PR

I’ve worked with a Publicist for a while to help me with the load as my blogging business is rapidly expanding but I’ve always believed and practised promoting my own work whether that was filmmaking, my journalistic work to right now, as a full time professional blogger.

PR is vital. As a filmmaker, it was crucial to my work, to getting an agent, to having my film seen by execs, screened at film festivals and to success. You can have the greatest talent in the world (not saying I have of course) but if no one knows about it, how will you find an audience, be discovered and quite simply CONNECT.

Whether you’re a pro blogger or not, here are some quick ways to get your work out there.

 

Now go, promote yourself-

Believe in yourself to sell yourself: 

You’ve taken the step to set up your own blog, you may have even left full time employment to make it your career or you’re simply going freelance to have more control over your life, work and time. Amazing. Feel proud of this leap of faith now learn to sell yourself. Hone your voice, talent and negotiating skills and don’t forget to practice building your own confidence. It is truly key to running your own business. If you believe in yourself, others will too.

This might feel strange at first but, the more more you feign confidence, the more natural it will become, take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this and you will!….

Know Your USP: YOU

Everyone has their own unique selling point and as a blogger you will most certainly have one, it’s you, you’re voice, you’re an original, a one-off so believe it! My blog is a summation of my passions, what makes me happy. It’s what brings all the boys (OK mostly Mums) to my yard.

That said, readers often tell me it’s the diversity of my blog they love, that it’s like a magazine, no one day is the same. That’s by no means better than someone who only focuses on style or food (I only share style on Mummy’s Got Style).

It’s worth considering what is it that makes your readers keep coming back for more? Is it your bang on trend style posts? Or perhaps the fact you can turn the most miserable of pantry ingredients into a delicious Michelin-worthy dish, or perhaps you’re meeting the needs of readers by focusing on allergy-free food, ethical products, what to do in London etc!

Harness this quality and use it to promote yourself to potential readers and journalists!

Don’t give up:

Despite what you may have learnt from Ab Fab,  PR isn’t all about quaffing champagne and ‘lacroix sweetie’ (if only)! It’s actually pretty hard work! PR is an ongoing process and you constantly need to invest time and energy into selling yourself in order to get noticed!

I’m not going to lie, publicising yourself can be exhausting and when you have a backlog of blog posts that need writing, it’s easy to push PR aside. Instead, make sure you dedicate a few hours a week to plugging your business! And when you secure that sought-after media coverage, don’t think you’ve achieved your goal so you can take a break from promotion. Capitalise on this success and use it as a catalyst to find other media opportunities!

Media kit:

It’s so important to have a kit that can sell you. Mine is here. I update it monthly, add insight, awards, prominent achievements, new clients, stats of course but I personally omit fees. These I negotiate one to one based on briefs and requirements. It means you don’t cut yourself out of budgets and are open to negotiation.

Say Cheese: 

Good photography can work wonders. Not only does it make your blog feel more professional, but a lot of journalists are inclined to feature bloggers with their own press shots. Good photography is a worthwhile investment, clear, well shot head shots are crucial. And most importantly always make sure you have hi-res versions of your photos if you are targeting printed media! The good folk at the Huffington Post have also compiled this great guide for avoiding an awkward press shot.

Make the first move:

The world of business often takes me back to dating as a teenager. I used to spend hours building myself up to chat to a boy I liked, truly terrified he might not respond (well my eyebrows were much, MUCH bigger in those days) but I went for it anyway! 

…When I first started out as a filmmaker I used to get the exact same feeling of butterflies, worried that the pitch I had poured my heart and soul into, would be rejected. However, I soon realised that this worry would get me nowhere in life, so I did my research, found out the email addresses of the producers I wanted to work with, got in touch, sent them my work and quite honestly, grew a thick skin.

Rejection really doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve learnt that it’s part of the process and as cheesy as it sounds-the journey. One door closes, another opens. Don’t let rejection break your confidence or stop you. Dust yourself off and get back out there.

When it comes to blogging-don’t be afraid to reach out to contacts, journalists or potential commissioners. Find out who’s who at PR companies you want to work with and contact them, leave comments on sponsored posts to be discovered yourself and follow up regularly with those who has already commissioned you to see if there are more opportunities relevant to your blog.

Be pro-active and seize opportunities – (and like boys) don’t wait for them to come to you! What’s the worst they can say, ‘no’- there’s plenty more fish (and journalists) in the sea. Next!

Twitter hashtags:

Be the first in the know by following the #journorequest and #prrequest hashtags on Twitter! A lot of top journalists and publications use them. Plus, Sarah Ewing, who originally started the #journorequest hashtags has started a new Facebook group, where journalists can post case study requests too. You can request to join it here.

Be Nice:

My publicist has informed me that there are certain journalists and bloggers she won’t work with as a result of their bad attitude no matter how good their stats are! So let that be a lesson! She also said that there are certain journalists and bloggers who she’ll always make sure get an invite to the best events or have access to exclusive, high profile interviews as she has such a great working relationship with them!

