I come from a background of a mix of PR + marketing and it’s always been interesting to see both sides of the marketing process (being an influencer and working for an agency). As most of you know for my full-time job, I am a creative supervisor for the digital/creative team at Small Girls PR. Basically what this means, is I concept and execute creative brand strategies through influencer marketing, social media, brand partnerships and experiential activations. I’ve done everything from digital strategy for the Women’s March Alliance’s media partner to experiential moments for brands such as Jason Wu and the PGA Tour. I love what I do, but what I love most is that I get to see both sides of the industry and can utilize my connections to broaden my network and really understand the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of digital marketing. I constantly get questions about how to pitch yourself, how to talk to agencies and brands, how to deliver brand decks, etc. so I wanted to give some of my tips for how to work with PR agencies!
What to do
Do be professional but don’t lose your voice – It’s always important to be professional with brands so they understand you know what you are doing but don’t feel the need to mold into an unrecognizable version of yourself. If your brand is fun and relatable, then your writing should be too.
Do create a boiler plate for yourself – This is basically just an overview of your brand, what you feature, etc. Also include your blog and social analytics as well as any recent press! Include your boiler plate in an email when pitching brands.
Do create a wrap one-sheet – Once a sponsored campaign has wrapped, deliver your analytics and content the brand might not have seen (i.e. did 10 people DM you asking about the product?) these are things that can’t be measured from an outside source so it is helpful to deliver these results so a brand can better measure the success of the campaign.
Do keep up relationships – This is a given but do what you can to keep up relationships with people you have worked with in the past. Even if the publicist or agency isn’t working with the “brands of your dreams” you will never know where they might end up or which next sick brand may pop up on their roster.
What NOT to do
Don’t burn bridges – Quite frankly, we have been screwed by brands before. It just happens. It’s that game in the industry that I am sure every blogger has dealt with. But the industry is small, people talk and people also change agencies/brands faster than I change my underwear.
Don’t always say no to unpaid opps – Never outright turn down an opportunity just because they don’t have a budget. A lot of influencers don’t realize this but even BIG brands have alloted dollars that they can use per quarter. Just because an influencer you many know got paid to work with them last quarter doesn’t mean they definitely have enough budget. Keep up the relationship because brands generally get a new marketing budget every quarter.
Don’t post about brands you could give an F*** about – It ruins your authenticity and will make your page look really #sponsored. I’m all for paying the bills (trust me) but it’s also important to stay true to yourself and don’t just sign onto a campaign cause they are offering to pay the big bucks.
Don’t send pricing sheets – It might be the easiest way but I don’t recommend sending pricing one-sheets. Those one-sheeters can circulate and you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself into a certain dollar amount. You might price a campaign for an app much differently then you would for a hair brand so creating thoughtful pricing breakdowns during negotiations is a must!