several different things, making it hard to pinpoint a specific niche.

Q:Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?

L:We check and record stats for each blogger we work with so while they are an important part of what we do, they certainly aren’t everything. We tend to check SEO metrics more than social but we also offer clients outreach packages with varying levels of metrics so they get to work with everyone from the micro-influencers to established bloggers.

Q:Tell me a bit more about your recent survey- what was the decision behind undertaking it?

L: We hear a lot of bloggers who have problems with brands and we didn’t see anyone else in the industry speaking about it. We wanted to hear from bloggers themselves – what do outreachers do that annoys you? We have plans to use the brilliant feedback we received to inform the industry on how to improve.

H: We decided to conduct the survey because our relationship with bloggers is really important to us and we wanted to ensure we’re doing the best we can. We also felt it was important for bloggers to be able to have their say. Plus, it makes our job easier knowing what we’re doing right/wrong and what we can improve!

Q: It was a great read! Do you think there’s still a huge issue with transparency about fees in blogging?

L: It is an issue but it’s a complex one. There is also the difference between what PRs and SEOs pay bloggers. If someone has a high Domain Authority but a low amount of Twitter followers then they are worth different amounts to different kinds of marketers.

Q: Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?

L: Yes! Absolutely. We do get up to 500 every month so I think the best advice I can give is to include all of the mundane technical details or fees that will catch our eye but also include some personality to stand out a little bit.

H: If I receive a pitch email I will always read it and research the blogger. They’re great as it means that you are visible online for people to find you but it’s also nice to hear from different people. Short and sweet pitch emails usually do the trick for me stating what the blogger is interested in and all the details we need. If a blogger emails me and I don’t have an opportunity for them at the time, I will save their details for another time and most likely email them when a relevant project comes up.

Q: Great advice! Have you ever had bad experiences with bloggers? What do you wish bloggers wouldn’t do?

L: Oh yeah, of course but thankfully they are few and far between. We had one where a blogger said they’d never received a product we’ve sent and we saw it in the background of one of their instagram posts!

Q: Oh gosh, that’s terrible! Why do people do this! On the whole, do you find us ‘micro’ influencers can be just as beneficial as big bloggers?

L: We actually very rarely work with ‘big’ bloggers. We see good results for clients from working with mostly micro influencers and I think their readership is often more engaged due the mix of sponsored and non-sponsored content. You feel like you can get to know a micro-influencer and therefore trust them. Besides, working with bigger bloggers agents can sometimes add another level of confusion!

Q:How can bloggers get in touch and discuss working with you?

H: Bloggers can get in touch via our Twitter page @every1PR. We also have a monthly email newsletter that you can sign up to here: http://bit.ly/2uFeKt0 and we are open to receiving emails too (hannah.r@helloevery1.com / lauren.h@helloevery1.com )

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join my mailing list:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

 

Brand Spotlight: Interview with the icelolly.com press team!

 

After the success of last week’s interview with Charlotte from Smoothie PR, this week’s interview is with the lovely press team at icelolly.com. Icelolly.com are the kings of blogger outreach and have an amazing influencer network with a regular newsletter that goes out to bloggers too. I asked them to share exactly what they look for from travel bloggers and what makes the perfect email pitch. Travel bloggers, this is an absolute must read for you guys! To make sure you don’t miss out on more brand interview and opportunities, make sure you sign up for my Sunday newsletter.

Q: Hi guys! Can you tell me all about how about the team at icelolly.com works with bloggers?
Over the last couple of years, we have made a conscious effort to turbo charge our blogger outreach programme. This has included organising numerous blogger stays with a variety of different individuals/groups, hosting our own bi-annual blogging event (Blog At The Beach) in and around the icelolly.com HQ, sending around a regular email to our blogger database with the latest news, events and opportunities and smaller collabs including Instagram takeovers and guest posts.
 More on all of this can be seen here: https://www.icelolly.com/influencer-hub
 

Q:I’ve noticed you have worked with lots of travel bloggers- when did you start working with bloggers and what’s the decision behind that?
We initiated our blogger outreach programme roughly two and a half years ago. The main reason behind this was because we really see the benefit of building a positive rapport with influential individuals within the travel industry and the various collabs we’ve organised have helped to up our UGC no end. Namely through guest posts and Instagram takeovers, both of which have contributed towards an increase in weekly blog page views and general Instagram engagement/followers. Members of our team have also been involved in the blogging game away from work and really appreciate the influence brands can have on individual blogs/bloggers.
 