Remember if a PR is choosing between you and another blogger who has similar stats, your friendly and professional manner could be the game changer!

Get social:

Make sure you are visible across all the main social media channels as this is where journalists are most likely to come across your blog. Tweet, Facebook, Google+ (the latter is the most important for SEO), Pin and Instagram regularly. Utilise these platforms as much as possible and make sure you’re as professional as possible on them too.

Use the same, recent photo across all handles too so your readers know your online homes and when you attend blogging conferences or events, don’t forget your business cards, particularly useful for work contacts you might make.

Be Contactable:

And finally, this is perhaps the most basic of rules (but you would be surprised how many people fail at it) make sure your contact details are easily accessible to journalists and PRs.

You’d be surprised how many blogs I’ve come across which have no contact details on at all or are buried away as a tiny footer. Journalists are extremely busy and don’t have time to trawl your blog for an email address!

Make sure your contact page is one click away from your homepage and clearly visible on the header or side menu.

Follow these simple rules and no doubt I’ll be seeing you and your blog get the attention it deserves!

Please leave more suggestions in the comments and share the blog love!

 

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71 Responses

  1. Lucy At Home

    So much great advice here. I’m rubbish at the whole “fake confidence” thing, but I’m learning and getting better…slowly! haha

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      It does work, the more you practice feeling confident, the easy it becomes and the more you actually feel it x

      Reply
  2. Debbie

    Hi Vicki, once again thank you for sharing what you have learned. I only recently learned about media kits and am planning on creating one.

    At the moment I am trying to build my social media following, which does take time. I’m happy with how Twitter is going, but at the moment my other platforms are leaving a lot to be desired, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!

    I must start practicing making the first move… Soon, very soon…

    xx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Step by step, research what seems to work well on certain platforms as that will help for example, pinterest want high res portrai shots with description filled in, instagram tends to work similarly and key areas are food and fashion etc etc xx

      Reply
  3. Charlotte @ Educating Elsa

    These are all really great tips, thank you for doing such a wonderful post. I’m not really at the point where I am working with brands etc. but prior to becoming a parenting/lifestyle blog I ran a book blog and had built up some good contacts in the publishing industry so I know how important it is to put yourself out there. I am the sort of person who waits for opportunities to come to me, rather than going after them myself but this rarely works out so I need to make more effort to chase the things I want.

    Reply
  4. Wander Mum

    Brilliant tips! Thanks so much for sharing. I do sometimes find it hard to big myself up but am getting better. As a journalist, I have been on the other side of PRs lots and know what NOT to do but have lots to learn about the publicity side PLUS is very different when it is yourself! #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Really is different when it comes to ourselves but worth thinking of yourself as a brand to promote, detach yourself and it can be easier. I would LOVE to read your what not to do list, can you consider blogging it? x

      Reply
  5. Doctomum

    This is brilliant. Being new to blogging, this is to the point, understandable and gives me something to strive for over the next year or so.
    You do have a certain draw to your blog and I couldn’t figure out what it was precisely that was so compellingly likeable about it, but you’re right, you really have made it like a magazine. And I have always loved and lapped up magazines, ever since being a teenager. I just keeping coming back for more. Fantastic.

    Reply
  6. Vicki Montague - The Free From Fairy

    A really get post Vicki, reminding me of all the things that I should know and should be doing! Very timely too as I am going through a ‘low’ with my blog at the moment (well, health stuff for me that has an impact on blog things!)…I need a good kick up the bum which this post has reminded me of! Now I just need to find the confidence and ‘umph’ to get out there! 😉

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh no, hope you’re OK Vicki, thinking of you. I do think when we’re unwell it’s hard to feel our best or more confident, know that’s how I felt in January when we all had relentless bugs and infections. Be kind to yourself

      Reply
  7. Tickle Fingers

    Also felt like you were talking to me! Very useful post especially for someone like me, who is new to all of this. Thank you. Over from #TheList.

    Reply
  8. Mary@Advocacy in Action

    Thanks for the very helpful tips. I end up concentrating on writing posts and neglect other things. I just started a blog to do list with different tasks each day to make me focus on the PR end of things.

    Reply
  9. Laura

    This is really useful thank you so much. I’m a bit chicken to make the first move, but maybe I need to! I have also been putting off creating a Google+ page but you have convinced me this is a mistake 🙂

    Reply
  10. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Amazing advice sweetpea! This will help SO many bloggers (and other professions too).

    PR is much easier than people think – as you brilliantly say it’s all about having that self belief, reaching out, dedicating some time to it and knowing that you deserve it!

