Thursday, 19 July 2012

PR Advice and FAQ's

This is a pretty taboo subject, but I get asked questions on the topic so much, I wanted to address it. So before anyone gets a bit annoyed about the subject of this post, please bear in mind that I get asked this multiple times every week and it is just easier to once and for all talk about it.

 If you hadn't noticed by my 'Keeping Organised for School' post, I'm slightly OCD with my organisational habits. This weird behaviour is more noticeable if you ever see my itunes or email account. I kid you not. All songs names, album artwork on everything and with my ipod (before I got an iphone) the lyrics from all the songs were copied and pasted individually to every son. Now that you've got a grasp of that...imagine my email.

This is where I can help new(ish) beauty bloggers, you would not believe the amount of emails, tweets and messages I get asking about how to contact companies. Most of this is done through contacting PR companies. You can go about this in two ways, contacting PR companies because you want to generally test out products you've not tried before or specifically targeting a brand and finding their PR company or press department. It's not as complicated as it sounds, promise. But I'll keep the bulk of this under a cut, because if you're not a blogger yourself, this is likely to not interest you. But if you are? Click read more and I'll break it down a bit more.

I did the research for you with this, my OCD self did about two weeks of research gathering information about PR companies, their emails and stuff like that so you don't have to! So if you can't get hold of who represents who etc, I might be able to help out if it isn't cleared up in this post. But anyway, here's some FAQ's I get all the time!

How do you get so much free stuff?/How can I get as much free stuff as you?
If your main concern about blogging is to get 'free stuff', you're going about this the completely wrong way. It's just the wrong question to ask, and I actually don't usually reply. If you don't have the passion and drive for blogging, it'll be clear to people who read/watch videos. Soon enough, all you talk about will be PR samples and you're guaranteed to get bored and quit. Even if you don't, your viewers will.

How many followers/views/subscribers do I need for (insert company name here) to send me samples?
It completely depends on their specifications. Some go by quantity of views etc, others are more interested in reading your blog and seeing the quality of your posts. But as a general guideline I'd say wait a while to gain a few regular viewers before you even think about contacting PR companies. They will more than likely want to know your stats and if you get less than 10 views a day, they're not going to be interested no matter how great your quality is.

I want to try something completely new that I've never even heard of, how do I go about that?
This is the time to contact PR companies rather than brands. If you approach them asking about brands available to send out samples you're more likely to bump into something you've not tried before than trying to hunt down a brand you've never heard of. Also, they're people on the other side of your email so you can tell them that you're wanting to try something completely new and they probably have a miracle product they're trying to get attention to! If you type in 'Beauty PR (your country)' into google you're bound to find a whole host of smaller PR companies than the London/NY based ones that will be a much bigger size, they're the ones to contact if you're following isn't that big. Don't punch above your weight.

I want to review products from (insert company) who do I get in touch with/which email do I user/who manages their PR? 
This is suuuch a popular question and although I sometimes have the answer, who's better to ask than the brand themselves. It's a lot easier to contact them casually through twitter saying like hey, I'm a blogger and I'd be interested in reviewing some of your products. Ask for a press specific/PR email address if they don't answer check their website 'Contact Us' it might be in the bottom sort of hidden a bit more than the rest of the links but it's going to be there somewhere. If that still doesn't work, tweet them again until they answer you! Bear in mind, they'll be getting a whole bunch of tweets so it might take a few times before they see your @.

A company won't send me products, how do I change their mind?
If you're rejected the opportunity to review, re-evaluate how much you want to review this product and why you can't buy it with your own money. If you still want to try and change their mind ask if they have a minimum views/followers/subscribers amount, if they say no, wait a few months. Maybe try again, but at the end of the day. It is their brand. Their products. They're the ones losing out on profit when they send out samples. They make the final decision, and you nagging at them won't change their mind. Save up and buy the products yourself.

I don't like a product I was sent, what do I do?
First off, if you really hated it and have nothing positive to say, email the company. Let them know you didn't like what they send you and ask if they would still like you to review. I've never been in the situation where there's been nothing nice for me to say so I go ahead and review anyway. They often like to hear constructive criticism and although they might not want you to post a blog if you really hated it 100% they'll probably still want to hear what you thought was wrong. The biggest thing I can say here is be honest to all parties, including your viewers. Don't lie to people who are spending time to read what you say, and don't lie to the company by making out a terrible product is your new 'staple item'. If you do, it won't do you any favours in the long run.

That's about it for my FAQ, if there's anything else you were wondering about, please let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to answer as soon as possible if not, email me at bethsbeautychannel@gmail.com or tweet me