I follow a few hashtags on Twitter, two of the ones I like to keep an eye on are #PRRequest and #JournoRequest. Both hashtags are interesting to follow as a blogger because you can sometimes get PR Opportunities and Journalism / Media based opportunities. The problem is, the #PRRequest one has turned into, well.. Shit.
The problem is, it’s teeming with Blaggy Bloggers, constantly demanding stuff ‘to review’, such gems as..
‘I’m moving house soon, could do with some new furniture, does anyone have anything I can review? – #PRRequest – ‘
‘Just started a new blog, would love to review stuff – #PRRequest – ‘
‘I’m pregnant! Want me to review any baby things? Send them my way!! – #PRRequest – ‘
It’s shit – really shit.
Thing is with Blogging, it’s a bit like Twitter, it’s very much ‘Build it and they will come’. You can’t really just start and expect people to give two hoots about what you’re saying, or expect PR people to jump on board. Putting it nicely – you’re an irrelevance. You need to build your audience, get a rapport with them, write stuff people want to read, THEN, and only then you’ll slowly start getting the PR contact (hopefully!)
Everyone has to start somewhere, my best advice if you want to review stuff? Review things you already own, I had no PR contact until about 2 years ago (and I started in 2008!), I just reviewed stuff that I bought, misc bits of tech, odds and sods. Get your stuff written up, photographed, videoed in a nice easy to read form, get it online with some SEO and in time, you’ll get people finding it. See the funny thing is, the reviews that I’ve done, and get the most views STILL are the random oddments I’ve purchased and written about.
It’s madness to think that any PR people will send you hundreds of pounds worth of stuff to you when you have no bugger reading your blog in the first time. PR people aren’t dumb, they can check your Page Rank, your domain authority etc, see how many Likes your Facebook page has, how many Twitter followers you have. You can get a pretty fair assessment of someone’s presence with a few simple tools, and they will do it!
It’s not all bad news though, PR companies often see bloggers as powerful tools, we’re relatively cheap and fast advertising, and a good way of getting a brand ‘out there’. So when you are a little more established you will end up with enquiries and requests for all sorts (REALLY), and probably on a daily basis too. I get sent loads of random things – some stuff I’ll write about, others I won’t because it’s not always a ‘fit’ for here. I’ll always say ‘Thank You’ and maybe give them a mention SOMEWHERE, but i’m keen to keep the promo content ratio as low as I can and won’t turn into a total blog whore (unlike some!).
It’s fine to blag every once in awhile, but, you need to build up the contacts to do it with, drop a cheeky email, build up a rapport. Don’t just throw your blagging shit against the walls of Twitter, hoping that something will stick. It won’t. Build a blog, build an audience, and I promise you, you’ll have more PR people contacting you then you’ll know how to cope with!
Stop with the Blagging, start with the content!