This topic holds a lot of stigma in the blogging world, some agree with approaching brands and others don’t. I personally contact brands and have created many amazing opportunities for myself in doing so, I don’t see anything wrong with it – however having worked in PR too, there are certain ways to approach companies. I believe that to grow our blogs organically we need to continuous be working with new brands, networking and sourcing new content – in my eyes this isn’t something that gets handed to you but something you need to work for. Make yourself known to brands for potential collaborations and more often than not you’ll get a positive response.
Some people prefer for brands to contact them, there is no right or wrong way when it comes to blogging or reaching out to brands it’s just finding what you’re happy with and going with it. Through my time blogging and working in PR I thought I’d put together my top tips on how to approach companies that you’d like to work with, and also how not to approach them – I hope you find this useful!
Where do I find their contact details?
Fashion Monitor and Diary Daily are great fashion and beauty sites as they give you access to contacts, events and news, however they are expensive for an individual. Most fashion/beauty businesses will use either so if you know someone who has access to them then ask if they could pass you on a contact detail. Failing that, just google search to see if that brings up any results i.e ‘PR contact for …’ – I often find it will lead you to someone who works for the brand etc that you can get in touch with.
Follow any brands that you are looking to approach on social media, sometimes brands have their own PR team account on social channels such as Twittier i.e @RiverIslandPR or @NewLookPRTeam etc. Brands sometimes tweet if they’re looking for new bloggers to work with etc so search popular hashtags such as #Bbloggers (beauty bloggers) or #Fblogger (fashion bloggers) to keep up with brand requests. Often on a brand’s website they will often have a PR email, search under ‘Contact’, ‘PR’, ‘Bloggers’ – if you can’t find an appropriate email then politely tweet them asking who the best person to contact regarding a PR/blogger inquiry would be as you’d love to work with them.
What do I say?
Always start the email by giving a brief overview of yourself and your blog, ‘brief’ being the key word here as PR’s are extremely busy so it’s key to get to the point and not waffle on as they are more likely to just delete the email. Add in any key highlights such as any awards your blog has been nominated for/won, any great brands that you have previously worked with, an overview of your followers/page views, how long you’ve been blogging for etc.
Then move on to why you love the brand, mention any products that you have tried of theirs and loved or products that you have heard great things about. Avoid sending shopping lists as it’s just inappropriate, if you’ve never worked with a brand before and you send over a list of 5 products you want to try, chances are they’re just going to delete the email and not reply.
The key is to build relationships with brands and PR’s, if you approach them and they want to work with you, they may send you 1 or 2 products to try out, you can then give them a whirl, see how you like them and write about them on your blog then in return the PR will see if the post was to their standards and if so, you’ve secured the basis for a long term relationship with the brand who hopefully you will work with regularly.
What if they say they don’t want to work with me?
If a company comes back and says they can’t work with you, don’t feel disheartened straight away. I know it’s hard to hear but remember how many bloggers brands get contacting them every single day! It may be that they have a fixed bloggers list that they work with and can’t add anyone else to it right now, they might feel that your blog aesthetic isn’t quite in line with the brand you were inquiring about – it could be so many different reasons. If this does happen, just continue to work hard on your blog growing your audience and producing great content. A lot of the time brands will keep an eye on the progress of your blog then get back in touch when it’s suitable to work together.
– Include links to your website and social channels (I can’t tell you the amount of emails received without a blog link. A lot of the time PR companies don’t have time to search for your blog/social media so make it easy for them and link everything you want them to look at.)
– Sell yourself, think of it almost as if you’re writing a CV. Include an overview of your blog highlights and achievements so brands will want to work with you.
– Send blanket emails to a tonne of brands! If you’re going to contact 20 brands then write each email out separetly so you are addressing each brand individually and you can make it personal.)
– Expect anything – don’t email to expect something in return. Some brands just like the fact that you have introduced yourself and your blog, they may add you to their mailing list/blogger outreach but might not necessarily send you samples. Remember it’s about building relationships not free products.
– Just approach companies for the sake of it, if you have a genuine interest in the brand and would purchase their products yourself then get in touch.
– Feel like you shouldn’t email if you want to, most PR’s will be thrilled that you’ve got in touch. They don’t always have time to search for new bloggers and if they love your blog they will be glad you got in touch and introduced yourself! 🙂
Please let me know if you found this post useful and if you’d like to see more posts like it! 🙂