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.
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.