We’ve all seen Bloggers or Youtubers and wondered how they got the free stuff, or the sponsored posts. Everyone wants to know the behind the scenes of PR; it seems like an allusive club that only some people got the answer to. However, it wasn’t until I started blogging that I realised the process is different for each individual. Therefore, I thought I’d start a new tag post that was slightly different…
The PR Tag
This way, (hopefully), different bloggers will get involved, share their own experiences, and we all open up this new level of transparency. This isn’t intended to show off, or throw brands under the bus, it’s just to let everyone know a little bit more about how it all works. As a viewer of Youtube and blogs long before I received any PR, I thought it would be cool to have a tag that answered some of the thoughts I used to have.
I’m going to tag people below, but I want as many people to take part as possible! Feel free to give it a go, even if you haven’t been tagged and just want to discuss these things. All you have to do to take part is:
- Link back to the post that started it all
- Acknowledge the person that tagged you in this (If anyone) and link back to their blog
- Answer the questions below
- Tag some others so they can give it a go (And let them know, obviously)
So, without further ado, let’s get on with spilling some PR secrets…
1) Do you remember the first brand you worked with? When, what and how was it?
My first gifted collaboration was with DW Sports, trialling one of their sports bras. For a first collaboration they were really lovely, sent me the bra in a good amount of time, and emailed me to tell me that they liked my post afterwards. Although the post went live in July, I was approached in June, so I’d been blogging for around 6 months at the time.
My first sponsored collaboration was with Uncommon goods, doing a birthday wish list post. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience for a sponsored post, and they made it really easy for me. They approached me in August, 8 months into blogging.
2) How do you get the majority of your PR opportunities?
I actually get the majority from brands approaching me. It’s amazing and every single time I am stunned with how they found me in the first place! However, a few months I got more into applying through services like The Blogger Programme and social media. I want to get more into pitching brands, and actually have my first successful pitch collaboration coming soon!
3) Are there any brands that you work with on a regular/repeat basis? How did it happen?
I’d say that my strongest working relationship is the Bristol Hippodrome, for theatre press night invitations and reviews. Every few months I get a list of their upcoming productions for the upcoming months, I email back with a list of the ones that I want to go to, and then they reserve a ticket for me and a plus one.
This started with a random opportunity that I saw advertised for the Miss Saigon press night. I thought it was an absolute dream, emailed asking if I could go (In the middle of exam season… But it ended up being worth the risk), and the PR coordinator emailed back confirming my invitation and asking if I wanted to be put on the list for future events. I consider it just a lucky connection I made, but I absolutely love the team over there (Especially Chloe as I feel I talk to her the most) and I could not be more thankful!
4) Who has been your favourite brand to work with and why? (Feel free to name)
I’ve worked with some really amazing brands and PR companies, so it’s hard to pick one favourite. The first thing that comes to mind has to be Anatomicals. I did a post for them in August reviewing some of their products, and they are absolute dreams to work with. They sent me products after an initial collaboration discussion, and then sent me some surprise ones to add to my review a month or so later! As well as this, they agreed to work with me on a second collaboration post coming soon.
5) Who has been your least favourite brand to work with? What did they do? (Give a vague description but naming isn’t needed)
I mentioned this in a recent post, but I had a brand that I worked with be particularly dodgy about declaring it was a paid post. In our initial email negotiations, they kept trying to convince me that, even though they were paying me, it wasn’t a sponsored post because they weren’t telling me exactly what to do. After many back and forths, with me explaining that that’s not how it works, and them trying to throw legal jargon my way, I said that I was going to have to declare it.
After the post was out, they emailed me asking that I take out the sentence saying “I was paid for this post”, because ASA regulations said that I don’t have to specify. I refused as that is not what ASA regulations state, and I did not want to do illegal activity on my blog. After hounding me for quite some time they eventually gave up and let me keep the sentence in. I saw quite a few bloggers doing posts with the same company, many completely undeclared. It’s saddening to see, but after the amount the company hounded me, I can see why.
6) Has there been anything big that you’ve (perhaps reluctantly) turned down because you knew it wasn’t right for you?
Again, I spoke about this a little bit in a September post, but there’s no harm in saying it again. I was approached by a watch brand and asked to be gifted a watch, but I said no because I never wear analogue watches so it wouldn’t have been right for me. Later, they approached me again, this time with financial compensation, but I still said no because I know I wouldn’t have worn it. A little while down the road, they increased the offer to money I definitely could have used. It was a lot harder saying no this time because the money was good, and technically a watch brand would fit in seamlessly on my blog. However, I know that I personally don’t wear them, so I would have been lying to myself.
7) What’s your favourite kind of PR to receive? (e.g. food, beauty, fashion)
It’s so hard to choose! I’ve narrowed it down to a three, which is majorly cheating, I know.
Theatre: I spoke about this in the working relationship question. Basically, I’m a massive musical theatre geek and being able to regularly attend productions for free is everything I could have asked for.
Food: I love food so much. It may just be the love of my life. Therefore, when I get to attend restaurants for the purpose of reviewing them, it means the absolute world to me as I’m such a big foodie.
Fashion: I’ve only just started getting into fashion posts, but I absolutely love them. I got the chance to work with Boohoo recently and I felt like such a princess as I did it, so I’d love to do more with fashion! As well as that, I have a post with a shoe brand coming up soon which I’m very excited about! I really want to get working with more fashion brands as style has become a big part of my life.
8) What would be your dream brand collaboration?
Probably New Look. I’ve seen them work with other (Far bigger) bloggers and they seem like such an amazing company to work with. Also, I tend to buy the majority of my clothes from New Look, so it would be a great full circle moment.
The Tagged people…
I would like to stress, this is a brand new tag so the more people that do it, the better! Plus, I feel like people don’t tend to talk about the ins and outs of their brand collaborations, so it would be nice to have a good talk about it, and I look forward to reading loads of other posts about it! Therefore, I’m going to tag a whole bunch of people! There’s obviously no obligation to take part, I just thought it could be some fun…
There you have it! I hope you learnt a little bit more about me and the PR work that I do on my blog in this post! It was an idea I had and I’m really excited to see how it goes down. Like I said, even if you weren’t tagged I would love for you to give it a try! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter as I want to read and comment on as many as possible!
Let me know what you think of this tag and my answers in the comments!
Lots of love,