The PR Lowdown #BlogClub

Welcome back to Blog Club, my series covering all things blogging.  All my blogging posts are linked here, if you are ever looking for a tips post.  So this week I am publishing an interview with some friends of mine who are PR consultants.  Hopefully, this will give you an insight into what PRs are looking for and hopefully it will make working with brands and PRs easier.

The PR Lowdown

The PR Panel from left to right is:  Lucy Hollister and Stavros Themistocli, PR consultants from Beattie Communications and Katie Portman a Freelance PR, as well as blogger at Pouting In Heels.

1. What are the top 3 things that influence your decision to work with a blogger?

Lucy/Stav

– Relevant content and audience to the brands/clients we represent.
– Professional look and feel to the overall blog. It is important that blogs are relevant and are easy to use including clear navigation.
– Blogger is active on social channels and posts regularly.

Katie

– Voice and quality of writing / photography.
– Reach (page views/ social media).
– Engagement (comments / social media activity etc).

2. Do you regularly work with the same bloggers?

Lucy/Stav – Yes, we like to build and maintain relationships with the bloggers we work with.  It is however always exciting to work with new bloggers too!

Katie – Yes.  I like to consistently work with bloggers whom I strike up good relationships with and who achieves great results for my clients.

3. What would put you off working with a blogger?

Lucy/Stav – If a blogger is difficult to get hold of it is tricky to build a relationship easily.  We would also look at how well written their posts are and also is the content credible.

Katie

1) Poorly written posts or badly produced content – rushed, littered with bad grammar, dreadful photography etc.
2) Zero or little engagement / interaction with readers.
3) Inconsistent posting.
4) Bad attitude!

4. Do you look at bloggers social media feeds before you agree to work with them?

Lucy/Stav- Always.  Social engagement is very important, as are the responses they receive from their followers.

Katie – Yes always!  It gives me a really good idea of what they are like as a person (what’s important to them etc) and shows me how they do (or don’t) engage with their audience.

5. What are you looking for in an ‘About Me’ page?

Lucy/Stav

– Details of what the blogger likes.
– Children’s ages (if relevant).
– Topics the blog covers.
– Unique users.
– Email address to contact.
– Location (particularly handy for event planning).

Katie – Crucial information like location/ interests / expertise plus personality and warmth.

6. What attributes do you look for in a blog? If the page views are good, do you care about the design/feeling of the blog?

Lucy/Stav- Page views are important, but design/feel and relevant content are equally important.  We love looking at a blog with looks great and has warmth and character.

Katie – Other PRs may disagree, but yes personally I do care about the design / feeling of the blog.  A blog doesn’t necessarily have to look professional or slick in design, but it needs to work well and look as if the blogger has pride has in it!  Page views are of course very important, but for me personally, I like to consider the full package.  A smaller, but loyal and engaged, blog audience is more powerful than thousands of page views but little engagement.

7. Do bloggers pitch to you regularly? Do you mind if they do?

Lucy/Stav – We love hearing from bloggers with all their ideas.  If it works for us, the brand and the blogger then we are keen to get involved in some capacity.

Katie – Yes often and no certainly not!  I’m always happy to hear from bloggers on behalf of my PR clients and often it’s a great way for me to come across a blogger that I’d perhaps not heard of.  Just one thing though – please don’t harass PRs.  A couple of emails is fine, but if we’re not getting back to you or we haven’t chosen you for a campaign, please don’t endlessly persist.  If we want to work with you – now or in the future -trust me, we’ll be in touch.

8. What makes a great pitch?

Lucy/Stav – Honest and open pitches are the best.  We want to know what a blogger wants from us and how we can work together in the best way. For some brands, it’s good to know why a blogger wants to work with our brand specifically and how it would work on the blog.

Katie – A friendly, but professional, email or document that supplies key information and clearly outlines the benefits to my client, that would come from working with you.  I want to hear creative ideas and suggestions and know exactly why it is, my clients should work with YOU and not another blogger. (Have you won an award? Got an unusual idea? etc)

9. What could a blogger do to become top of your list of ‘go to’ bloggers?

Lucy/Stav – Be yourself and talk!  We want to know what you want from us and how we can help.  Keep in touch so we know what you are working on and how your blog is advancing.  We also love to co-create ideas with a blogger for posts, to ensure they have something unique to offer to their followers.

Katie – Create brilliant content, be professional and a joy to work with, treat your audience well and show me that you care.

