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Dear PR companies,
I know bloggers are the new hot sensation. Please know that we get several pitches a day and despite what you might think (that we're all sitting around in our PJs), we are actually professional and busy people. Our time is just as valuable as yours. When working together we keep an eye out for opportunities that are mutually beneficial for us and the company (the professional ones do anyway...) so send please don't send us free stuff constantly and assume we are just going to keep writing rave reviews. I've written a few guidelines that you should consider when approaching a blogger:
1. Don't start an email with "Dear Blogger." This is pretty much PR 101 with bloggers.
2. Do your research. Don't email a blogger about baby products when they have clearly blogged about being single with no kids (just one example).
3. Be flattered they maybe passed your invite around to their friends. This has become quite an issue around Fashion Week. Don't respond with a hasty email. Rather explain that you appreciate their interest in your event; however, they have a set guest list. Relationships work both ways.
4. Treat everyone with the same respect. Referring back to #3. A blogger may have not have big numbers or stats but their small following is extremely loyal and dedicated. A blogger may get 100 comments all saying "love this" where as someone who gets 30 that are all leaving meaningful comments or even mentioning how that blogger influenced them to buy something. Go beyond the numbers.
5. A bad reputation gets around like wild fire (especially with social media). Bloggers are naturally social media savvy. If a blogger has a bad experience they can blog, tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Pin, etc. about their bad experience. Bottom line: it can spread around faster than ever before. It can be really hard to put the flames so why not just avoid creating a bad experience and have a positive review out there in the Inter webs? Seems like common sense to me.
6. Follow-up. Most of us bloggers are covering several events and we may fall behind in our posting. (Hate to say it, but it does happen). A simple follow up email is all you need to remind us to post the coverage we have sitting in our drafts. It would help clear up any misunderstanding.
Go forth and prosper.