If there is a brand you admire and want to work with, there’s nothing wrong with getting in touch to share your passion for their products. The trouble is doing it in a way that is genuine and without coming across as a scrounger for free products. It’s a little controversial but there are so many blogs out there now that if you don’t introduce yourself then you’re likely to go unnoticed and overlooked by the very brands you admire.
Learning the proper etiquette for approaching brands and making yourself known to them for potential collaborations is essential for being a professional blogger. Here are five key tips to keep in mind when approaching PR agencies and brands.
1 | Do Some ResearchBefore emailing, do a little research on the brand you’re about to introduce yourself to. Try to find the name of the person in charge of the press department and address them personally. Learn a few key facts about the brand and the products they make, refer to them in your email to show your genuine interest. More importantly: look for information on whether they work with online influencers or not and the type of people they are looking for.
2 | Keep Your Email BriefKeep your email short and sweet by including essential information and editing out the bumf. PR agencies and brands are busy, they appreciate your support but they appreciate brief emails even more. Introduce yourself, say why you’re emailing, provide key information, and tell them why you’re emailing. Don’t get sickly with the compliments, it can make you come across as disingenuous and always customise your email to be specific for each brand.
3 | Include Key InformationYour name, your blog and the URL, and key statistics such as your monthly unique visitors, page views, and reader numbers - this information is crucial and yet a lot of people forget to include it in their outreach email. Offer to send them your media kit on request, don’t attach it as a lot of emails with attachments get deleted or dumped in the spam folder. If it’s available online, include a link where they can view it. If you don’t have one, learn how to create a media kit and make one before approaching brands, they’re essential if you’re serious about blogging.
4 | Don’t Ask For Specific ProductsAlthough there’s nothing wrong with mentioning a certain product that caught your eye and led to you contacting the brand, don’t specifically ask if you can have it or any other product. Not all brands have a marketing budget so don't send a list of products you want, you’ll look like a jerk. Simply ask if the brand you’re approaching works with online influencers and if so could could you please have more information and be added to their press list for future updates.
5 | Be friendly, Polite, and Always ReplyWhether a brand wants to work with you or not, remain friendly and polite and always respond to their emails. If they say no, they're not interested in working with you right now, then email back to thank them for their time. If they do and agree to send you a product, tell them when it arrives. Remember to get in touch after your collaboration has ended to let them know about the promotion you have been doing, the content you created for them, and to thank them for the opportunity. A lot of people don’t do this; it will make you stand out but it's also the polite thing to do plus it will strengthen your relationship with the PR agent or brand.
It’s worth noting that reaching out to brands is about building relationships not scoring freebies. Only approach brands you really love and don’t expect anything in return. Sometimes you won’t receive a response at all, sometimes you will but they won’t want to work with you, and sometimes the brand will be just as excited to work with you as you are with them. If you’re uncomfortable with approaching brands via email, why not use social media to share your love for specific brands and their products?