Be Your Own Agent: PR Tactics for the Blogging Community

public relations tips

Partnerships, advertising deals, news placements: the era of blogging agents is upon the blogging community. While having a blogging agent can help you achieve certain blogging goals, not everyone can afford a blogging agent nor do they necessarily want one. If hiring a blogging agent isn't for you, is it possible for you to do the PR work on your own?

Absolutely.

It takes research, planning and execution but becoming your own agent is completely doable.

 

5 PR Tactics for the Blogging Community

1. Engage with the blogging community.

Remember when you first started out blogging and you'd leave comments on the blogs you loved? Did you stop doing that after a few months? Well, you should get back at it! Not only does that get your name out within the blogging community but it also builds relationship with that specific influential blogger.

 

2. Build relationships with the press.

It used to be that talking with press people was extremely difficult. Flash forward to the days of emails and social media! It is much easier to build a relationship with a reporter or editor now but do it slowly and organically. Begin by following the articles they write and get familiar with their writing style. Find them on Twitter and see how they interact with their audience. If they only use Twitter to talk with families, it's best to not interject into their conversation. Once you find their communication style, you will be more familiar in the most appropriate way to reach out to them.

 

3. Position yourself as the expert in your blog's niche.

You (yes you!) are the expert on your blog. It's a fact. So how can you channel your voice and opinions in a more credible, authentic way? By doing your homework. Research trends and new stories in your field. Consume all relevant news and information that can help you and your blog, and then use that information in your blog posts. For instance, if you see a major trend popping up on the red carpet or runway, adapt that trend into your personal style blog. Talk about why you like it or what other bloggers are doing it. Create a Pin board that focuses on this trend and use social media to ask your audience what they think about it. All of this will help make you look like the expert and that will boost your credibility in that niche.

 

4. Harness the power of your social media.

The PR pros and blogging gals from NYC PR Girls say that bloggers should focus more of their attention on their social media channels, “It's important for bloggers to think beyond just their blog page and grow their social media channels as well. Twitter is still the number one driver of traffic to our blog. We've used Twitter as way to share our archived posts, crowdsource and answer our reader's questions quickly” says Adrianna from NYC PR Girls. Social media isn't just another tool to play around on; it's an active communication channel that can help you grow your blog and reach your influential readers.

 

5. Pitch a story to targeted press.

Pitching a story sounds overwhelming but it really isn't, once you've done your homework (see #2). After you know the reporters style and beat, pitch them an exclusive story that you are familiar with. Trends, breaking news, interviews. These are the types of stories reporters are looking for and if you have the inside info, you should definitely reach out. Send them a professional email that includes the story and why its relevant to today. Be sure to pitch them in the morning too, before afternoon crunch time hits and they are working to meet their deadlines.

 

Overall, it's all about being credible and laid- back when working with brands and press. Crosby from PR Couture says, “In PR, the absolutely worst thing you can do is ignore the media. As a blogger, same goes for brands. Be timely in your communication, follow up and follow through. By proving you are a trustworthy and easy to work with, you open yourself up to more and hopefully better opportunities.”

Hopefully, these tips get you prepared for PR success. You can definitely do all the PR work on your own with just some planning. Have questions or concerns? Share them in the comment section and we'll get our PR pros to weigh in.

 

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14 Responses

  1. Cynthia

    I find the PR part very difficult – I’ve been told that it’s better to have someone do it for you (but that, unfortunately, costs $$$), because you don’t want to sound like you’re promoting YOURSELF too much. I’ve tried doing it on my own, but other than actually going out to meet people at networking events, it is extremely difficult!

    Reply
    • Sharon

      Cynthia — a business, author, and artist all have something in common and so do bloggers, PR to be seen or cross fingers and hope for the best. I was thinking that maybe you can join with a blogger in your area or one that you feel comfortable with online and provide each other with PR help. You know be PR buddies. For instance, if writing about yourself makes you nervous, have your PR buddy write a release about you/your blog and you do it for her/him. Have brainstorming sessions on who to approach and what ideas to present. Work together on each other presentations. Save money, gain confidence, and get experience. (Just an idea).

      Reply
    • amandaboyce

      It’s really important to do your research before doing anything. Find out which reporters are blogger friendly and then study their work. It takes time but it definitely works!

      Reply
  2. Colleen F.

    Happy to see great advice on PR and media relations for fashion bloggers. I think its important to emphasize #5 before #3. Unless you’re pitching a profile piece to a local or niche publication, journalists don’t want you as the story. Don’t pitch just yourself as the story. They want exclusives, breaking stories, and emerging trends (e.g. NYT piece on nail trends http://nyti.ms/ID8hyN), and if you can provide valuable information (and back up your credibility through your blog), then you might get a quote or a link referencing you as an expert. And if you pitch the big outlets, 2 pieces of advice: 1) Pitch national with a local angle (e.g. Being done this way in Boston, part of a growing trend nationally/internationally); 2) Pitch something truly new, not a story that has already broken. These journalists are savvy and already know about color blocking, neon, pastels, etc., so surprise them.

    Reply
    • amandaboyce

      Good point! Positioning yourself is more for the community. I would never recommend positioning yourself to a reporter unless that relationship is already built and established.

      Reply
  3. Sabina

    These are great tips, especially the one about reaching out to targeted press. I’m the editor of a community newspaper based in Manhattan and you’d be amazed at how many out of city and even out of state stories I get pitched, with a PR person lamely going on about how universal a topic is. In other words, they have no idea what the publication is about before pitching, which ends up just wasting their time and mine.
    Also you can reach out to a reporter any time of the day as far as I’m concerned. Even if a reporter can’t immediately respond due to deadlines, that doesn’t mean they don’t check emails once off deadline.

    Reply
  4. Rebekah

    I always find it interesting how bloggers make there way into the big fashion labels. People like Leandra Medine and her new thing with MyTheresa. Lee Oliveira and partnership with Gucci. He is a hottie and his instagram account is the best. Song of style and how she is doing amazing things with brands. I admire these bloggers on how they work it and how the brands love them so much. A lesson for us all I guess. I still struggle to even start my own actual blog rather than just a tumblr.

    Rx

    Reply
  5. Jade

    Great tips! I definitely agree about social media (Twitter especially, for me) and engaging with other bloggers. I love leaving comments on their blogs or retweeting/replying to a tweet about their new blog post. I have to admit I probably wouldn’t pitch a story to the press but that’s only because I feel my blog isn’t at it’s best yet and I still need to dedicate more time to it xx

    Reply
  6. Krysztalova

    I want to focus on something I find unique in my state – map of local outlets, secondhands and cheap&stylish shops (; I hope, that there still is a place for my blog in this niche.

    Reply
  7. Alyssa Tomasic

    This post really helped me! I created my fashion blog in February 2012 and I have found it difficult to get my blog noticed by the public. #1 is definitely important and I will begin to comment on my favorite blogs again!

    Reply