Contacting PR companies for the first time is always nervy business – heck, even some of the most established bloggers still break into cold sweats before hitting the ‘Send’ button when it comes to pitching an idea. However, if you’ve spent time tweaking & perfecting your online haven to within an inch of it’s virtual life, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t take the plunge by proposing collaborations of your own. Although blogging for freebies tends to be a bit of a controversial subject amongst beauty bloggers (regardless of experience) in my humble opinion there’s absolutely nothing wrong about pursuing exciting opportunities to test new products. After all, if you’re spending the time to publish a worthy article detailing your honest review, it’s both beneficial to the brand for feedback/promotion and worthwhile to any of your readers that may benefit from using the product too. Win-win, right?
So what’s the process when it comes to making an impression when contacting PR gurus? I’ve done a few posts in regards to prepping for this – its vital to remember that whomever you’re contacting it’s a given fact that they’re going to have a good rummage around your blog. Naturally this is a whole other post in itself, but for those amongst us who may want to check out my musings get yourself over to My Top Tips On Making Your Blog PR Friendly.
Another valuable step that’s surprisingly pain free, is creating a simple Media Kit. Although most of my regular readers will be familiar with one of my recent posts, I’ve linked it here for you to check out if you’re new to Confetti & Curves: Creating A Media Kit For Your Beauty Blog. In fact, it was the effect of that post (along with the volume of emails & follow up questions) that lead swiftly onto today’s feature! Although creating a media kit isn’t considered as compulsory, it’s important to recognise that there are countless beauty blogs out there, many of which are eager to get a slice of the pie. However as we all know, brands only carry a certain amount of samples to go around, therefore creating a great first impression by being both organised & professional will give your credibility a helping hand as a potential collaborator.
A PR will work on behalf of a brand to help promote a range of products. They’re often the point of contact to agree collaborations and ultimately the one who makes a decision on whether or not the brand & your blog are a perfect match. If a collab is agreed, they arrange samples for reviewing as well as agreeing any terms/conditions such as links to include etc before your feature goes live. If you build up a great rapport quite often PR companies will continue to contact you for future opportunities, so it’s important to make a great first impression if this happens to be one of your future blog goals.
Online sites such as Diary Directory provides a serious amount of contacts within the beauty industry, however it ain’t a freebie site gals and membership works out pretty expensive. Usually it’s professionals seeking professionals but if you know anyone who may have access to the site (and are willing to help) then get sourcing. Alternatively sticking with good ole’ Google is your next best bet by searching manually for PR companies within your catchment country such as ‘PR companies UK’. However it certainly doesn’t hurt to check out further afield as you may stumble across a brand representative that’s eager to reach out to an international audience.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on social media accounts too! Quite often PR’s will put a shout-out request if they’re on the hunt for bloggers to help review a particular product or help promote a new launch… yet another great way to get your foot in the door!
As I’m sure you can appreciate, PR’s don’t have a lot of free time on their hands so ensuring your email is the perfect balance between personal & professional (whilst keeping it brief) is a hard balancing act. If you’re completely new to the process then it’s probably best to take your time by writing your pitch out on a blank word processing document and returning to it over a few days to make additional tweaks. If I’m contacting a PR company I usually try to keep the structure of my email to 3 key segments:
Brief intro: This is where you launch into a few tasty snippets about you & your blog. Highlight whether you’re well established, upcoming, steadily growing etc. It’s also the perfect opportunity to highlight any awards or achievements you have as a blogger, along with any brands you’ve previously worked with, successful feedback and growing number of followers.
Acknowledge the brand: Highlight any of their products that you’ve already tried (& enjoyed) or positive reviews you’ve been reading. Don’t forget to mention things like why you feel your collaboration would be of benefit or interest to your audience.
Present the pitch: Under no circumstances should you make freebies a priority. You’ve a reputation to withhold amongst your readers and the blogging community, if your motive is to simply build a box full of free samples it WILL come across. Before you contact any PR ensure you have a great idea as to why you’re approaching them, such as ‘Spring Makeup Look For Pale Skin’. An interesting idea will catch the eye of the PR, providing you’re making a legitimate collaboration suggestion; however it is okay to say that you’re open minded to suggestions should they have a specific project in mind.
Finally, all’s left to do is close your email by thanking them for their time and including links to your blog/social media. Voila – your first PR pitch! *energetic air punch*
That’s okay! Yep, really it is! The biggest thing that often stops us from doing something is the fear of rejection or failure. The main thing is you took the leap of faith and put yourself out there * HUGE high five* Remember that PR companies quite often have regular bloggers that they collaborate with and a limited number of samples to offer. If you haven’t made the mailing list this time don’t give up! Keep working hard on your blog by continuing to create great content & maintaining eye catching design… as they may well drop you a line inviting you to take part in a future collaboration. Unfortunately rejection is all part of life but if you can turn it into a positive then you’re already onto a winning mindset to success. However, whatever the reason for rejection it’s always professional to be polite by sending a few words of thanks that they took the time to read your email and get back to you!
If in the case you don’t get a reply, don’t panic or feel disheartened. There could be a hundred and one reasons as to why they’re not responding such as: work load, off sick, on holiday etc etc. I usually give it 10 days, after which I’ll follow up with a few lines asking if they received my last email & had a chance to read over my proposal. If after a further 10 days I still haven’t heard anything then it’s time to simply pull the socks up and move onto the next venture!
- Spend time proof reading your email for any grammar/spelling mistakes or any parts that sound suspiciously like you’re waffling on. As I’m sure you can already tell I’m a self-confessed professional at this so mine get quite a few edits before I press the ‘Send’ button. Apart from casting a critical eye over the content, remember to make it personal, professional & precise.
- Keep everything as positive as possible. Forget about pointing out negatives such as: “I’m only new and don’t have many followers but…” – heck no!! Make a few necessary tweaks to present the information in a much more positive way: “I’ve recently launched my exciting new beauty blog that has a steadily growing audience of females aged 18-30…”
- Check all links! Seems like common sense, but just best to double check that everything is leading to all the right places.
- Create a media kit. If you’ve opted to refrain from including it as an attachment, ask if they’d like you follow up by sending it over. If you’d appreciate a few friendly tips on getting started with designing your very own Media Kit then hop on over to my recent post on Creating A Media Kit For Your Beauty Blog.
- Send mass duplicates of the same email… make it personal by tailoring each pitch to suit the brand you’re contacting.
- Approach just anyone. Keep to brands you’re eager to try out & can visualise your readers being interested in. Remember the key here is creating content that’s going to capture your audience and create a bit off a buzz. After all, there would be absolutely no point whatsoever in advertising the advantages of a new drain cleaner to a virtual audience that’s waiting for your next eye palette review. If your followers are used with beauty related content then keep it within those realms, otherwise it looks like you’re desperate for a freebie which could potentially end up damaging your credibility.
- Feel like a pain in the ass. You’re a hard working blogger who’s taken the time to approach a hard working PR guru… potentially saving them the effort to hunt for new reviewers. In fact most PR’s will be only too chuffed to hear from you; and if they love your blog then there’s no reason why a great partnership can’t form in the near future!
Liked what you read & fancy procrastinating a little more? Then why not check out some of these similar features that might help boost your blogging adventures…
As always, thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on approaching PR companies. Or, if you’ve any tips/links of your own that you’d like to share then we’d love to check them out too!
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