Five tips for working with brands

Five tips for working with brands

Over the last few years I’ve had many occasions to be on the receiving end, and the sending end, of PR outreach for bloggers. Some have been campaigns that excite me, both as a blogger and a PR rep. Others, I cringe at and wonder what the hell they were thinking.

There’s no doubt that both ends seem to have frustrations that bubble away; many that could be prevented, or at least reduced with a little extra understanding and communication.

Of course, this is only my opinion and personal experience, I certainly don’t speak for the whole industry (nor any of the organisations I’ve worked with),  but if you’re keen to work with brands and monetise your blog, maybe these tips will help.

  1. Have your home state on your ‘about’ page. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent hours putting lists of bloggers together, only to realise later some are out of the target location for that particular campaign, or worse offend them when they’re invited to an event in the wrong state. These days, if I can’t find where you live in under five minutes, you can bet I’ll be moving onto another blogger.
  2. If you want to be treated like a professional, be one. Things happen, life is crazy and messy, that’s normal and totally understandable. But if you’ve committed to something, either do it, or do your best to keep the agency in the loop. And if you don’t want to be a part of it, then simply don’t. They’ll find someone else.
  3. The agency is not the client. Generally speaking, you will be dealing with a middle-man, and it’s important to remember that. A good agency will do their best to educate their clients about sponsored fees (and the great benefits of working with bloggers), as well as managing the brands expectations, but outreach is still a new beast in Australia, so they have a big job ahead of them.
  4. It’s a numbers game. Be prepared. Big brands are slowly getting more sophisticated when it comes to blogger campaigns. They’ll want numbers; page views, bounce rates, click throughs and community size. They’ll be looking to prove ROI on the campaign (and that doesn’t always mean the bigger the better) and they’ll need those numbers to keep everyone happy. If you’re planning on working with brands, have them ready.
  5. Understand the end goal. The more you understand the objectives of the blogger campaign, the better placed you will be to deliver on the brands’ expectations. Are they looking for click throughs to their latest product? Maybe they have a key message they’re trying to get out there? Maybe it’s driving traffic to their social media sites? Maybe it’s all of these? Whatever it is, if you’re across it, you’ll be able to plan your post around it and help them deliver those all important objectives.

Finally, remember PR people are people too. Just like everyone else, they make mistakes (I’m going to admit that I’ve called other bloggers the wrong name more than once), they have deadlines and targets, and they’re not always right. But kindness goes a long way.

Consider this Part One. Next up, I’m going to take my working hat off, and put my blogger hat on and push some tips back the other way.

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  1. I love this blog post. You are a brilliant person to work with. My favourite in fact. Professional, helpful and respectful of a blogger’s time. You get it. Thanks for this x
    bigwords recently posted..Wobbly Week 13 – Makes You StrongerMy Profile

  2. Some good advice there Renee. It’s a good thing that brands are looking for more detailed numbers. It means they get a better return on investment and expectations are clearer – less disappointment all round. On the name thing, there’s an agency out there who thinks I’m Retro Mummy. Pretty funny.

    • Oh I have one that calls me Rachel. I’ve told her three times now that my name is Renee, and now I just delete everything she sends me! But Retro Mummy? Could be worse!

  3. I don’t have my state listed on my about page. I kept it off because of privacy, but I might add it to my work with me page now, although I tend to find there aren’t that many events held in QLD.
    Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted..52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 15 – MAKINGMy Profile

  4. Wise words. 1st time I have dropped by and love the straight forward insights. My background and a large part of my day job is in consumer brand marketing. My blog is in its infancy as a platform to learn this world of blogging for my clients (and a great way to capture our story along the way). My advice is to remember that this stuff is new to most traditional marketers. Be patient in explaining what you have to offer.
    Mel recently posted..We broke the Metro Mid Week curse…My Profile

    • That’s a great tip Mel – and totally agree. The more you can help take the traditional PR and marketing world on the journey (as much as I dislike that phrase) the better the outcomes!

  5. These are really good tips, particularly for those like me who are only just starting to work with brands. Glad you are able to share your unique perspective from both sides of the fence, Renee!
    Kirsty @ My Home Truths recently posted..I’m grateful…My Profile

  6. Well said Renee, especially point 2! Some people just don’t get that.
    Christie @ Fig & Cherry recently posted..Easter bunny scrambled eggs {gluten free, kid friendly}My Profile

  7. Love, love love this Renee. Some great tips there. The amount of events I get invited to in other states is frustrating. I know what I’ve been doing wrong now. Lol. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 look forward to the next one.

  8. Great tips for a newie like me! Thank you
    Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad recently posted..The Food Coma in Timboon!My Profile

  9. Ahhh, thanks for the location tip. I just realised that while my pinterest / insta / etc say where I am located – the ‘about’ page on my blog doesn’t. I’ll have to fix that! Appreciated. xx

    Amber at Adventures of a Rainbow Mama x

  10. Thank you – this is just what I needed to read.


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