Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hints + Tips - How Brands Can Work With Bloggers

How Brands Can Work With Bloggers
Recently I've had some great and not so great experiences working with PR companies and brands as a blogger. Which in-turn has inspired me to create a post about things that PR companies and brands should think about when working with bloggers.

Blogging is not a full-time job
Well for many it's not, it's something that fits in around work, study, family, and other commitments. Be mindful of this and give bloggers plenty of notice about events you'd like them to attend (or changes to dates for that matter), don't expect them to post a post within a few hours of receiving your information and most certainly be respectful of the fact that they may have rearranged other aspects of their life to attend your event or to post an article about your brand or product.

Bloggers like to try things
Most bloggers like to experience the thing you've asked them to write about (I know I do), and sending product or inviting them along to an event is a great way for them to create their own unique content about that certain thing. This makes for better content and a greater level of engagement.

Be open to ideas
Bloggers may contact you about possible opportunities they have to integrate one of your products or  services into a blog post.  Be open to this as these posts tend to have a more organic feel about them and if the blogger didn't think your product or service would be suitable they wouldn't contact you.

Be honest
Don't leave anything to assumptions, if you're providing product in return for a post, let them know exactly what it is they are getting including details such as size, quantity and retail value. Make sure you've as many details as possible. Under no circumstance should you assume it is okay to "rip-off" a blogger, sending a CD with one track on it is poor form, though you may have said you're sending a CD, who expects to receive a CD with one track?
In turn be upfront with the bloggers you're working with, let them know what your expectations are in return, but remember to be reasonable.

Have an open line of communication
If there are changes to anything regarding your arrangement, do keep the bloggers you're working with up-to-date in a clear manner.  Whether it be the fact that samples are being sent out latter than expected, changes to dates or locations for events, make sure it's clear in an email or phone call and that they understand. Also be able to be contacted by the blogger so that they can notify you of any issues, clarify things or send through links to the content they've created.

Show you have some interest in what they write about
Whilst a blogger may be interested in one of your products or services, it doesn't mean that they are interested in everything you do. Send them details for things that are suited to their blog, if unsure ask them, many good bloggers will be able to tell you what the interests of their readership is and what they like to write about.

Don't always expect a positive view
What makes working with a blogger such a great thing is that they are honest and give their view and that's generally why their readers read their blog. Whether a blogger has a positive or negative experience with your product or service, do be prepared that what content they produce will reflect this.

In the coming weeks I'm putting together a post about things bloggers should think about when working with PR companies or brands too - stay tuned! 

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