10. If the blog stats are similar, what makes you pick one blogger and over another?

Lucy/Stav – If blog stats are similar, we would look at the relevant content on the blog and how it/how often posts are written, level of engagement and online presence.  Design of the blog itself is also important.

Katie – Quality and individuality – you’ll always stand out from the crowd to me if your blog posts are consistently of a great quality and you have a unique voice.

11. If bloggers could do one thing to make your life easier what would it be?

Lucy/Stav – Have a media pack or document which includes all stats/address etc. This was we don’t have to hassle you for the small bits of information.

Katie – Make sure your contact details are easy to find on your blog! I’ve lost count of the number of blogs I have come across that do not offer a contact email address or have their details hidden away somewhere in an obscure place.  Also – tell me why should I work with you! Shout out about your success with easy to find testimonials / press coverage / award wins etc

12. What is the first thing you do/where do you go, when you land on a potential blog?

Lucy/Stav – We head to the about you section, this gives us a feel for the blogger and what they do before we read the posts.

Katie – I always read the first post and look at the comment section.  Next I jump to the about me page and if I’m still interested, finally the contact page.

13. How do you find potential blogs?  Where do you start?

Lucy/Stav – Recommendations from other bloggers and searching online for keywords.  We also keep a close eye on Tots100 and BritMums for new bloggers.  We often speak to our media contacts, as they always have recommendations too.

Katie – PR directories and social media mainly.  I also ask for recommendations from fellow bloggers or work with bloggers that I know myself, through my own blog.

14. For new/aspiring bloggers who hope to work with more PR companies, what would be your advice to ‘breakthrough’?

Lucy/Stav – Make yourself stand out.  Engage with PR’s on twitter and don’t be afraid to reach out to us.  We are always keen to hear from you and in turn work with you!  We want to build a relationship with everyone we work with.

Katie – Concentrate on making your blog the best it can be and trust me, we will eventually find you.  Alternatively, it never hurts to drop us a line and let us know who you are and what you’re all about.

15. Put these in the order of the most important to you? Page views/ Social media Following/ Skill &tone of Writing/ Design of blog/ frequency of posting

Lucy/Stav;

Skill & tone of writing
Frequency of posting
Page views
Social media following
Design of blog

Katie;

1) Skill & tone of writing
2) Social media following
3) Page views
4) Design of blog
5) Frequency of posting

So that’s the Lowdown!  Thanks so much to Lucy, Stav and Katie for taking to time to collaborate with me on this post.  I hope you have found this insight interesting and that it helps you break into working with brands, or enables you to do it more effectively.

BlogClub

 

I would love it if you could spare the time to vote for me in the BIB awards (‘Family’ probably fits my blog best)

BritMums

Point + Shoot 31st March

Welcome to Point + Shoot, which is a great photography based linky, that I run with my fabulous friend Em over at Snowing Indoors.

So what is Point + Shoot?  The concept is really simple, you’re sharing your weekend with the rest of the blogging community.  It can be one picture or a whole bunch, it is up to you.  An accompanying story is also fine with us.

Each week Em and I pick a favourite picture and give it a little shout out.  We have a sponsor printed.com, who very kindly send 12 Instagram prints to the owner of our joint favourite picture. So link up for your chance to win.  Our winner from last week is Me, You and Magoo.

PointShoot

You don’t have to play every week, just drop by when you have something to share.  You don’t need a fancy DSLR either, a phone camera works just as well.

As for the photos, they can be of absolutely anything, if you saw it, or did it, at the weekend, then photograph it and link up!

Just point…and shoot…and share.

You Baby Me Mummy
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.youbabymemummy.com" title="You Baby Me Mummy"><img src="http://youbabymemummy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Point-Shoot.jpg" alt="You Baby Me Mummy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Follow Me!

I would love it if you could spare the time to vote for me in the BIB awards (‘Family’ probably fits my blog best)

BritMums

£50 Picture Frame Giveaway with best4frames

As a photography obsessed family, we are in constant need for wall space and picture frames.  I think this is the same for many families with children, it is never long before you take ANOTHER picture that just HAS to go on the wall.

best4frames

So with this in mind I bring you the chance to win £50 of picture frames, from best4frames. best4frames have a fantastic range including Ready Made and Made To Measure frames.  With an extensive selection of frame, and mount, colours.  Their interactive website is really user-friendly and makes finding what you need really easy.

All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is complete the rafflecopter below and cross your fingers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We were given some frames in return for running this giveaway.

