Collaborating with PR Companies and Brands

by - Sunday, June 08, 2014

First of all I would like to mention that I am no where near an expert at this kind of stuff and all of the information below is based on my person opinion or on my experience. 

Getting involved with PR Companies and brands is something bloggers want to be a part of - whether you admit it or not we all see other bloggers get sent something amazing through the post and you feel a little bit jealous inside because you want it too, it's only natural to feel like this. Whenever the #bbloggers chat is about working with PR Companies the chat always has mixed opinions about contacting PR companies or brands or not. Personally if you understand the way collaborating works, you understand the PR Company or Brand and you respect each others views and wishes, the professional relationship can be great so why shouldn't you just give yourself that little push to get your blog more known? 

Before you do so I think it's important to understand the individual PR company you are contacting as it is not all about freebies. Each company is different and it's important to understand what industries they specialise in before asking for products or samples to be provided. PR companies are also great to get your blog out there in the blogging world and to help you gain more experience in socialising and networking with your blog. Many PR companies can invite to exciting events or can email you the latest press releases before they go public etc, get you involved with launch parties or may even be able to get you to cover particular events as a blogger.

The Basics 

 Contact Details - I think it is important to have an email specific for your blog and make it visible on your blog, twitter etc as this is a great way to network with others and for companies to contact you should they wish. 

♥ Social Media - I think the best way to get your blog out there is to advertise whether that be sharing photos of your upcoming blog posts on Instagram or sharing the links on your Twitter and Facebook. I personally think it's important to share your post with the companies featured in your post whether or not you were sent a sample as it helps those companies recognise your blog and see what you are about - you never know it may even open up a window of opportunity. 

♥ Professional - Keep your posts and your blog professional as well as showing your personality and keeping it individual for example have an easy readable layout, clear photos and presentable writing. . When writing/designing a post you will not believe the amount of times I preview before I post and that is probably because I am so anal about my blog as I really want it easy to read and simple to use as well as having clear photos but this really helps me see how things will look.

♥ Honesty - Be honest in your posts. Whether that be a negative or positive post just be honest - don't feel obliged to write a positive post just because you have been sent something. However don't be rude when posting a negative review instead just change the wording to make it not sound as bad for example rather than saying you hate the product and you would recommend it explain why you didn't get along with it but you could recommend it to someone or finish with a comment.  

PR Companies/Brand Networking

You have to remember that the blogging community is forever growing and it is hard to get involved with PR Companies/Brands as there are hundreds of bloggers out there. A few things that you need to remember are that all PR Companies and Brands have targets to meet so don't be disheartened if you don't get sent something as they are just doing their job. They also have a limit to how many samples/freebies they can send out, if you think about the blogging community there are so many varieties of bloggers and styles that the PR Companies/Brand usually have a certain style in mind and for that particular client your blog may not fit what they are looking for. For example a PR company is not going to invite you to an hair event in London if you live in Manchester and you have never posted about hair styles or products in the past.

The next thing they look at are your stats - if you have just set up a blog recent and have wrote a couple of posts to make it look like your a 'blogger' and start emailing lots of companies to ask for things to review it is not going to happen. PR Companies love a passionate blogger who writes about things they like, have bought, they dislike or anything that tickles your fancy and whether any of the products have been gifted to you or not they don't really mind, but with a good steady audience as there main priority is getting as much exposure and a positive experience for their client.

That isn't to say that PR Companies/Brands only work with bloggers with big stats  as I don't think this is not the case - if you take my blog for example on GFC or Bloglovin you will see my followers are not even close to some of the followers other bloggers have, however I feel that my page views and blog hits is quite high since my blog started in December (it may not be compared to some other bloggers). I have been fortunate to have been contacted by PR Companies/Brands and my only guess is they either love my style of writing/posting, they have looked at my stats or they have seen my other social media sites. 

Contacting PR Companies/Brands

There is no right or wrong about contacting a PR company, some people prefer not to and some people choose to and either way it's your choice. 

If you choose to contact a PR company I personally would recommend sending an email just to introduce yourself. Include information about yourself and about your blog, include your interests and most importantly include your stats and links to everything including blog, twitter, instagram, facebook and anything else linking with your blog. Don't ever lie about your stats as it will not get you anyway and the company can check and find out, instead even if you have a smaller number of followers compared to other bloggers (like myself) focus on the positives for example how many people have viewed or how many people visit your blog daily etc. 

It's always good to see you understand or know alot about the brand/company you wish to collaborate with, remembering that PR companies select a certain number of people to send samples to it is important to show you have a great understanding and also explain how you feel that collaborating with you will benefit the PR company as well as yourself. 


There are a couple of warnings though as you may get companies contact you to send you items to review on your blog but in return they expect a positive review. This is a big no-no for me, Brands have to pay for advertising or publicity in a magazine or in the newspaper - bloggers should not be used for their work to basically get free advertising when the blogger settles for a quick freebie. 

I think it is important to make it clear to brands that you will accept the item and post an honest review and let them make the decision. I have had a bad experience previous and I am not naming any brands as it is not a well known company but I was sent some products linked with my dieting/lifestyle posts and I had a really bad experience with the products as they made me really poorly so I made the decision not to post a review - I do have this clearly stated on my blog that I may choose not to write a post at all if it is a newly established or not well known company as I feel it will have a really bad negative impact. I received some awful comments as the company thought I had accepted the products just to get a freebie - this was not the case and I was genuinely interested in the products as I thought it would help with my dieting and with my lifestyle. 

Another thing I would mention is don't be afraid to say no - whether it be turning down an event or a product. I tend to look at two things when considering a sample/product; one being whether it would fit within the content of my blog and the other is would I be interested in the product if it wasn't free? I think answering these questions helps me to ensure that my blog is kept mine and is controlled by me - I don't want my blog turned into an advertising website where brands or companies can send me a product to review whether or not in context with my blog and they get the publicity. (Please note that not all companies or PR companies are like this and it probably is very rare that this would happen but it's worth keeping an eye out)

Whether you choose to contact a PR company or not that is your choice and I for one have had both positive and negative experiences when contacting companies and you just have to learn from your experiences but that was the main reason to share this post as when I started my blog I was a complete amateur with all of this PR malarky and I am no where near an expert but I have learnt a lot recent and I thought I would share.

The best advice I can give is just work hard, do what you love and don't write a post because you think it's what people or the company want to see - keep it yours and the rest will come naturally. 

What are your experiences with collaborating with PR Companies/Brands? Do you have any recommendations/tips?

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