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!

PR Peeps I Recommend

I received a lot of great feedback about the post I did on getting mom bloggers started with product reviews. So, what is the step after you have signed up with those companies? Getting your name out and creating personal relationships with PR people.

So, yeah, that can be kind of scary to just ‘cold call’ on a pr rep. Guess what? A lot of times they are just as nervous to reach out to you. Sometimes, they are actually afraid YOU will reject THEM. But, not to worry, I work with some really great reps and I asked a few how they would feel about having you reach out to them. The ones I listed below would be thrilled to get an introduction from you. They are listed in no particular order at all. Just send them a note introducing yourself and what your blog is about. Tell them a little about “your average reader” and what types of projects you see being a good fit for you. You really don’t need to send them stats. They can look that up really easily when they get to know you and on that note, don’t ever, ever ‘stretch the truth’ on your numbers. It takes 2 seconds for them to use the very basic level of compete.com to check you out and from my experience, getting pitched for certain things is not always about your stats. Most of the time, they are looking for people who are genuine, authentic, and can reach the target audience. In other words, are you a good fit?

My sample intro for this blog would probably go like this *edit note: lots of pr peeps are telling me that they are getting a copy and paste of the below from bloggers. Please be original. This is only a sample:

“Hi, my name is Barb and I was reading on Elementary Spirits that you are looking to connect with some new bloggers. I typically write about my family, homeschooling, and blogging. I would say that most of my readers are moms, and some are bloggers themselves. I would love to work on any family friendly pr campaigns you have coming up. I really enjoy writing about science, reading and charitable events. If you could keep me in mind for any future projects, I would really appreciate it!”

I have purposely left out what brands these reps work with. They are more than invited to leave a comment with more specifics on their clients if they would like. Some, it will be pretty darn obvious :) I think it is more important to connect with them on a personal level first. Some of these reps work with many different clients or work in offices that cover 100′s or 1000′s. Just like with us, they tend to pass on the names of good bloggers to each other.

  • Josslynne Welch: jwelch AT litzkypr DOT com
  • Susan Wells: susan AT stevespangler DOT com
  • Jeff Esposito: jesposito AT vistaprint DOT com
  • Melissa Garcia: @fastfixin on twitter
  • Marie Baker: mb AT childsplaypr DOT com
  • Erin Connolly: Erin.Connolly AT adventure DOT com
  • Alexandra Demers – Burson Marsteller – Alexandra.Demers AT BM DOT com

Above are some of my favorites that said it was OK to share their information.  Once your name gets out into the blogoshere as someone looking to work with brands, you will need to start setting your guidelines. I will talk about that in a future post. For now, enjoy getting to know some new people!

The comments are open to any PR rep who would like to leave their contact info for bloggers to reach out to them. Also, bloggers, feel free to do a little self-pitchin’ in the comments too!

Product Reviews: How To Get Started

Product reviews are a natural fit with ‘mommy bloggers‘. With women connecting more and more online, it makes sense to get advice on which stroller to buy, which curriculum to choose, which detergent best gets out crayons, etc.. from your online friends. Through my company, I do a ton of product reviews and I am constantly being asked by moms just starting to blog how they ‘get into’ product reviews.

This post is aimed at the new mom blogger looking to get their feet wet with product reviews. I have a few companies that you should get signed up with. The sign up process is free and depending on your blog audience, these may work out well for you. I personally work with the first two often and have met both their owners (and wonderful employees) in person. I can highly vouch for their companies and feel comfortable sending my closest friends over to them.

Mom It Forward- Register and participate on the forum to be contacted about blogger outreach opportunities including blog tours, twitter parties, conference sponsorships and more.

Mom Central- In the right hand sidebar there is a link to sign up for their mom testing panel. They are very organized and will send you emails with campaigns that may fit your readership come up. You respond to the email by filling in their questionaire. They will contact you to let you know if you are chosen. I really like that Mom Central usually sends a giftcard to compensate you for the time it takes to post your review and test the product.They have some wonderful campaigns, including Feld Family Activators which I proudly participate in.

Team Mom Media-Wonderful women to work with. I really like that when I get a product to review from them, I get a press kit in the package. After you start doing a lot of reviews, that will be a big plus. While Team Mom usually does not compensate you for the posting time, I really like the campaigns that they offer and the products tend to be things that fit well with my family. Team Mom spends time getting to know their bloggers personally so they can keep you in mind when that perfect fit comes up.

MyBlogSpark-I have just signed on to do my second review through them but several of my online mom buds swear by them.

As you get more into product reviews, you will develop relationships that lead to higher paying opportunities and ‘mom teams’. I have always enjoyed the opportunity to do reviews and I hope the companies above can get you started on this path.

One last suggestion! Have a company you adore and are a natural brand advocate for? Contact their pr directly.I have a list of people I adore and will post that later this week but twitter is an excellent way to begin a relationship with brands. Remember, there are real people behind those accounts so just saying hi and showing your interest goes a long way in building a relationship before you ‘pitch’ them.

Take a look at the list of PR people that I recommend getting to know!