It’s that time of year again: Conference Season. While brands and public relations agencies are preparing their 2013 outlook, bloggers are doing the same, which includes budgeting for conferences and attending networking events and seminars to help them become better writers, photographers and publishers.
Many bloggers opt to attend conferences with a sponsor, which helps them defray the cost of attending these expensive events (some conferences cost up to $1000 per ticket) while opening the door for new networking and collaborative opportunities.
I belong to a Facebook group for bloggers who want to help and support one another and recently the conversation turned to what elements brands look for in a pitch from a blogger seeking conference sponsorship.
Having been a blogger since 2008, I have been on both the sending and receiving end of these types of pitches and offered up several points that any blogger might want to consider before pitching a PR agency for conference sponsorship.
Put Yourself in the Recipient’s Shoes:
Bloggers receive pitches all the time from public relations representatives. When you’re writing a pitch, think about what you like and dislike best in the pitches you receive on a regular basis. If you like public relations people to first read your blog, get to know you and build a relationship before diving in with a list of demands, it’s a good idea to practice what you preach and do the same.
Treat Your Blog Like a Business
If you consider your blog to be a business, treat it like one. You would never apply for a job by sending the HR representative your salary requirements in the initial application/email, so don’t expect to send a PR or brand rep your advertising kit and have them jump at the opportunity. As bloggers, we have to do some of the work in the up front!
Prove Your Worth!
If we as bloggers are writing pitches to send to PR people asking them for sponsorship dollars, the burden is on us to prove our worth to the brand. Show them your current statistics and explain to them how you will add tangible value to their marketing efforts. If a brand can see how a program will benefit them, they are more likely to fork over part of their marketing budget.
Put Your Thinking Caps On
As a PR person, I always like getting emails from bloggers with creative ideas and new suggestions for working together. Giveaways and product requests are clogging PR inboxes just like PR pitches are clogging yours, so make your email stand out with your creativity and professionalism. Tell the brand exactly how you plan to represent them at a certain conference or event so that they can get a clear picture of what you are proposing.
Show – Don’t Tell – That You Are Influential
You would be surprised how many pitches publicists receive from parenting bloggers who claim that they are influential, but do not offer statistics or any means of substantiating their claims. In fact, I’ve had bloggers become offended and refuse to share their stats with me after they requested product samples and advertising dollars. In your pitch email, write something that introduces yourself, explain why you’re a fit for the brand, and let the brand know you are open to discussion about working together. Many publicists love when bloggers come to them with creative and mutually beneficial ways to work together.
Thoughts on new and traditional media, current events, life in Chicago and the occasional small Chihuahua photo.