    We’re not very good in this country at shouting out about ourselves but if you want to achieve a better profile, good consistent PR is the key. (And can work wonders)

    Brilliant post darling xxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks darling it really is so important and you are right, culturally in the UK it’s not something we are naturally used to. I think having a Dad so knowledgeable and determined when it came to PR (and he has an MBA) meant I learnt from one of the best and spending time in LA where I screened my film and meetings, really showed me that the American way is the best way forward xx

      Reply
  11. JoyandPops

    These are such great tips, thank you!
    My work life often touches on PR but I never think of applying it to my blog – as my audience has started to grow I am becoming more aware that I could be missing out on opportunities.
    I need to get myself a media kit and PR plan – even if it’s just a little one!
    Xx

    Reply
  12. Tinuke

    What a helpful post! I don’t give myself enough props and certainly don’t go out to try and grab opportunities. I’ve come close to giving up on my blog so many times over the years but every time I come close I remember all of the joy it gives me!
    Thank you for these helpful tips xx

    Reply
  13. Luisa @ Looking for mama me

    Great tips! I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, but recently with such a small audience I keep feeling like giving up, but then where would that get me? I am trying to make myself more social media savvy and improve my photography. Its a big learning curve!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      You must remember however small, it’s niche and targeted and very relevant to you and potential advertisers. I started with one reader, who still reads today, my Mum. We all start at the beginning x

      Reply
  14. Emma

    It’s so good to have a reminder to do this. I know it, having worked in PR and journalism, but I’m terrible at applying it to myself. I’ve bookmarked this page and I’m going to make myself put more of the things into action!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh so glad it’s inspired you, I know often doing PR for others is so much easier than ourselves but it’s so important xx

      Reply
  15. Michelle Reeves (bodfortea)

    You KNOW I’m not going to be able to get that toon out of my head now!! Seriously awesome advice again from you darling – thank you for sharing your expertise. I’ve actually found PRs really open to being approached and often there are opportunities out there that don’t get promoted x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      So true Michelle, you are amazing at making things happen which I’m a HUGE advocate of, we have to go out and get what we want. Thanks x

      Reply
  16. Jody at Six Little Hearts

    A great run-down here. I used to manage an advertising company so I am quite familiar with the industry. I do think the most important piece of advice is fake it until you make it. Just as you said, being confident, breeds confidence.

    Reply
  17. Juliet McG

    Ugggh, self promotion. I find it really hard. It isn’t that I’m not confident it just doesn’t sit naturally with me. I think I’m getting better at it. Google is where I need to head next. Thanks for your wise words Vicki xx

    Reply
  18. Renee @ Mummy Tries

    Thank you my lovely, this post is very appropriately timed as I start properly ‘putting myself out there’ on the book front. I really need to create a media kit, had hoped to do it this week but sick kids (again!!) have transpired against me xxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh no sorry to hear the kids are ill but there’s always next week. A media kit is really important and worth considering doing 2, one for journalists, another for PR’s xx

      Reply
  19. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

    These are fab, even if I am just starting out I know roughly where I want to head going forward. I definitely need to work out a media pack and how to read analytics!!!!!!!!! Thanks for help xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks Laura, Google Analytics are my favourites and pretty straightforward and should help you work out your stats. Remember it takes time to grow. Social media PR is crucial and writing for other well known sites and blogs will help raise awareness and offer you high quality backlinks. Media pack is key too and however big your blog, your audience is targeted and key to advertisers, good luck x

      Reply
  20. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    It is such a British thing to be reluctant to sell yourself and promote. I have come across bloggers who believe that scoring work with companies is all about luck and stats. It just isn’t – it is about getting out there, connecting, telling people about you. Not everyone will say yes, of course, but that is part and parcel. I’m not one bit shy of promoting myself or my blog… I just wish I had full-time hours to do so. That is my only drawback right now, and it is terribly frustrating. As ever, a cracking post, Vicki. All words you speak are true and can be applied not only to blogging, but to a huge range of businesses xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      This means a lot and I’ve been there and it is frustrating but some of the biggest blogs blog only weekly and I have a steady growth and lots of paid work from Mummy’s Got Style which granted, benefits from its older sister Honest Mum but only sees me post 2x a week at best there. You are a brilliant writer and that is the key to success. Be kind to you and here’s to more cracking posts from you, look how far you’ve come already xx

      Reply
      • Fiona @ Free Range Chick

        Thank you honey, that means so much. I love writing, and I actually really love doing my own PR (and other people’s, sometimes). It really is the time thing that annoys me, but it is what it is, and I try to make the best of my time where I can xx

  21. Hannah Mums' Days

    Well, you certainly bring this mama back to your yard – that sounded way better in my head!! hahaha!

    Another fabulous article love, and in places I felt like you’d had a peek into my soul and were talking directly to me!

    Wonderful stuff as ever xxxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Baha love that girlfriend and love you! Do you know that means so much to me, I just want to connect with you, my great blogging friend and anyone who reads this blog, thank you so much xx

      Reply
  22. Ebabee

    Fabulous tips – you are so good at your PR, we can all take a leaf out of your book. I know I will. Thanks for sharing as always x

    Reply

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