Bloggers: How not to discourage PR reps from working with you

Posted on June 1, 2011

Photo by thephotographymuse via Flickr Creative Commons

In the PR field, the pros make sure that they follow all of the rules in working with bloggers and reporters. They understand they need to create a win/win situation for both the blogger and the PR professional. There have been hundreds of blog posts about the mistakes that PR people make and how not to get on the bloggers’ black lists, but what about the other side?  What mistakes do some bloggers make that place them on the PR black list?

Here are a few mistakes that I’ve encountered over the years.

  • Not providing contact information:  Being a blogger allows you to write about whatever you like, but without your contact information there’s limited interaction and less opportunity for you to get the news before it’s announced to the media masses.
  • Taking products with no intent of reviewing them for possible coverage:  I recall having a broadcast TV reporter request a hot new laptop for evaluation and give their home address as the shipping address. That sparked my curiosity, so I did some investigation which revealed that this broadcaster collected valuable freebies from various companies and never covered the products. Instead, he was enjoying the evaluation units for his personal use. I placed him on my “no evaluation” list.
  • Only do negative reviews:  Your readers need to know that you give balanced reviews or you lose your credibility, and your readers include PR professionals. If they don’t ever see you highlighting good products, you won’t be on the receiving end of products to evaluate.
  • Going radio silent:  One prominent business reporter earned his place on the list by telling every PR rep and company spokesperson at interviews that their technology was incredible and that he was positively going to include them in the next big feature he was developing. The client was always thrilled and maintained high expectations. But without exception, the business reporter went radio silent after that initial meeting and never returned any follow-up inquiries after setting the process for more information and evaluation units in motion. After three of these experiences, he went on the list.

If you make sure not to make any of these mistakes, you’ll find that the PR pros will be eager to work with you and give you opportunities your competition may not be considered for.

Ursula Herrick is the president of Herrick Media, a boutique PR agency focused on media relations and social media marketing.

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One Response to “Bloggers: How not to discourage PR reps from working with you”

  • Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com
    Twitter: michaelaulia

    Totally agree with this as I review technology products from time to time. It’s important to highlight good products and at the same time provide constructive feedback/criticism for readers and the vendors/brands itself to improve their products

    Tone of voice helps as well – if you want to mention the negatives, mention on how it can be improved rather than saying “it sucks. period.”
    Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com recently posted..5 Mac OS X Apps Every Developer and Designer Should HaveMy Profile

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