Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bloggers Contacting PR companies & Brands... what you need to know!


Today's post is a little on the serious side.. uh-oh! Well I will try to be as profesh as possible.  After a twitter chat I realised how many bloggers have uncertainties about approaching PR companies and brands. A few of the questions I have seen are:

Can I contact PR companies myself?
What do I say?
Can I approach brands?
Is it rude to ask for samples?
What if they ignore me?
Will they think I am cheeky if I contact them?
Do I just wait to PR companies to approach me?

These are all very good questions. In this post I will endeavour to answer some of them for you. That is not to say that this is the way everyone handles their communications and blog it is just the way I do.

The first thing you need to do is to work hard on your blog. Please don't expect to be given samples, event invites and meetings if your blog doesn't have at least some followers and interactions. If it looks like a jumbled mess, it is unlikely pr companies will not contact you. Think of it the other way around, if you were a brand would you want to be associated with your blog? Great blogs come in all different shapes and sizes, colours and fonts but one thing they all have in common is that they are clear and can be easily read.

Ok so your blog is down, you have some interactions and followers... what next? Decide which brands you like and want to be associated with. What products would your readers like to find out about? There is not much point in a vegetarian food blog reviewing Scotch Beef, sarcastic yes but you get my drift! So have a good think about what you want people to come to your blog to read about.

Once you have decided on the brand or brands you would like on your blog you have a few options. Buy some of their products or if you already have them, like I did with Utan reviewing it here, here and here, then great!  Once you have your review, try tweeting the brand or incorporate their handle in to a tweet about your post.

They may or may not respond. In this case they didn't. Sometimes they will favourite your tweet or event retweet it. This should help to make the brand aware of your presence. Doing this alone can lead to being contacting to review products or even being invited to events. This is not a given though as many other bloggers are doing the same thing.

Another option you have is to contact the brand, pr or product company directly. I don't see any harm in doing this so long as you are respectful and professional. I have done this a handful or times. Mainly the brands/PR companies I contacted were open and friendly. Some even sent me products and invited me to events. I think you will have more success if you select who you contact carefully. Again, make sure that they fit well with the audience and readership of your blog.

And not all brands are big on social media. A couple of fantastic products which I absolutely love have never replied to any of my tweets or emails. I do find this frustrating. Not because I expect a response but because I know how much pr and advertising they are missing out on by not taking advantage of rave reviews by their loyal customers. 

So don't let it put you off if you don't get a response or if they turn down your request.  I would wait for a couple of months, let your readership improve and try contacting them again. Or try another brand, there are plenty out there!

It is fairly easy to find the contact details for a brand on their website, which a quick google search should produce. Many brands have their PR companies listed directly on their website or twitter profiles. If they don't list a pr contact, you can guess that they probably don't use one and try emailing them directly.

Now lets discuss the email to send. I like to keep it short, friendly and professional. Make sure you include plenty of information about you and your blog. Here is an exert from an email I sent which got a positive response

So on to a few of these questions which I haven't covered already...

Is it rude to ask for samples?
You know I really don't think it is rude to ask for samples, so long as you actually want them to review on your blog and not just because you want to put them in your friends charity lucky dip. If you are still wary of writing to a company for a sample, remember that plenty of beauty brands have samples in their shops or counters so it is worth asking there.

Will they think I am cheeky if I contact them?
Probably not but who knows until you try. I really don't think so. Remember that if you write about a product you are giving that brand advertising!

Do I just wait for PR companies to approach me?
You can do. Maybe you will get an email from them within a month of starting your blog or within a year or maybe never. It really is up to you. It is the PR companies job to put products in the right places for exposure, if you think your blog is the right place then why not let them know?

So that is it folks. Get out there and do some contacting!!!

Please ask any other questions in the comment section below I will be happy to answer them for you!

I would love to hear how you get on contacting PR's or brands

Don't forget you can follow me on


  1. this was a really helpful post!! thanks for sharing lovely :) xox

  2. Glad you found it helpful gorg!!! xx

  3. This was definitely helpful! Thank you :D

  4. That was a really helpful post for newbie blogger like me, I just got my first sponsor last night. But I only started to blog serious for about a month, so I am planning to build my blog before start contacting other brands.

  5. I am glad to be of assistance! Great news about your first sponsor!!! Keep us posted!

  6. Brilliant post! Very insightful! xx

  7. I loved this post, it gave a great insight for blogging and promoting yourself. This is the main thing I've been struggling with.The past few weeks I've been contacted by brands, but they're mostly for health related topics and not fitness (my blog's theme) I can't turn them down as they're helping me gain content.
    Now I know how and who to contact, thanks to you! x


I love reading all your comments :-) contact me on twitter @AshlyLondon I would love to chat with you xxx