For bloggers eager to work with brands, consider someone like me, a fashion publicist, as the first gatekeeper. After all, learning how to best approach and work with the PR agencies that represent (and provide first line of defense for) the clothes, accessories and makeup you love is a crucial step in growing your personal brand while serving your audience with the style recommendations and exceptional content they seek.
Here are 4 ways to make yourself a PR Girl BFF:
1. Know your niche
Each brand has a slightly unique target audience, and so do you. As the PR team, we are responsible for finding, and filtering out, the right media opportunities for the brands we work with. Knowing your niche and having a clear understanding of the type of content you post and where brands have opportunities to work with you is critical for being PR-friendly, as well as a smart business strategy. It can backfire on you to blindly request samples for any product under the sun. If your site is focused on chic, outfit of the day posts, doing a sponsored post for a Cereal brand or a pair of flip flops could not only be a turn off for readers, it makes the brand content irrelevant and confusing. You are the steward of your brand and audience, treat them well and you’ll be in a stronger position to pitch me on why your blog is the right fit for one of my brands.
You are the steward of your audience, treat them well and you’ll be in a strong position to pitch me on why your blog is the right fit for one of my brands.
2. Have a media kit
If I’m interested in what you’re doing, I’m going to ask for a media kit. And then I’m going to circulate that media kit to my team and possibly to my brand contact. What I’m looking for is basic information about your site including topics you cover, regular columns that you write, traffic stats, and follower counts for your social media channels as well as newsletter subscribers. You may also include other areas of interest, like education, skills or hobbies to help facilitate the brainstorm process for us when we’re looking for the best campaign ideas for your site. To be especially PR-friendly, include past brand collaborations with results. If you are looking for compensation for posts, include this information on what sponsored opportunities you offer and in what budget range. Your media kit can be a single sheet or a multiple page document but it should be current and ready to send when inquiries hit your inbox.
3. Nurture your PR Girl relationships
Understand where we’re coming from. Our job is to get our clients media and blog coverage yes, but also to support brand growth and business goals. We live to make our clients happy with our work and to see the value in what we do. If you have publicists that you enjoy working with, make sure they know you want your relationship with them to be more than a one-off post. After all, relationships make the world go round, and we invest in those who invest in us. If you’re flexible and willing to work with me based on what I’m empowered to offer by my low-budget, startup client, I’ll remember that when I get a great campaign opportunity down the line. There are many times I’ve worked with bloggers in trade for product and then went on to secure larger deals with them that included monetary compensation. See beyond budget constraints and find ways to add value to my clients by coming up with creative ideas to help exceed expectations. Think long-term relationship and publicists will too.
If you have publicists that you enjoy working with, make sure they know you want your relationship with them to be more than a one-off post.
4. Keep your commitments
If you have come to an agreement with the publicist, please don’t drop the ball. We are depending on you and it makes us look really bad to have to let our client know they can’t count on that article after all. Many publicists tell horror stories of working with bloggers who fall off the grid during a project only to re-appear months later wanting to pick up where they left off. Not only is this a great way to lose credibility, it’s the perfect way to get blacklisted. Fashion PR is a small niche, and we will warn other firms if we get screwed over. So please, if you agree to do a sponsored post or collaboration, fulfill the terms of the agreement. If something comes up, let your PR contact know asap if you need assistance or more time. When your post goes live, don’t forget to tag or link to the brand. Extra points if you shoot over a thank you email with a link to the coverage. We are more than happy to help promote your great work.
Fashion publicists need and want to cultivate positive relationships with bloggers and influencers that are a good fit for their clients. If you’ve got big blog goals, your professionalism and integrity are critical. Well that and mastering the Instagram flat lay.
Image via: Zenita