It’s bound to happen; once you alert the world that you’re a “PR friendly” blogger, your email inbox will be stuffed to the gills with everything from press releases to offers for product reviews to local events and brand parties. So when do you say yes and when do you say no?
First of all, what is a “PR friendly” blogger? This is the term we commonly use in the mom blogging community to indicate a blogger that is ready, willing, and able to work on projects directly with brands or the PR agencies working with brands. If you have an attractive blog with some traffic (you don’t even need high numbers), a fan page on Facebook, and a couple hundred Twitter followers, you WILL get offers. (Frankly, I’m not a PR friendly blogger and I still get a ton of offers.)
It’s easy when you first start doing reviews (and their colleague, giveaways) to say yes to all of them. But this can be a mistake. I’d like to suggest gently that in order to have a successful blog, it’s best to have some more traditional content between the reviews so that readers are willing to keep coming back.
But even if you do decide that your content is primarily going to be contests and reviews, you still need to pace yourself. One of the absolutely critical tools to have at your disposal is an editorial calender. This can be a spreadsheet, a list, a Google calendar —- there are literally a million ways to organize your calender. Just keep track! A fast way to being labeled a “bad” blogger by PR agencies is to miss deadlines.
Secondly, you also need to make good choices. Here’s a handful of tips I’ve learned over the years.
Say NO if you wouldn’t use the product yourself. Seriously, if you’re an organic clean living person, turn down that chemical cleaning product. The PR person won’t hate you.
Say NO if an event or brand trip will stress out your family too much. This one I had to learn the hard way.
Say NO if the offer is bad; like a resort offering you a review without a “discounted” room. Or an inexpensive product you’re required to return. Or if the deadline is unrealistically short.
Say NO if you are too busy. This is an easy mistake to make, but don’t do it. It’s much better to turn down an opportunity than it is to miss the deadline, write a sloppy post, or simply forget entirely.
Say NO if the company offering the review has a reputation you’d rather not associate with. There are plenty of companies doing amazing things, but there are some that have business practices that are reprehensible. If the company you’d be working with has a bad rep, don’t do it.
How about you? What makes you turn down an opportunity?