 
Q. What do you look for when selecting bloggers to attend your lovely press trips?
We want to work with bloggers that we feel represent our core brand values, these being; inspiring, independent, quality and playful. We’re a quirky brand that intends to come across playfully whilst inspiring our users and offering honest, independent views on destinations, resorts, holiday types etc. It also helps if we actually know the blogger we are sending away on a press trip as it is difficult to select a brand ambassador otherwise. This is why we often encourage bloggers to get in touch with us via email, social media or by attending our events. Even dropping in with a simple ‘hello’ or ‘great blogger email’ etc from time to time means a lot to us and helps build the initial foundations. If we don’t know somebody, it’s hard for us to judge whether they will be the right fit for our opportunities/collaborations!
 
Q:Is it important for bloggers to have a niche? Do you go for sole travel bloggers or are you open to lifestyle bloggers too?
It’s important to specialise in a certain area to an extent but we also feel you shouldn’t pigeonhole yourself too much and alienate a bigger potential audience. We have worked with a variety of bloggers in the past including travel, lifestyle and fashion specialists and we like to see ourselves as pretty open to a lot of different niches. As we are obviously a travel company, we would prefer some travel blogging experience when working with somebody but this isn’t necessarily a necessity. It can often differ from campaign-to-campaign.
 
Q: Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?
The obvious answer to this question would be yes. Most people look at sheer numbers and come to certain conclusions based on how big (or small) a social media following somebody has for example. However, would you rather have 100k followers and a 1% engagement rate or 10k followers and a 20% engagement rate? If you have a dedicated blog readership, the stats will look after themselves so often it’s not worth getting stressed about numbers. Just concentrate on your output, making it more relatable or current to people for example, and always remember blogging should be something you enjoy. We don’t tend to focus on numbers at all – for us it’s about the individual, the relationship we have, how proactive they are and how they fit in with our brand values.
 
Q. Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?
We sure do! Often we’ll present ideas and select bloggers from there that we feel would be a good fit, however, we’re not arrogant enough to believe we have all the best concepts. Somebody may have a killer idea for a working partnership, so we’d always encourage conveying this and not just sitting on it. We do get a lot of pitches so it’s impossible to go through with them all but that doesn’t mean we don’t consider blogger suggestions.
You need to have built some kind of relationship beforehand ideally. Think of it like cold-calling; if a company you’ve never heard of rings, how likely would you be to go through with whatever it is the person at the other end of the phone is selling or proposing? This is why we encourage conversation with bloggers, make yourself known by chatting to us on social media (we host a monthly Twitter chat for example that lots of bloggers get involved with!) or simply dropping us a quick email. Other than that just be enthusiastic with the idea you are pitching, show an interest in our company, present examples of your work and/or a synopsis of how and why you think we’ll be a good fit.
 
Q: Have you ever had bad experiences with bloggers? What do you wish bloggers wouldn’t do?
We wouldn’t say we’ve had any bad experiences but some can be harder to deal with than others – sometimes through no fault of their own however. We understand lots run their blog as well as holding down a full-time job so time constraints can have an impact on certain things. Our only ask is deadlines are stuck to for guest posts for example and no ‘cold-calling’. Drop in a few times with a simple tweet or hello so we know who you are before getting to business-like with pitches!
 
 
Q: Do you find us ‘micro’ influencers can be just as beneficial as big bloggers?
Most of the bloggers within our database would probably be described as ‘micro’ so yes, absolutely. At the end of the day, we’re a fairly small business so we know what it can be like as the little fish in a big pond. Would we rather work with 100 ‘big’ bloggers once and never hear from them again or 1,000 ‘micro’ bloggers multiple times through stays, events, Twitter chats, Instagram takeovers etc and build a strong relationship going forward? Certainly the latter! It helps to build brand advocates over a longer period of time.
 
Q: How can bloggers get in touch and discuss working with you?
Follow us on social media, engage with us and we’ll engage back! Take part in our Twitter chats, sign up to our blogger emails (available midway down this page: https://www.icelolly.com/influencer-hub) or drop a line to  influencers@icelolly.com . We’re a friendly bunch!

 

 

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join my mailing list:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

 

Brand Spotlight: Interview with Smoothie PR, Charlotte

This series sees me chat to brands and PRs to help educate and inform both sides of the community about how bloggers and brands can work together.First up is the lovely Charlotte from Smoothie PR, who shares some fantastic advice for bloggers pitching to brands. If you are inspired, why not drop her an email and let her know how you might collaborate?An interview with a new PR will go live every Friday-and you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter as their details will be included in the weekly round up of tips and ops that I send out each Friday.

 

Q: Hi Charlotte, Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the brands you represent?

