In my spare time (insert hollow laugh here) when I’m not working with Mum bloggers or running blogging awards, I attempt to run a forum for bloggers, where we share tips and ideas, and argue about who gets to marry Bear Grylls when we go to that PR event next month. It’s true, Bear, I don’t think you’re going to get out of there without some kind of binding legal ceremony taking place.

Anyway, over the past few months, the bloggers have begun competing for an entirely imaginary award we refer to as Most Amazing PR Offer EVER.

This award recognises those PR and SEO agencies that appear to consider most parent bloggers came down in the last shower, and are basically sitting at home thinking, “Wow, if only I could promote more multi-national brands on my blog, in a way that involved me receiving no reward or recognition whatsoever.” 

Now, this award is quite fiercely fought over, especially considering the fact that it’s completely made up. But, friends, I think I have it in the bag. Last night, I finally went through the jungle that passes for my inbox, and I came up with some amazing PR offers. Talk about too good to miss. cough.

So, in reverse order, the Top Five Amazing PR Offers in Sally’s inbox are:

  • Would you like to review some chewing gum?
  • Would you like to write a post about our new bleach?
  • I’m prepared to research and write a blog post for you to publish at NO COST TO YOU, in exchange for including two links to my client
  • Would you like to write about our new competition on Facebook? If you do, we’ll enter you into a lottery, and one blogger could win a new toaster
  • We love your site, [insert wrong site name here] and would love you to display this “My Client Loves My Blog” image in your sidebar. It’s just a way for us to say how special we think [insert wrong site name here] is to us.

Here’s the thing.

Not everything in life – or blogging – needs to have a price tag attached. If I think something is interesting or funny, then the chances are I’ll write about it, no payment required. But surely good manners and professional respect mean that you should offer me some sort of recognition for my blogging efforts?

If you’re asking a blogger to write about something, or host a competition, or place a link on their blog, you really do need to ask, “What’s in it for them?” 

Put yourself in a blogger’s shoes. Imagine you’ve spent a year or more building up a blog, writing posts, tweaking the design, gaining an audience. Your blog is important to you, and you’re proud of it. You’ve written some fantastic, personal, heartfelt posts. So the last thing you want to do is let some company use your blog as a free advertising hoarding – especially if they want you to do the work of writing their promotional copy for them.

So before you email me to offer me the fantastic opportunity to publish a guest post you’ve written especially for me and that I don’t even have to pay for… well, just stop. Think about whether you might want to pay me (actually, I don’t run sponsored posts, but lots of other amazing bloggers do). Consider if you might be able to promote my blog via a great Facebook page, or newsletter, or whether you might want to invite me to write a guest post for your client – I’m an awesome writer, after all. Want me to host a competition? How about letting me review and keep a product, as well as give one away?

Ultimately, this is about professional respect and good manners. If you’re engaging with blogs on a professional level – and inviting them to write about your clients is doing just that – then it’s only polite to value my blog, and ensure that your proposal is mutually beneficial in some way. Oh, and try to get the blog name right, won’t you?

[image credit: ShereenM, Flickr]

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.