As a non-sector specific PR agency and with the meteoric rise of influencer relations, a large part of what we do now involves working with bloggers and online influencers. At Liz Lean PR, we work with parenting bloggers, lifestyle, outdoors, active retired… you name it, we’ve done it. This means we’ve seen the good, the brilliant and, unfortunately, the bad, when it comes to influencer pitches.
We’ve built up a little list of insider tips that we hope will help influencers when drafting pitches and give examples of simple steps bloggers can take to ensure they are giving their pitches and requests the best shot at being successful.
- Check your spelling
We want only the cream of the crop for the brands we represent, so we’ll always favour the influencers and bloggers who deliver quality work. First impressions really do count so it’s well worth proofreading pitch emails.
We are looking for people to represent and embody the brand, and that, first and foremost, means naming the brand correctly. We often received several requests on behalf of Paultons Park – Home of Peppa Pig World from influencers that have named the famous pig ‘Pepper’ or confused the park to be called ‘Paulsons’.
- Always include a link to your social media accounts and blog
It’s a no brainer but we are often asking influencers who have emailed in to send us a link to their social and blogs. If you don’t include a link to your social media and blog, we have no way to review your request. Even if you have been referred through another channel, always include these. Clickable links are always preferred for speed and ease too, especially given that most brands and agencies will be receiving a lot of requests.
- Tailor your email for the brand you want to work with
A copy and paste email in any context will never bring great success and it is no different in this situation. Explaining you’ll showcase the ‘product’ on your blog when you’re hoping to collaborate on a day out or an overnight stay isn’t going to work in your favour. Another reason to proof-read your emails. Do your research to make your pitch as specific to the brand as possible.
- We will always choose true, relevant and demonstrated engagement
Bought followers and likes have always been a big ‘no-no’ for PRs and brands, putting influencers straight into their bad books. The same is absolutely still true and in recent months we have seen more and more influencers engaging in ‘follow loops’ to boost their following.
From our perspective, engaging with an influencer who has built their following through loops isn’t particularly valuable as the influence they have is only on other similar bloggers, within the same ‘circle’. We do decline requests if there is evidence to show that influencers have used ‘follow loops’.
Authentic and real engagement is paramount and where the value wholly lies from brands engaging with influencers. As much as we often have guidelines in terms of the following size, this will only matter if it is true and real. Alongside other stats and insights, most brands will look to see how engaged the audience is by reviewing the comments on posts, is the audience truly engaged?
- Give us extra information where you can
The best requests will explain who their audience is and why they feel they are the perfect fit for our client. Including screenshots of your Instagram audience data or a media pack is always helpful and adds weight to your case. Explain how you see the partnership working and where the value lies for each party.
- It’s so cliché but be unique and organic
The influencer market is so saturated these days, especially within the parenting space, so setting yourself apart from the rest is important. High-quality images are a must and having your own style helps too. Venture into a niche and do things a little differently. Almost anyone could be an influencer, so what makes your offering so valuable?
- Be professional and be suitably friendly
As much as it’s nice to have a friendly and approachable tone on email, a partnership and working with brands is very much in a professional capacity so colloquialisms, pet names, and kisses at the end of emails often feel a little out of place from a PRs perspective. Being polite goes without saying though.
- Don’t be disheartened if we decline your request
Just as journalists don’t always place our releases in their publications, PRs and brands can’t accept every request and there will always be a reason for declining you. It may not be down to your size of following, it could be that your content doesn’t quite align with the brand or that influencer relations aren’t within the current strategy. At Liz Lean PR, we always try and give this feedback where possible and encourage influencers to join our GDPR compliant database so that we can contact you for other, more relevant opportunities in the future.
- Once the agreement has been fulfilled, send us links to your social posts and blogs
It’s always helpful when dialogue continues until all deliverables have been finalised and posted. Sending links of the social and blog coverage to your contact and thanking them for the opportunity always ends the collaboration on a positive note. We will thank journalists when they publish our press releases, and so, this almost feels like an industry standard.