Tag Archives: PR

How to reach out to bloggers – 6 top tips for blogger engagement

13 Mar

I am a blogger and I am a marketing manager who does a degree of blogger outreach and engagement in my role.

On top of this blog, I write a beauty blog as a hobby. I receive samples and invitations from PR companies and brands themselves to review their products and do product give away competitions on their behalf.

There are a few things that I have noticed from working with PR companies and brands that I would like to share with you to help you improve your blogger outreach if that is something you are pursuing as a form of advertising and influencer relationship building in your role.

1. Research:

Research your bloggers. See what other posts they are writing and if they tend to give negative or positive reviews. Some bloggers are kinder than others and some like to get a bit hoity-toity and say mean things about the product just because they can. Personally I won’t give a review on a product that I don’t like. I like to give positive reviews only because from a marketing managers view point, I know how uncool it is to have a blogger say bad things about your product where everyone can see on the internet after you have spent a lot of time and money to provide them with information and samples. Make sure the blogger meets your brands values eg: keep away from bloggers who identify as pole dancers or swear a lot if your brand is a “family brand”.

2. Blogger kits:

To help you to find a blogger that is going to do a good job of representing your company and so you get more bang for your buck, contact the bloggers you are interested in and request their media kit. Most bloggers kits will give you readership stats, info on the editor, advertising opportunities, if they expect compensation and more information on who their blog targets. Bigger bloggers who have more followers and reach will probably ask for a relatively big fee but it might be worth it for your brand if you know that they are definitely speaking to your target market.

3. Communication:

Some companies communicate better than others. It is very important for companies to be polite, respectful and patient with bloggers. Communicating your intentions from the get go is important so the blogger is ready to deliver what you want from them. If you are going to be paying them or providing samples make that known. Remember that most bloggers are doing it as a hobby and have day jobs and families to take care of so make your communication informative so as to avoid multiple emails.

As a blogger I feel it is my duty to reply to companies in a timely and professional manner as they are doing their job to engage me. Some bloggers will request payment for a post or at least some form of product compensation and it’s nice to be respected for your time and effort with a thank you.

In one case I was asked to run a competition for a company. This is quite a lot of work and I was provided with written information on the products but nothing else. I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to run this competition without at least receiving the samples myself to know what I was reviewing and also as some form of thank you for the time I put behind promoting their products for them. I asked for the samples to be sent to me and the company provided these to me… although they did seem a bit ticked off which I didn’t think was very professional. When I had drawn the winner the company didn’t even bother to thank me for taking the time to run and promote the competition which I felt was highly disrespectful. All it would have taken is a short email with a sincere thank you.

Don’t be precious about their posts. Let them do their thing and thank them for the post once it is written (they should provide you with a link).

4. Blogger product samples/events:

Some companies have the most beautiful, well thought out packages. I have been sent boxes of products with printed postcard notes and a special little treat of lollies or a little bag to go with the samples to review. It is so special when a PR company goes to the trouble to make your samples that little bit more special than normal. It’s so exciting to receive a parcel in the mail and when they are presented beautifully it automatically makes me want to do a really good job for the company.

If you are hosing a blogger brunch or some form of event make it happen during after office hours. I receive invitations to what seem like beautiful glamorous luncheons but I can’t go because I have to work! I suppose that hosting an event during the day will weed out a number of bloggers so that you have a more concentrated group of attendees… but in my opinion hosting it after hours is better and will get you a great coverage. Also make lots of photo opportunities at the event. Bloggers are stuck to their cameras! Pretty boxes and bags with your company names on them, easy to see demonstrations, celebrity card board cut outs that they can take photos next to  (if you have a celebrity endorser perhaps), beautiful table decorations, pretty food like cupcakes that can be photographed, photo opportunity branded screens (you know like celebrities have photos in front of at events?) bloggers LOVE those.

4. Product information:

Provide your bloggers with as much information as you can. The more information you provide, the more information the bloggers can lean on to write a great post about your product. Ingredients, points of difference, where it can be purchased, price, website for more information, twitter handle, facebook links and so on. Make sure you remind them to please post the links to your social media platforms and website in their post.

6. Special feelings:

Yes, bloggers are all about special feelings. If you make them feel special and valued they are more likely to do a good job for you and mention you again in future. Little special goodies in their sample boxes, special events etc all help get the message about your brand across. Be generous! Don’t be crazy about it, but so many brands are very very generous with samples and thank you gifts.

 

What tips do you have for successful blogger engagement?

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Instant Sales Boost – Today Tonight / A Current Affair

14 Feb

Secretly you know you love watching the tabloid TV shows Today Tonight (Channel 7) and A Current Affair (Channel 9) with all their “Aussie Battler”, “The Neighbour From Hell”, “Weight Loss”, “Money Saving”, “Subtle Supermarket Advertising” and “Shonky Salesman” stories. The sensationalised stories these shows produce lead to sales if your product is featured. That is exactly what happened to the company I work for.

I have been meaning to contact these shows for months however this time they contacted me with a story idea. We had a limited time to get organised for the film crew but enough time for us to memorise some fast “amazing” product facts to wow the audience.

The crew came to our offices, spoke with the company director and filmed the product being made. The story was about 3 different ingredients that have beneficial health properties and our products got some excellent screen time with a health professional holding them! GOLD!

Even though 3 different ingredients were mentioned and we make many different products using these, for some reason the viewers picked up on one main ingredient and the product made with that has been selling like wild fire. Previous to this we were actually thinking of discontinuing it because it wasn’t selling well at all.

Now time to see the boost in website visits, my favourite part!

 

Website views following a product feature

TAA DAA!

That’s around a 900% jump in website views the night the story aired. Slowly slowly you can see views return to normal after the initial wow factor wears off. However, there are still a lot of people talking about the segment weeks later.

The morning after the story aired the phone rang off the hook! My colleagues and I hardly got time to take a breath all day answering questions and pointing people to the best retail outlets. It was hectic but wonderful all at the same time.

I’m guessing, based on the phone calls, that the main demographic of these TV shows is ladies over the age of 66 named Margaret (there where honestly about 10 Margarets that called). That, or maybe it’s just because that age group does not have internet access to find our website. Or that age group really needs some healthy products to cure their multiple health problems that I spent a good proportion of my day listening about.

So, if you have a product with an interesting story or benefit GET ON THE PHONE!!!! These shows offer you free and mostly NATIONAL publicity which, if nothing else, will give you some exposure and brand equity/ share of mind. Something else to remember is that these are daily shows with around 5 stories per show so they are desperate for content. If you can pitch them an idea with some interesting aspects you have a great chance of being featured. If you make life easy for the journalists they will keep you in mind and you may get regular calls from them to be an expert in your particular field of expertise. Also you will then be in their video files and you may see your segment re-hashed in a year or 2’s time with a slightly different angle. Try and give them some interesting sound bites that they can cut and use on the ads. Sentences that stand out like “This (Product X) truly is a miraculously beneficial product”.

One problem I experienced was that we were not warned when the show would be aired. This led to our retailers being unprepared for the mass of customers asking for the product they saw on TV last night. If I had a few days warning those stores could have been informed and stocked up on product… so we lost a little there. Also, one of the products mentioned, when Google searched does not bring up our brand straight away and instead brings up many of our competitors products. I’m sure they got a very pleasant sales windfall from our promotion. But all in all it was a very helpful, positive experience for our company and retailers.

Note to self: Find another story to pitch to the media to gain more interest. Probably something along the lines of “Shonky Salesmen with mean neighbours who have cancer have found a cure in a magical ingredient that Aussie battlers can’t afford but Woolworths is helping them to obtain”.

 

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