My name is Meghan McAllister and I am both a successful lifestyle blogger as well as a public relations intern at Heron Agency, and having insight from both sides has given me a special perspective on the communications industry as a whole. As a public relations intern, I’ve pitched to bloggers to secure placements for our clients. On the flip side, I’ve also been pitched to by marketing firms in Chicago as a blogger myself.
Whether you’re a publicist or a blogger, it’s sometimes hard to see things from the other person’s perspective. Since I’m lucky enough to be part of both, my perspective is truly unique. Because of this, I’ve certainly learned a few things worth sharing including what we can learn from each other.
-photo courtesy of Kiersten Hickman-
What Bloggers Need to Know About Publicists:
It’s important to deliver on time, or at all.
There are few things more frustrating for a publicist than when a client gifts a blogger something in hopes of a review or inclusion on their blog but the placement isn’t put up for months or sometimes at all. Knowing this, I try to deliver as soon as possible on content whenever a company is kind enough to gift me something as a blogger.
Replying to a pitch is a well-appreciated courtesy.
Whenever I pitch to media, including bloggers, I always appreciate their reply. Whether they’re interested or not, I’m able to better learn who I should be reaching out to for what when they reply. When I’m being pitched to, I make it a point to reply and simply let them know if I’m interested or not so they can learn too.
It’s all about creating a relationship.
This probably goes without saying, but if working together goes well, the PR marketing agency will want to work with the blogger again. If bloggers are consistent, reliable, and communicate, the future could hold many more collaborations (and comped gifts)! In the same breath, if working together doesn’t go well, that usually doesn’t go unforgotten.
What Publicists Need to Know About Bloggers:
Delivering on time can be a challenge.
Just like publicists may get frustrated with the timing of a blogger’s post or lack thereof, timing also poses a lot of challenges for bloggers. Many bloggers, including myself, create content calendars for their websites and social media outlets. It’s crucial to keep this in mind when pitching to a blogger about something time sensitive.
Bloggers want to post about things relevant to them and their brand.
I can name a handful of times where I’ve been pitched to about things that are not at all relevant to myself, my brand, or blog. By researching who you’re pitching to beforehand and incorporating that into the pitch itself, it shows that you care. It immediately creates a more personal connection with the blogger, making the pitch feel much more authentic.
Allow them their creative freedom.
Blogging as a whole requires a lot of creativity. Of course, clients have ideal messaging and that’s helpful to share to shape the review or post but bloggers want to be able to put their own spin on things. Most of all, they don’t want to lose their voice or sound artificial to their readers and followers.
Unique and interesting content can be created when public relations professionals and bloggers come together in collaboration and sometimes can lead to long lasting partnerships. At the very least, we can learn from one another and if you’re like me, you may end up gaining an entirely new perspective to each side.
Woot woot Meghan! I think these are all great points. I think both sides should approach it professionally and things should go just fine!
This is great. Thank ou for sharing and it is hard sometimes to get everything done on time, especially when you have a short turnaround time.
Thank you for this blog post, Meghan. It was great to hear from both sides of the relationship. I’m also a blogger who works along with PR firms to help get the message out, but in a voice that’s all my own for my audience. The key is relationship-building between the two parties. You nailed it!