This Group Discussion was led by Margo Donohue, founder and creator of the health and fitness blog, Brooklyn Fit Chick. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, as both a group fitness and personal trainer with certifications from NASM, AFAA, ACE and TRX.
Margo is also a public relations and marketing consultant with her own business as well as a featured writer for Fit Bottomed Girls, Diets in Review and SweatGuru.com.
Margo (aka Brooklyn Fit Chick) comes from a background in PR and marketing with magazines. After becoming a spin instructor and blogger, all her interests began to dovetail together and now she works as an ambassador for brands such as Terry Bikes. Margo noticed that Terry didn’t have much going on with their PR so she offered to help them in return for in-kind trade. Since the company had no PR budget, this arrangement proved mutually beneficial.
SO YOU’RE THINKING OF PITCHING TO BRANDS
First of all-what do you want from your blog? Do you want to make a living at this? Do you want people to see your pretty face? Figure out what you want by evaluating:
-Who you are
-What brand(s) resonate(s) with you
Then build your fan base, targeting the people you want to follow.
One Ignite speaker at the conference spoke about how she was able to get a sponsored trip to race in Germany by approaching companies, big and small, who would want to reach her audience. Let companies and brands know what you can do for THEM. In the meantime, try and build your social media numbers. Hashtag the communities you are targeting.
Insider PR tip: number of followers x number of content posts = number of impressions
# of impressions looks impressive.
When contacting companies, use email or phone and get to the point quickly. Run your pitches by a community you trust and have them check:
-Clarity of message
PITCHING IN PERSON
Thinking of working with a local business?
-Go in person, ask to speak to the manager
-Have your business card and/or media kit ready
-Let them know the value they will receive from working with you. Again, it’s about what you can do for THEM, not the other way around.
Insider PR tip: Brevity is gold! It’s up to each of us to help correct all the bad PR that is going on in social media right now.
MAKING AN EMAIL PITCH
When pitching companies via email make sure to always:
-Have a clear subject line
-Say right away who you are, what you want and, yes again, what you can do for THEM
-Mention when/how they should contact you further
Insider PR tip: It’s okay to be picky! Sticking to your personal brand will pay off. Do not get stuck on details such as the length of your blogging career or viewership (however large or small).
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU CHARGE?
If you have no idea what to charge, see what blogger groups like Fitfluential, Sweat Pink, etc. offer for comparable service. Or check Passionfruit Ads, a great place to compare services and prices to see where you are in the marketplace. It’s always good to know where you stand.
When working with local businesses, raise your profile in local press to establish your authority in your field. Be bold! Get yourself on radio shows, podcasts, news, etc. People love the “hyper-local”. Start by partnering with other bloggers in your area.
PR Insider Tip: Do your homework and make those crucial connections. If you wanted to call your local newspaper, who would you reach out to? If you have a contact, use it.
HOW TO TALK TO BRANDS
Many brands do not know the difference between engagement and number of impressions. Play off whichever your strength is.
Is there a window of opportunity? Take advantage right away. Social media is an immediate world. Use your community of blogger friends with similar values to help you post HOT content and work with each other.
PR Insider Tip: Smaller brands are sometimes intimidated. And some brands may not be social media savvy. Go in owning your skills. You came to Fitbloggin (or are reading this post) so you clearly take this seriously.
WHEN COMPANIES WANT YOU TO WORK FOR FREE
The nicest way to respond when companies ask you to do a whole lot of blogging for free (or do their work for them) is to ask, “What’s your budget for this?” That question helps weed out brands who are serious about developing a working relationship with you for either in-kind trade or pay.
PR Insider Tip: You do not have to tolerate being treated impersonally. Own your expertise!
WHEN YOU’VE BEEN WORKING WITH A BRAND FOR A WHILE
For longer brand relationships (for instance, if you find yourself doing repeat campaigns for a particular brand) consider renegotiating your terms. If you have grown, approach them with the concept of “taking your brand to the next level” and asking how they would like to evolve in social media.
PR Insider Tip: If you are disappointed that you are not getting campaigns with larger organizations, you may have to seek and/or create your own opportunities.