A: Hi Jen, thanks so much for chatting with me! I run my own business called Smoothie PR where I help start-up and small business foodies get PR for their fabulous products. I’ve turned traditional PR on its head so instead of charging thousands of pounds a month, I offer two affordable PR packages for food businesses:1-1 PR for £599 per month or a monthly membership to The Smoothie Bar for £39 per month. This makes PR accessible to everyone, no matter what their budget is and I teach lots of PR tips and tricks along the way. One of the biggest benefits of working with me is that I deliver a mix of local and national requests from journalists who are looking for food businesses, small businesses or human interest stories. Because the requests are so varied, I’ve also got small businesses from the non-food industry and bloggers as members of The Smoothie Bar, as there is plenty for them to choose from too. PR can be so much easier than you think!
 
Q: How have you found bloggers valuable for your brands?
The world is full of bloggers which is great both for them as a creative outlet and my foodies who are looking specifically for bloggers in their niche. The quality of blog posts varies hugely, so I always do background checks before committing to a blogger. Each post I’ve seen so far on behalf of my clients has been well written, shows great product imagery and provides a valuable backlink to their website. Once I know the quality of their work is good, I’ll always keep that blogger in mind for future collaborations with other clients.
Q: What do you look for when working with a blogger?
This is the type of question that The Smoothie Bar members ask me this all of the time – “I can’t afford to give away free samples to everyone, so which bloggers should I pick?” I’ve written a blog post on this called ‘5 things to check before working with food bloggers’ (http://www.smoothiepr.com/food-for-thought/food-bloggers-5-things-to-check/) which shows you the checklist I go through when I’m considering someone for one of my 1-1 clients. I’ve had so many food producers tell me they found this post really helpful but equally, (and most surprising to me), lots of food bloggers have also found it useful to understand what they can offer to a brand when pitching their services.
Q: Are stats everything?
Absolutely not! You have to remember that both start-up foodies and bloggers will all be at different stages of their journey, so each can offer the other options for working together depending on what’s good for them both. The only thing I would say is that bloggers need to be realistic with their requests when working with brands. If you have very small numbers, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be chosen for a high-value product or receive an additional payment.
Q: Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?
A:I’m always open to finding bloggers who could be a good fit for my 1-1 clients or the guys in The Smoothie Bar, but I get a lot of pitches that don’t really tell me any real details. A short email that details who they are, what their blog speciality is (healthy eating, gluten-free, vegan etc.), a top line of any relevant stats (unique monthly blog visits, social media following, DA/PA etc.) and their ask: are they looking for products to include in a round up and just need images, do they want to do a review in exchange for free samples or, are they offering creative/sponsored services such as recipe development? The other point I can’t stress enough is that your pitch should be short, well written and free from spelling mistakes!
Who does Charlotte work with?
Chins Kitchen, Green Goddess Wellness, Nourish Natural Food, Tg Green Teas, Body Me and many more!
Q: Are media kits a necessity?
A:Not necessarily. If you’re an established blogger working with larger brands then it’s probable you have one, as most bigger brands want to know your facts and figures before committing to any marketing spend. However, if you’re fairly new, write as a hobby or have more engagement on your social media rather than your blog for example, the stats aren’t going to look very impressive. This isn’t an issue for me personally as I’ll still look at the bigger picture to see what type of value they can bring to any of my clients of various sizes.
Q: What do you wish bloggers realise about working with PRs? What mistakes do they make?
A:I have two real issues with being approached by bloggers. Firstly, being included in a blanket email that is sent to multiple people is a no-no. Some bloggers make a generic reference to how much they love your website in the hope that it makes them sound like they’ve spent any time there – you’re not fooling anyone I’m afraid! It also drives me mad when the pitch is full of spelling mistakes and terrible grammar – this doesn’t inspire any confidence in me that you have great blogging skills!
Tailor your pitch to the PR company you’re approaching (having looked at their website and with an understanding of who they work with), to offer the relevant services that they might be looking for. I’m happy to be approached because I want to know about you if you’re a great fit for my clients, however, first impressions count and if you’re sending out a badly written, pot luck email, then I’m definitely not interested.
Q: Do you find ‘micro’ influencers can be just as beneficial as big bloggers?
A: Absolutely! This goes back to the point that I mentioned about businesses being at different stages. Most start-ups can only afford to offer samples in exchange for reviews or recipes, and I’d much rather use bloggers that have 100 highly engaged followers than ones with 1,000 followers who never get any likes/comments/shares.
Q:  How can bloggers get in touch and discuss working with you?
A: Haha, well after reading my previous answers, I hope that they have a good idea now but to put it simply:
I look forward to reading some amazing emails soon!
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