During almost all bloggers working lives they’ll have contact with a PR at some point. Whether that’s to discuss a one off campaign or a long term business deal. So knowing how to create an effective working relationship works on both sides. I’ve been blogging myself for about 4 years now.
In my previous job I did a lot of PR outreach for the company I worked with. Resulting in working with hundreds of bloggers. It really opened my eyes to how some people handle themselves with PR’s and outreach specialists. I always liked to assume that people communicate effectively but sadly this isn’t always the case. Here are my top tips for bloggers on how to work with PR’s.
Check if you’ve worked with the PR before
If an opportunity is posted on social media and the PR is looking for new bloggers. Check if you’ve worked together before, or at least attempt to check. As a blogger I keep a spreadsheet of all previous campaigns I’ve worked on. Including dates, links, contact email addresses and payment. This means I can generally always tell if I meet the requirements of the opp. The number of people I encounter who would email and not remember we’d worked together. Sometimes when it was only a matter of weeks ago, was worrying.
You wouldn’t expect a PR to be anything other than professional with you. So make sure you extend the same curtesy back to them; they’re doing a job and so are you. I am always very open with the requirements I need for posts. So if someone marks they will accept a do-follow link don’t be unprofessional if they ask you for one and you’ve changed your mind/ it was a mistake.
This also includes about quoting rates. Yes someone asking you to do a post for $20 might result in a cheeky reply. But if you’re speaking to a PR with a budget and it just doesn’t match what you usually charge. Be polite as it might be that they come back to you if requirements/ budgets change in the future. You’d be surprised the number of people who were outright rude when I’d make an offer. Rather than politely declining it.
Re-check your DA if asked for it
With the open site explorer not updating any longer and Moz updating the toolbar/ link explorer more often. Make sure you re-check your DA before entering it into a form/ emailing a PR to ensure your info is accurate. The number of times I had people filling in a DA and when I went to check it was completely different was worrying. Sometimes this is just accidental. But sometimes I found it was on purpose with people saying. ‘Oh well this is what it was before the drop last month’. And although it’s sad when a sites DA drops you need to be honest with your stats.
Don’t reply straight away to begin with but then take forever to reply
Of course things happen and a lot of bloggers work full-time alongside their blog. But if you reply instantly about an opportunity back and forth within minutes and then once it’s agreed you don’t reply for days it can be really off-putting. When there are deadlines on opportunities PR’s need to know who they’re working with. What budget they’ve spent and what they have left. Bloggers don’t like it when PR’s seem to disappear off the face of the earth so don’t do the same thing back.
Proof-read your post before sending it to the PR
It only takes a few minutes to proof-read your post. And check it all looks right on your site after publishing. So make sure you give it a once over before sending the link over as spelling mistakes, random page breaks and broken links just don’t look good.
Please confirm when payment has come through
Sometimes errors happen and someone’s payment might fall through the net (we all know it happens). So just confirm once a payment is made. I always ask for bloggers to confirm this. So I know that they’re not waiting on payments. Most PR’s won’t know there’s an issue until a blogger advises them. I see bloggers complain when PR’s stop replying near the end of the relationship. So it should be applied the other way around as well.
Guest post by Rhian Westbury
What are your key tips for bloggers? Let me know in the comments.