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How Bloggers Can Work With PR Agencies from PR Reps Themselves

I get a lot of questions on how to be a travel blogger, how to work with brands and PR agencies, so I wanted to get the answers for y’all from the professionals themselves!

Here’s how 3 of my favorite PR firms explain how to work with them as a blogger!

Ashley Serrate from Newman PR

*these comments are my own and are not a representation of either NewmanPR or The Florida Keys & Key West.

How should bloggers be working with a destination/PR firm/CVB?

This would vary depending on the destination or tourism board but for the most part, reaching out to these locations for potential partnership only expands a bloggers reach and helps build long lasting relationships with hotel properties, activities and restuarants within the partner destination.

Advice on how to work with a PR firm as a blogger?

Have a clear plan for what you’re looking to accomplish and what you can offer. By being as detailed as possible, it helps with being able to fully collaborate on a press visit or campaign. If you only provide opportunities for sponsored content, be upfront with that information.

How bloggers should approach a PR firm for an initial introduction. When to reach out and follow up?

Any time is really a great time to reach out but be patient when anticipating a response. Some PR firms can receive a large number of requests and it takes time to get back to each and every one.

Is it appropriate to ask for a client list or other contacts within the PR firm? 

The proper thing to do would familiarize yourself with the firm’s clients and if there are opportunities for synergy with the other companies on their roster, mention that when reaching out.

The best way to discuss rates and realistic expectations?

I’ve always found these conversations to be best had over the phone rather than via email. A phone call can then be followed with an email recapping what was discussed.

Best practices

Follow through. Always. If you are working with a brand always come through with what’s been agreed upon. If a brand or destination wants to work with you and you’ve committed to dates, don’t disappear. Open and honest communication is always appreciated.

You can find more on Newman PR here.

Kitsy Rose from Kitsy Rose PR

What is a PR firm in your words?

A PR firm is an added voice and extension of their client.

What does a PR firm do?

Different PR firms specialize in different types of services. At Kitsy Rose PR we specialize in influencer marketing and media pitching and placement as well as event execution.

How should bloggers be working with PR teams?

Bloggers should utilize PR firms to get in front of new (and familiar) brands, products and establishments.

Advice on how to work with a PR firm as a blogger

Set up an in person meeting or a call and discuss openly goals and values for both sides.

Do you only reach out to PR firms in your state or every state?

I work with other firms in a variety of states.

How to approach a PR firm as your initial introduction and when to reach out and follow up?

I tend to prefer an email that tells me a little about the blogger as well as showcases links to blogs and social media so that I know who I am talking to out the gate.

Is it appropriate to ask for a client list or other contacts within the PR firm?

A firm most likely will be more than happy to showcase their clients and share them with the blogger. Mine can be found on my website and show current and past clients.

Is there a threshold for when to ask for payment?

If the blogger is anticipating payment that should be disclosed at the very start of outreach. I tend to want to do a partnership where the blogger enjoys an experience complimentary and monitor the response for the client before I will do a paid post.

The best way to discuss rates and realistic expectations?

Approach it at the start of the conversation.

Best practices?

Keep it professional but have fun and realize that it is a two way street between the PR firm and the blogger.

Do’s and don’ts?

One “don’t” that comes to mind is if the blogger has a bad or off experience contact the PR Firm prior to blasting the client that gave the experience or just do not post, but share with the firm so that in the future that can be corrected.

You can find more on Kitsy Rose PR on her website here and on Instagram here!

Hannah from The Mayfield Group

What does a PR firm do?

On a very general level, we represent the public image of the client. We identify the defining aspects of a brand, establish how they want to be perceived by the public and work with media, influencers and in creative programming to make sure the execution matches the intent and that the desired image gets across to the audience.

How should bloggers approach a PR firm for an initial introduction?

Put some thought into it, but keep it simple. Understand that we often have mile-long to do lists, so sending an overly wordy introduction, detailing your dog’s name, where you went to college, your favorite foods and the reason you started blogging will be a wasted effort. Instead, think of a few main points and get to them. Your personality should come across in your portfolio of work. Use your intro email as an opportunity to quickly state why you’re interested, why your brand is a good fit for the client and direct us to links that demonstrate all of those things.

Best things to include when reaching out:

  • Unique Monthly Visitors / Impressions / engagement analytics – be able to quantify your active audience in some way.
  • Links – our immediate next step is to validate what we read by checking out your portfolio. Carefully select links to help guide our direction to make sure we’re finding the content that is relevant to the work you are hoping to do. All major platforms should be linked.
  • Angle/Ideas – bring something to the table. It’s hard to ignore a message that has a relevant angle opportunity. Think through ideas of how the collaboration would play out on your end so it can be clearly envisioned. A well-thought out idea for how you would like to work with the client will move the process along quickly
  • Call to action – wrap everything up with a call to action. Take the guesswork out of the next steps with a “please let me know…” and “I look forward to hearing from you.” This makes your intent clear initiates a response, rather than a “read and file” reaction.

Is it appropriate to ask for a client list or other contacts within the PR firm?

PR firms are a great resource for bloggers and can open the door to an incredible network of PR reps, clients, influencers and media. Put the time and attention in to delivering exceptional coverage and results for one client and you won’t have to ask for the full client list – it will naturally be passed along.  It’s always appropriate to let your contact know that you’re interested in any additional opportunities they may have. It can also work well if you have specific plans coming up that align with another client.

Is there a threshold for when to ask for payment?

This will certainly vary per client and on a case-by-case basis, but I would recommend determining your value before you begin reaching out for partnerships. What is a blog post worth to you? What is an Instagram post worth to you? Have dollar sign amounts for your personal reference to visualize the value of your contributions. Public relations firms typically do not operate with a large budget dedicated to compensating bloggers, so we make up for that in the value of the partnership on our end. Understand the value of the partnership you’re receiving and the many factors that make it valuable – significant brand awareness, high-end product/service, personally meaningful experience, etc. As it is a partnership, there should be a somewhat fair trade. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and open the discussion for what you think to be fair compensation – whether in partnership value or paid compensation – but make sure you can justify the costs.

You can find more on The Mayfield Group here!

Big thanks to these amazing PR firms for answering all of your questions and explaining the best practices when working with them! My advice is to create a media kit if you don’t already have one, compile a list of the PR firms in your state that your brand aligns with, and begin sending introductory emails. Remember to keep it short and simple and always include your media kit or stats. Feel free to follow up in two weeks if you don’t hear back and send an updated media kit and a nice hello towards the end of every year.

One thing I always do is send a thank you. These PR firms go out of their way to set up amazing experiences for you and they put their reputation on the line. It’s always a nice touch to say thank you in return. Sending flowers with a company like Give Landeau, a bottle of wine, or just a simple hand written thank you note will go along way.

If you want more information on how to work with brands, how to become a travel blogger, and my exact templates I use when reaching out sign up now to be the first to know when my travel blogger database drops!

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