 

I would love it if you could spare the time to vote for me in the BIB awards (‘Family’ probably fits my blog best)

BritMums

You Are Two – A Letter To Baby

Every six months I write to Baby.  I post the letters here, but I also write them out by hand, seal them in an envelope and keep them until she is at an age when she might appreciate them.

You are two

Dear Baby,

On the 12th August 2012, we found out that we were expecting you.  All that time waiting, hoping, agonising, thinking that it may not ever happen for us.  That we might never become parents. Then, as the test showed the words Pregnant, I felt numb.  Prepared for it always to say Not Pregnant.  Not prepared for anything else.

I can’t say pregnancy was easy; months on crutches did slow me down, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat for you.

I remember lying on the bed in the maternity unit, almost crying, when the midwife struggled to find your heartbeat at 16 weeks.  You were just hiding, you little monkey.  Even then, I expected the worst; expected fate to intervene and prove I didn’t deserve you.

Reduced movements, spotting, excruciating stomach pains, all saw us taking trips back to hospital, so we could listen to your heart and know you were safe.

Even the week you were born, I was convinced things were going to go wrong.  My waters broke at 39+4, although the Hospital disagreed at first.  You were finally induced at 39 + 6 and you arrived, a little worse for wear, on your due date.

Labour was very scary and there were times when I genuinely didn’t think I was going to be able to do it.  It ended with me losing a lot of blood, you getting into distress and the emergency team flooding the room.

Pregnancy and labour may not have been a walk in the park, but I cannot think, for one second, of my life without you.

You are a challenging, strong-willed little girl.  Who has an incredibly warm heart and such a kind nature.  You are funny, a little bit crazy, stunning and I am completely intoxicated by your beauty, both inside and out.

There is not a day that goes by, when I don’t count my blessings that I have you as my daughter.  I feel like the luckiest person alive.

I hope you have as much fun in your second year, as you did in your first.

2 years old

I love you with all my heart, forever.

 

Mummy xxxx

 

I would love it if you could spare the time to vote for me in the BIB awards (‘Family’ probably fits my blog best)

BritMums

I am linking up with the following fabulous bloggers and their lovely linkys.

Katie from Mummy Daddy Me for #OrdinaryMoments

ordinary moment link The Simple Things

Jaime at The Olivers’ Madhouse for #MagicMoments magicmoments150x150 zps58f60c40 The Simple Things

Charly at Podcast Dove for #What’sTheStory whats the story The Simple Things

Living Arrows 13

It’s time to link up with ‘The 52 Project’ (Practising Simplicity) and the ‘Living Arrows’ (Shutterflies).  The aim is to take a picture that captures the beauty and magic of childhood in our eyes.  I am also linking with Snowing Indoors and my Point & Shoot linky.

“You are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth’ Kahlil Gibran.”

13 /52 (2015)

Living Arrows

Our 2014 year of Living Arrows can be found here.

practising simplicity Living Arrows / The 52 Project 18/52

Point & Shoot

One Tiger Roars – Parragon Book Buddies Review

As part of the Parragon Book Buddy programme, we were sent One Tiger Roars , which is a new addition to our Little Learners range.

Parragon

This book would be suitable for babies, as well as toddlers, as the thick board pages are ideal for little hands to manage.  It is very simplistic, so older toddlers might not be interested for that long, but it is a great way to learn numbers.  Baby adores animals, so she enjoys reading it and it helps her to learn the animal names too.

The illustrations are very child friendly, not too arty and there is a good use of strong colours to capture the little ones interest.

Overall, this book is great.  A simple numbers book, more suited to younger toddlers, but certainly lots of fun.

 

Disclosure: We were sent this book in return for an honest review.

I would love it if you could spare the time to vote for me in the BIB awards (‘Family’ probably fits my blog best)

BritMums

5 Things; That Mean I’m Obsessed With Blogging

Welcome back to my weekly feature ‘5 Things’.  This week it is;

5 things

That Mean I’m Obsessed With Blogging

If I love something I tend to put a lot of myself and my time into it.  When I worked in Events Management, I was always on call, answering emails and phone calls; even though I only worked part time.  I would rather get on and graft, than worry about the work building up.

