Inspired by a great fellow blogger Karin at Café Bebe who recently wrote a post titled PR Wish List in which she talks about her experience with a PR and a call out asking what bloggers expect from PR’s.
I read this with great interest as being a PR myself who is currently on maternity leave I stumbled across the world of mummy blogging thanks to a good friend of mine who is also a PR who told me all about a lovely lady she had met who had set up a fantastic networking site called British Mummy Bloggers.
The lady she had met was Susanna Scot the founder of the site and she also blogs at A Modern Mother and she told me it was something I should really look into. I think she could see that whilst I was enjoying my maternity leave, I was missing interacting with mums in a similar position to me, just having my second child, feeling slightly lost and adjusting to being at home again full time. I was struggling and I needed something to focus my mind on in the evenings and just to start talking to new people as I missed the banter and chat with journalists and work colleagues.
So I checked out BMB and started my own blog, having no technical experience at all and really being totally clueless when it came to anything blog related I have slowly been finding my feet and finding interesting mums to talk to through twitter and reading some fantastic blogs and posts from women from all walks of life.
I have entered a world in which as a PR more used to dealing with national papers and magazines than bloggers I have now realised how important and influential the blogging community can be. I know I have been very slow off the mark with this realisation.
I have been guilty in the past of getting a journalist’s name wrong, mostly by typing far to fast racing to meet a deadline, trying to get as many emails out as quickly as possible, and like many pr’s had the panicky feeling literally the second after hitting the send button and realising what I had done. I would always email straight back and apologise but mistakes do sometimes happen, pr’s after all are human but the good ones should at least acknowledge their mistakes.
I have also been guilty of using PR tools that bring up huge lists for you and let you email hundreds of people at once, we were taught to do this as the first stage of our campaign from a 100 people you may get at least 10 strong leads back, and then from those 10 people you research them a bit further and go in for a more detailed pitch. This is lazy PR but it does happen a lot and is very standard in most campaigns.
At some point in your career though you get to a point when the clients get bigger and you earn the respect of the journalist community and they start approaching you instead of you constantly hounding them.
Whenever I have trained new people I have always taught them the very simple basics:
Do you research – get their names right, look at the magazines and the different sections, make sure what you’ve got to say is relevant and of interest to them before you contact them.
Blogs are becoming a very popular way for PR’s to gain their clients coverage and when I return from my maternity leave in November I am going to make sure that I incorporate blogs into my campaigns.
I want to be accepted by the blogging community; I don’t want them to by cynical just because I am in PR. I am a mum who loves my little girls, I love meeting new mums, I am loving blogging and I’m hoping that in the future I am going to be able to bring my new found friends some great free products to test and trial and of course keep!
In the mean time I am going to enjoy blogging, meeting new people and joining in more of the great blogging activities such as Guest Post Day which I recently took part in and this was the fantastic idea of Erica at Little Mummy.