Firstly, I will state that this blog is incredibly PR friendly. I love connecting with brands and venues and bringing things I may not have otherwise known about to my readers. However, every blogger knows that there are PR companies out there that are wholly unprofessional to the point of frustration. Here are some of the worst types I (and I think many of us) bloggers have encountered. If you are a PR company, take note!:
1. The Haggler
For many of us, the prices/expected compensation for sponsored posts are clearly listed in our media kits or on our blogs. Typically, this means if a company doesn't wish to pay that price, we don't have any hard feelings and simply move on. However, every so often, there is someone who wishes to haggle you down and rather rudely and in a demanding tone. I once had someone ask me to write something for them and when I listed my price, they came back with "My price" which was lower. If a particular blogger is not in your budget or you don't think the price is fair, you are free to find another blogger who may work within your budget.
2. Look at My Products
I never quite understood this one. Every so often, someone will email me with a press release about some new products or a new clothing line. That is fantastic and I am always eager to work with new companies to help bring them publicity. However, they often list no actionable quality...it is simply a press release. A few times, I have responded telling them I will be happy to review their line for a product sample and/or a fee. In more often than not, these emails are ignored by the PR company. I am curious as to what they expect us to do with this information? Anyone?
3. Review My Products--For a Fee
At times, PR companies will contact me and ask me to review their products, but not for free. Instead, they want me to spend my own money on their products to review their item. I do review products I have purchased with my own money on my blog, but products I would have bought anyway. Otherwise...WHAT?
4. Write a Post About My Products--For Free
I actually had a rather big company (which surprised me) ask me to write a post for them for free without offering any kind of free product because they "didn't have a budget for it." When I told them I didn't review products I wasn't able to use before the review, they did offer me a free product--but it is pretty clear they were trying to see if people would review the products without any compensation whatsoever. To me, that is shady shady.
5. Can I Guest Post for You?
This one has only happened a couple of times, but boy is it obnoxious. I do allow guest posts on my blog if they are a good fit. I've had people write to me asking if they can guest post on my blog, to which my response is usually "Sure, can I see your blog and what were you thinking?" Sometimes the response is "I don't have a blog and I'd really like to talk about our amazing services your readers could benefit from." Um...that's a sponsored post, my friend.
Bonus What Not to Do for Bloggers
This isn't so much as a what not to do, but learn from my mistakes. Check the ENTIRE email someone sends you before declining or accepting. This saves you from future embarrassment.
Also, always double check emails. I sent an email to a company I wanted to work for and then immediately sent them an email thinking I was sending it to the pet pharmacy. Now they have my request to collaborate AND know all about my dog's medication. Well played, Anna.
If you're a blogger, what is the weirdest PR email you've received?