It’s always flattering when a brand reaches out to collaborate with you, but let’s face it, that doesn’t happen every day. You cannot expect to sit and wait for opportunities to fall on your lap especially when it comes to the brands you love and want to work with! Of all the collaborations I’ve had, some of the best and most rewarding are ones that I initiated. If you research before reaching out to a brand and play your cards right, the chances of getting a yes increase dramatically.
In a lot of cases, the people you will interface with when approaching a brand for a collaboration will mostly likely be their public relation team. They are the eyes and voice of the brand, and most likely are the ones who will make the final decision with whom the brand will collaborate. Today I have the absolute pleasure to invite our good friend Erika Klein, Founder of ShoutPR, a public relations, marketing and branding agency based in Los Angeles, to give Style Studio Insiders some insight on how brands and PR companies work with bloggers and tips on how bloggers can improve her chances of working with the brands they love.
So glad to have you on Style Studio, Erika! Can you tell us more about ShoutPR?
Since 1997, we’ve focused on helping our fashion and lifestyle clients build brand awareness through innovative publicity plans, social media marketing, influencer campaigns and event services. These strategic, creative and specifically tailored plans also help drive traffic to each brand’s ecomm site, while helping the company personally connect with its target audience. We love working with fun companies that fall under the kaleidoscopic “lifestyle” category, and of course we focus on being well-rounded, working on everything from fashion (companies and bloggers) and special events to alcohol companies and health and wellness brands. We currently work with a number of enterprises, including LuLus.com, Black Swan, Others Follow, P.J. Salvage, Kersh, Press, Project Juice, …Lost, Sea Gypsies, Prohibition NYE, M.D.A. Events, Miss Alissa, Hanna Montazami and Birra di Capri.
You work with a lot of bloggers, can you provide us some insights on what brands or PR companies look for in a blogger when they’re considering a collaboration request?
Our No. 1 concern is that the blogger or influencer fits the company’s aesthetic and style, so he or she is a natural extension of the brand’s identity. The same goes when we vet brands for the bloggers we manage – we want to make sure the brand really fits her identity so that she stays true to her own personal style, and what her followers are looking for in terms of inspiration. Photo quality is also extremely important – we need to be able to see clear product shots. While we adore seeing everyone’s gorgeous faces, selfies just don’t showcase the brands, so they are less likely to want to work with the average selfie-addict (we are all guilty!). Mirror shots are also not ideal as they tend to not look like a pro shoot – and companies love to regram shots that look professionally shot – this helps them have additional content, while helping drive followers back to the blogger pictured. Although numbers are very important (as you’d guess), we look for bloggers and influencers whose fan base is in a region that makes sense, and followers who are excited and engaged by posts.
How important is a blogger’s photo quality and aesthetic play into your decision in working with them?
Top of the list!
What is the biggest mistake bloggers make when reaching out to brands or the PR firms that represent them and how can they avoid them?
We wouldn’t necessarily say we see mistakes, per se, just more mismatches than anything. If a blogger feels that he/she is a good fit for a brand, then by all means, reach out. Influencers and bloggers have become an important component of building brand awareness, as well as driving traffic to companies’ social media platforms. Our suggestion is that bloggers keep the same criteria in mind that we look for in bloggers:
Does the brand share the same look and aesthetic?
Does the brand have great photos?
What other bloggers and influencers are they working with?
Does my blog have similar follower numbers as the other influencers they work with?
Thank you Erika for stopping by and sharing your insight with us!