How To Kill It With The Press

Working With Bloggers, Planning Events And Other Things to Know to Maximize Your Public Relations And Social Media Plan

Written by: First and Last PR

I met the owner of a skincare brand at a recent beauty event and when she asked me what I did, I replied that I am the owner of First and Last PR, a beauty-focused traditional public relations and digital marketing firm. Then, she made the face. The face that I don’t see often but know all too well (I’ve had to make the face in the past when I was the one who was hiring agencies so understand it). It’s the face of someone who felt let down by the agency or consultant that they’ve hired to entrust with the voice of their brand. Then she confirmed it, “Unfortunately I had such a poor experience with my PR person when I launched (my line) that I am leery of repeating the same experience.” I told her that I totally understood, which I did, and to feel free to consider us down the road or just to stay in touch as a beauty friend. This interaction inspired the First and Last PR team to ask a few PR friends and one amazing blogger to write out our top 10 tips for having a successful PR and Social Media program. Here they are:

Top Ten Tips for Having a Successful PR and Social Media Program

  1. Have a plan. Create a monthly/yearly plan and look for updates to measure the success. It’s important to have a vision for your brand and a specific guide that leads you to your PR and Social Media objectives. -Stephanie Scott, CEO and Communicator-in-Chief

  2. Start with a Budget. “I always advise clients to determine a budget before they begin the event planning process,” says Shakira Johnson, Founder of Johnson PR & Events.  “Once the budget is set all the other creative elements can fall into place.  For example, knowing your budget will help narrow down what venue, food and beverage package, talent, printing, premiums, etc. you can afford.  This equates to saving valuable time and money not pursuing venues, vendors or ideas that are not in budget.”

  3. Communicate and be realistic about your goals. Trust that your PR team will help you reach your goals and communicate with them. Measure your current needs and be realistic with what you’re envisioning for your company. - Stephanie Scott, CEO and Communicator-in-Chief

  4. Have new materials available for pitching and planning purposes. If your brand has news share (for example: new product in the works, expanding to a new store, holiday gift guides etc.) make sure to share the news with your PR team in advance to secure timely stories with long lead and short lead publications. -Stephanie Bustamante, Account Manager

  5. Have all PR assets ready including past press releases, publishable images, company fact sheets and available bios. If you don’t have this already, ask your PR team for help writing or securing editorial worthy photographs. Having approved professional language and images will help your PR team create successful and shareable press kits for pitching purposes. -Stephanie Bustamante, Account Manager

  6. Know your budget. When starting to work with a PR company, it’s essential to know what your expenses and budget will entail going forward. In addition to a monthly retainer, a PR budget may include: postage for editor product requests, package supplies for product mailings to influencers, blogger fees and expenses for editor and client meetings. Communicate with your team and take this into consideration when preparing your PR program budget. -Stephanie Scott, Ceo and Communicator-in-Chief

  7. Be very clear and specific with your requests. According to Mel Burgos, Founder of popular hair blog “Rock Yo Rizos,” bloggers are sent tons of emails and it makes it easier to not only respond but, brands will get a faster turn around regarding their response if they are very clear and specific with their requests.

  8. Time equals money.  Not all blog posts require a fee but when commissioning a blogger or vlogger for a specific sponsored post, event or series, communicate your goals and budget upfront for best results. “It’s important to include the compensation package with your request when working with a blogger,” continues Burgos of Rock Yo Rizos. This will help save time and secure a plan efficiently.

  9. Check In, Don’t Check Out. Make time for monthly or bi-weekly PR calls to update your PR Team on company and product news while receiving feedback from them. Scheduling time to have a phone call for client updates are helpful and a great way to allow the PR Team to manage best their time for media outreach, follow-up and securing stories. -Catalina Ramirez, Account Coordinator

  10. Provide feedback early. Lastly, working with a PR company is equivalent to adding new team members to your brand. Work as a team to provide any feedback from the beggining and consistently do so to achieve better results for your PR and Social Media program. -Catalina Ramirez, Account Coordinator