PR Goals

Happy PR Monday Everyone!

Last week we defined exactly what PR is and is not. This week I want us to think a little bit about WHY you want to work with PR. What are your goals and intentions?

The gals over at Savvy Blogging (who rock, so check them out) encouraged everyone last week to set some blog goals.While you are working through that challenge, lets talk specifically about your blogs PR goals. As their post said:

If you don’t know where you are going, any train will get you there.

We all have different reasons for working with PR and no one should judge what your personal reasons are.

Here are my reasons for connecting with PR:

  • I like free stuff (sounds shallow but hey, it is true!)
  • My kids LOVE getting the newest gadget out there and tickets to lots of fun events.
  • I like bringing attention to causes that are important to me (cause marketing campaigns)
  • I like to tell my friends about things I love and warn them about things I loathe.
  • I love being sponsored at conventions and blogger meet ups.
  • Oh, and we love free stuff (did I say that one already?)

Those are my reasons. If you already work with PR, get out a paper and pencil and write down what you love about it. Go, ahead we will wait….

Now lets think about what you want to do in 2010 in terms of PR.

I will throw my goals out there:

  • I would like to increase my ‘influence’ (readership, reach, etc.) which will allow me to take advantage of better PR opportunities.
  • I would like to form more long lasting relationships with PR reps.
  • I would like to commit to more cause marketing campaigns.
  • I would like to be sponsored for the majority of blogging conference I hope to attend including BlogHer, EVO and IZEAFest.
  • I would like to be invited to several sponsored blogger meet-ups.
  • I would like to, at a minimum, double my “hourly rate”

Credit to http://4.bp.blogspot.com

So, now that I know where I am going in terms of PR, it is time for you to make your own list. You don’t need to publish it anywhere. Just do it for you. Be clear on why you want to get involved with PR. PR can take loads of your time if you let it and you will refer back to this list throughout the year to double check that the opportunities you are taking fit your goals.

On the free stuff note-this is an easy trap to get sucked into and it really deserves it’s own post! So, even though it is “PR Mondays” I am going to follow up tomorrow on the subject of determining your ‘hourly rate’. Hopefully it will give you some insight on how much ‘money’ you are actually making per pitch. I will give you sample pitches from my inbox that should give you a look at what you can soon expect in yours! See you back here for that discussion on Tuesday!

Have a topic you want discussed in this series??? You can do one of two things:

  1. Come over to the Blog Star community and open up a discussion in the PR area. While The Blog Frog community is free, access to the Blog Star area is part of their premium membership. I am not compensated in any way for you joining over there. I just happen to really support the community.
  2. Leave me a comment here. I will try to answer these in the comment section so subscribe to the comments area if you leave one!

What PR Means to the Mom Blogger

As I start on this very ambitious journey in 2010, I will attempt to write an article a week on PR in the Mom Blogging arena. First, I want to make something perfectly clear: I am just another mom blogger willing to pass on what I have learned in the School of Hard Knocks. I am learning everyday right along with all of you. I don’t have all the answers but I am willing to ponder the questions.

I am, and always will be, a teacher at heart. In 2009, through The Blog Frog, I discovered that there are thousands of moms blogging and many of them are interested in how to work with PR. I know a little about that subject that I think I can pass on.  In 2004 I took my small time couponing habit online and  created a little site called A Full Cup. The site grew quickly and I sold it when I returned to teaching full time.

A funny look at the early days of A Full Cup...

After Carter became too sick to stay in school and we started our homeschool journey I began to itch for the internet again and I opened several new sites. I have a strange passion for starting sites I guess. These sites have taught me a lot. I began working with PR folks during the A Full Cup days so when BeTweenTalk.com began to gain popularity, I reached out to them again. The rest just sort of snowballed into working with PR across all the different genres of my sites and eventually taking my hidden family blog out of the closet and becoming a full fledged mommy blogger.

I had more experience working with the advertising section of the online world so the PR mommy blogging world initially threw me through a loop. Advertising and PR are completely separate entities and until I really understood the difference, I couldn’t move forward building relationships.

So what really is PR? If you visit 20 different sites, you will get 20 different definitions so I will try to define it in my own words:

PR (public relations) as the art of improving a clients (brand, product, personality, etc.) reputation. PR as it relates to moms that blog is the art of getting an influential (and this can mean many things) mom to recommend said client to others.

PR typically will not compensate you with money to talk about their product. They don’t have the budget to do that. That is advertising’s job. Their job is to spark interest in their product through conversation (as organically as possible). However, just because they don’t have the same budget that advertising has, in my opinion, there should always be a value trade for the blogger! What is a value trade? Honestly, that is up to you. I have done PR on my blogs for charities, tickets, trips, products and so on. You have to evaluate each pitch to see if the value trade works for you. We will spend some time this year talking about deciding where your personal value trade threshold is.

The typical blogger-PR relationship starts with a PR rep reaching out to the blogger via email and asking if they can send a product to you to review. Typically a blogger will review that product in a post on their blog and that may be the end of the relationship. Or not….

Good PR relationships transcend the product. That is what we are going to be talking about here in 2010. How we can all work together to build those long last relationships. Because, in the end, we all benefit from the long term contacts. I am reaching out to bloggers and PR reps alike as a part of this series to open the conversation up to all.

Have a topic you want discussed in this series??? You can do one of two things:

  1. Come over to the Blog Star community and open up a discussion in the PR area. While The Blog Frog community is free, access to the Blog Star area is part of their premium membership. I am not compensated in any way for you joining over there. I just happen to really support the community.
  2. Leave me a comment here. I will try to answer these in the comment section so subscribe to the comments area if you leave one!

This new venture was started by three posts in 2009. You can read them here:

Product Reviews: How To Get Started

PR Peeps I Recommend

Finding Public Relations Contacts

PR Goals is the second of this series….keep reading!

*PR Monday graphic made by Toni-Lynn

Happy blogging…………

Finding PR Contacts

Lately I have been inspired to write a series of blog posts about getting started with PR thanks to inspiration from my fellow bloggers at BlogFrog. If you have missed any of the posts you can catch up here:

Product Reviews: How To Get Started

PR Peeps I Recommend

If you have been following along with the above posts you are probably at the point where you are wondering “OK, now how to I find those reps that work with the really cool products I want to review?” The answer is so unbelievably simple….GOOGLE IT!!

use google to find pr contacts

Using google to find pr contacts

Like this: “Name of Product Press Release”. Of course, change Name of Product to the actual name of the product. This works really well if it is a new product or new model of a product. Look through the Google search for a press release listing site. Click on the link.

Read through the release to see if this product may be a good fit for your blog. At the bottom of every release, there is contact information listed. If a PR firm is listed, and it usually will be for bigger companies, BINGO! Sometimes it is listed as ‘communications’.This is the person to send a personalized pitch email to.

Before you send that letter, lets do just a little more research to make sure that you have a good a chance of working with this company. Lets do another Google search. This time use “Name of Product Review”. Find any? Are they working with mom bloggers already. If not, you know your pitch is going to need to do some real convincing. If they are, that is wonderful! Now, lets find out a bit about the type of bloggers they are working with!

Go to compete.com and analyze YOUR site. Now, analyze a few of the sites that you found in the above search. Fairly similar stats? You have a pretty good shot. Others have higher stats? You may want to wait a bit before approaching that company.

Hopefully this helps you find that magical contact you are looking for. Leave me a comment if this helps you or if you want to share your tips, tell me about them!