From a PR perspective
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for a brand?s PR and Social Media strategy. One of the many duties of a PR manager is to search for influencers and bloggers with an engaging community of followers to connect with the brands they represent. Synergy and a brand fit between the two are very important.
Brands and PR agencies receive hundreds of emails and direct messages on social media from new bloggers asking to be on PR lists. They are created for brands and PR?s to collate influencer and blogger details for event invitations, new product samples or PR packages for them to review on blogs or social media channels.
Writing blogs on skincare products or reviewing different haircare products on social media channels can be very expensive, not to mention time-consuming. Reaching out to brands and PR?s for products to review is no big deal and not frowned upon as some people may believe. You also do not need to have thousands of followers to receive PR giftings or sponsored opportunities. Lithel Garcia, a Beauty Senior Account Executive at a London fashion and beauty PR agency, reveals three key points bloggers should present on their platforms before pro-actively approaching PR agencies and brands for PR samples.
?Every brand is different when it comes to who they want to represent their products, regardless of whether it be on a gifting basis or for a sponsored opportunity. When I look for Influencers to reach out to, I make sure they?re ?on-brand? and fit certain criteria. My drugstore brands won?t have the same influencer criteria as my luxury boutique brands, and vice-versa. When it comes to selecting influencers, I look out for three key points: Content, engagement and messaging
Your content needs to be consistent, eye-catching and good quality. Instagram is a heavily image-based platform; bad image quality, lighting and photography can be the deciding factor on whether brands reach out to you. Additionally, brands and PR look for those who have great engagement. Interact with your followers to boost likes and comments. You may have thousands of followers, but if your engagement is low, we notice.
Your overall messaging also needs to be positive and genuine. We know our products won?t work for everyone but we also don?t want to see you slating a brand just because their products didn?t work for you. Be honest with your audience but don?t be negative.
One thing I can?t stress enough to influencers is just because we?re not offering you a sponsored opportunity right now, it doesn?t mean you?re not on our radar. I?m more likely to put your name up for a sponsored collaboration with our brands if I see that you genuinely love their products. I?ve had many influencers tell me that they love XXX product, but it?s nowhere to be seen on their socials. So exactly, how much do you love our products??
Be strategic in your search
Once you have considered these factors, be strategic before pro-actively approaching brands and PR agencies for free products to review for your channels. Does the brand cater to you and your brand? Have you used their products before but they?ve launched a new product line? Do the products the agencies represent sound appealing to you and your audience?
Start by searching for top PR agencies in your country and within your niche. For example, top beauty PR agencies in London, top fashion and lifestyle agencies in the UK. Have a thorough look on their website for client announcements to see what brands they represent. Another option is to check their social media, mainly Instagram, where PR agencies share branded content or client coverage.
Lastly, visit your favourite brands? websites for ?PR inquiries?, ?PR partnerships? or ?Influencer Requests? page. A lot of brands have these tabs on their websites that lead influencer or blogger information and a direct email.
Photo by Anastasia Dulgier on Unsplash
Be personal in your approach
Once you have you?ve found the PR email or a PR contact begin to personal an email. Being personal in your approach is key. Sophie Heilbron, Junior Account Manager in Health and Well-being at a London PR agency says ?Know the PR agency or brand, we get so many messages from bloggers just asking to be on our mailing lists even though their blog has no relevance to our clients. If they?re trying to branch out then say that, research the brands and maybe talk about one brand in particular that you love.?
Start by introducing yourself, what you enjoy writing about on your blog or what you feature on your social media channels. For example, I blog about beauty, make-up, skincare or I have a YouTube channel dedicated to reviewing skincare products for sensitive skin etc. If the PR agency represents a brand you love then let them know. It helps to mention a brand/product they represent that you?re interested in reviewing or would like to create content with. You could let them know what content you are planning and where the brand/product may fit e.g. travel beauty essentials, skincare Sunday routine etc. so they can provide samples. Sharing interesting statistics like engagement rates, what your community of followers enjoys the most is also useful.
Sign off the email with?
Your full name, social media links, blog or YouTube links! By putting these details and links together, PR agencies and brands can directly visit your blogs and social media channels and paste your details into any PR lists.
Your Full Name
YouTube Channel: www.YouTube.com/MyYouTubeChannel
If you have attached a PDF media kit to the email, that?s perfect! However, it is recommended you sign off the email in this same format for direct access to your channels.
To DM or not to DM?
Be wary of direct messaging brands or PR agencies via Instagram as it will most likely get lost in the ?message requests? folder. Also, do not copy and paste the same message to every PR or brand ? it?s obvious! Just like an email, you should personalise a short and sweet DM but ensure to include your full name and email, where they can reach you to discuss further.
Track your steps to PR samples
Create a short ?brand/PR tracking list? to keep a record of the agencies and brands you have approached and what they?ve said. Create a list on a Word doc, Excel or Google Sheets as it will help you be organised, establish relationships with the brand representatives and avoid hounding brands. For example, your list could have the titles PR Agency/Brand > Contact Name > Notes.
You got your PR package!
Receiving your first PR package is a great feeling! Remember to tag the brands and PR agency on Insta stories, photos and captions etc. They keep track of these to send to their clients, so by tagging them you are helping them record the social media coverage. When posting your gifted products on social, let your followers know it was a gifted item with AD, AD-Gifted and include their hashtags within your content creation for higher engagement. Tag the brands and PR agencies in the photo and captions and their hashtags for higher visibility.
Natalia Pareja Ruiz, PR and Social Media Freelancer, London
Instagram: @_nataliapr |Twitter: @_nataliapr