I have now been blogging almost 20 months and I feel way more passionately about my blog, than I did about the Events Management career that I loved dearly.  So I am sharing the five things that make me obsessed with blogging;

  • I can’t physically go a day without blogging.  Even when we were on holiday, I did bits and pieces.  Although I had scheduled all my content before we left.  Well you have to IG, don’t you?!
  • I don’t read anything other than blogs anymore.  I used to read books and I actually LOVE reading books.  However, these days I have no spare time at all, so blog reading is all I do.  If I didn’t read my favourites, I would feel like I was missing something.
  • I take pictures of everything all the time, just in case they might be useful in a post.  I think I might actually be obsessed by photography too!  My phone is always refusing to work because it is clogged full of pictures.  I collect things to use as backgrounds in pictures of products and I am always thinking of ways to improve my photography.
  • The Tots100 ranking day can make or break my week.  I am not competitive with my peers, but I always want to better myself.  So, like it or not, one little number can make me a very happy lady.
  • The dividing line between blogging and ‘real life’ has long been rubbed away.  Blogging is now my profession, my hobby and most of my friends are bloggers.  The people I speak to every day are bloggers, the thing that keeps me working every night well into the early hours is blogging.

 

I simply couldn’t imagine my life without this crazy, all consuming, wonderful world of blogging.  I count my blessing every day that I stumbled upon it and I am so grateful for everything it brings my way.

Are you obsessed with something?

 

I would love it if you could spare the time to vote for me in the BIB awards (‘Family’ probably fits my blog best)

BritMums
Mami 2 Five

My Sunday Photo 29th March

My Sunday Photo

Sundaylge e1396359989177 Silent Sunday #37

If you enjoy my posts, why not
Follow on Bloglovin

Saving for Family Holidays

This year we are lucky enough to have a few family holidays lined up.  After a 5 year holiday drought, 2015 see’s us head to Cornwall, Dorset, France, Rome for my first solo trip and we had the pleasure of going to South Wales at the start of the year.

While these holidays aren’t very far-flung, as a family we need to make sure that we have saved enough to cover our travel expenses, all our holiday expenses and also have enough put by for our dogs to live in luxury at the dog sitters while we are away!  Spoilt pooches.

Saving

How to save for a family holiday

Most people will have to budget and save, before they set off on their holiday.  So here are some tips to help get you closer to that plane.

  • Work out the figure you are going to need, either for your one big holiday or like us, a few littler ones!  Write it all down and you then have your savings goal.  Anything you manage to save over and above this figure will be a bonus.
  • Cut down your monthly expenditure.  There are various ways to do this, from changing your energy supplier, changing the tariff of your mobile phones or home phone.  Finding an alternative to Sky TV, which we personally spend a fortune on!  You can also use supermarket reward points to buy food and then bank the saved money.  Or consider switching to a low-cost supermarket like Aldi.  I am always astonished how cheap supplies are in there.
  • Clear out your clutter.  Sell all of your unwanted possessions.  It is amazing how this all adds up, so get listing on Ebay and you will also have a clutter free home at the end of it.  Double win!
  • Set a shopping/spending budget – It is so easy when you are in the supermarket, to just chuck a few extra things in the trolley.  All these little additions add up; so having a budget helps to keep you on track.

All the money you save, can then be popped into an ISA savings account.  That way it earns you more than it would stuffed under the mattress!  You also get a tax-free allowance on your savings and you can still access your funds whenever you like.  This might speed up the process a little, by making your money earn money.

Do you have an ISA?  Where are you going on holiday this year?

 

Disclosure: This post was written in association with Legal and General. All 

 

I would love it if you could spare the time to vote for me in the BIB awards (‘Family’ probably fits my blog best)

BritMums

Gratitude List #42

I love the process of writing a weekly gratitude list, as it ensures I consciously take in the small, but lovely things that happen every day.  Then, they are immortalized here on the page, so I will always remember.

Gratitude

This week I have loved;

  • Finding a fab skirt (size medium!) in the H&M sale for £3.
  • I had a few moments this week when back pain made me wince, each time Baby would say ‘Mama’ and then ‘Dada’ pointing to me.  Love her concern, but don’t want to ever make her worried.
  • That when tidying up mega blocks, if I put them in the bag stuck together; Baby will retrieve them, separate the pieces and put them back in the bag.
  • That every time we go down a hill in the car Baby says ‘Weeeeeeeeeee’.
  • Making Baby’s 2nd Birthday cake.
  • Dancing in the park with Baby.
  • Making plans for an awesome weekend of Baby birthday celebrations.
  • Having an hour to go shopping, while Hubby sat with napping Baby in the car.
  • Handing Baby her bath toys one by one, and her saying ‘kank -oo’ each time.
  • Watching how much fun Baby had on the death slide (ably assisted by Mummy).

 

So what are you grateful for this week?

I am linking up with This Enchanted Pixie’s 52 weeks of gratitude and

What Katy Said

Follow on Bloglovin