Brands are from Mars, Bloggers are from Venus

I spent a while atop my friendly PR high-horse, scribbling up an impassioned article about how brands ought to interact with content partners on a human level to get the best, natural results and then I simply clicked CTRL+A and deleted the whole lot. Do you want to know why? Why? Because it’s better coming from the horse’s mouth. A bit like content about your brand coming from, or being managed by, your brand. It’s the most authentic place. And so we asked three of our favourite content partners to answer the following questions for us:

  1. What qualities do you appreciate from a good Press Release?
  2. What have been your best collaborations and why?

I shall say no more and allow them to take it away:

Victoria from fashion and lifestyle blog In the Frow

My favourite qualities in a PR person is someone who can be really friendly, open and more personal with you. Very grounded and speaks to you as a friend, rather than a company. Not afraid to call you by something other than your first name and is just more laid back. But still efficient, proactive and always doing their job perfectly. You can be competent but still extremely friendly.

In The Frow Blogger

My favourite brand collaborations have been when there have been great incentives on both sides. Too many PR companies want you to do something for them either for SEO or promotional purposes, but expect you not to ask questions or wonder what you get in return. No other firm or freelance writer would advertise for free, so why should a blogger. If you can offer the blogger something lovely, like an awesome voucher or a gift to say thank you, or even a fantastic plug on a really popular social network account, that blogger is going to be 100% more likely to want to work with you. The best collabs involve a lovely PR person, asking your opinions on the campaign and what you would like to get out of it also.

Fritha from mother, photography and lifestyle blog Tigerlilly Quinn

I like brands and PRs that are creative, pay well and fully respect that bloggers have spent long hours, months and years building up a following and ranking. That don’t expect that bloggers will work for free and that like to build a relationship too. I like to do stuff on an ongoing basis and not just hear from someone once and never again.

Tigerlilly Quinn Blogger

It’s really important that first contact emails get to the point and state exactly what it is they want to offer. Branded content has to feel natural and organic. Be prepared to discuss ideas and be flexible too. I have really enjoyed working with many brands, Argos are in my opinion a great one to work with, straight to the point, well paid, flexible and creative in their approach. Late last year I did some work for them and they gifted me with an iPad as well in case I may like to do any posts in the future regarding it. This gave me the freedom to be creative and spontaneous and I’ve done lots of post since that point to them again and again.

Monica from travel and lifestyle blog, The Travel Hack

I really appreciate it when a PR looks at a collaboration from both the brand perspective and the blogger’s perspective. The best PRs I’ve worked with have realised that it needs to be mutually beneficial and they’re not afraid to highlight what each party wants to get out of it. I like it when brands clearly outline what they expect so I can ensure I deliver and iron out any confusion beforehand. I love it when PRs are honest, friendly and approachable and I appreciate it when they’re familiar with my blog and my audience.

The Travel Hack Blogger

A great example of a brand collaboration I’m working on is where they’ve opted for a long-term partnership with five bloggers called ‘The Destination Bloggers’. We’ve all taken a cruise with them and now they’re involving us in other activities such as Twitter chats, writing for their website and promoting excursions and new products. We’ve become brand ambassadors and destination experts. Many brands offer one trip and then the partnership ends but a long term relationship can have much more impact. These guys have put together a video from our experiences and regularly chat to us on social media and promote our blog posts to their followers.

So in summary to all of you out there seeking to incorporate working with bloggers as part of your wider outreach content partner strategy, be sure to remember:

  • Be real and friendly
  • Think mutual benefits- from incentives, to bespoke experiences to social promotion
  • Be flexible
  • Don’t just think of articles- look at all the different types of content you can use to engage
  • Think long term, rather than short

Still struggling? Head back to the beginning of How to Win Bloggers and Influence People or take me for a chat and coffee – mine’s a flat white.

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how PR and content are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in search engine algorithms and advertising legislation, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and technology across all inbound channels.