Blogger/PR Relationship | Part Two

Back in March I was super excited to be able to announce my Britmums Live 2014 Sponsor, Bump PR. We came up with the idea of an interview post to find out about the Blogger/PR relationship from a PR's point of view.
I came up with a list of questions, with the help of a friend (Thank you Kirsty) and the lovely girls at Bump answered them.

And now, it's time to reverse the interview.
Bump have sent me a list of questions and I have done my best to answer them.

What is the funniest or silliest thing a PR has asked you to review?

The funniest and silliest was probably some pelvic floor muscle balls. I am quite honest and open but I felt that reviewing them may be a step too far.


What are the best and worst things about working with PRs?

The best thing is obviously the opportunities you get in terms of products to review, events to attend but also making new friends not only with the PR but also with people they connect you to.
The worst thing, I think, is selling yourself without coming across over-confident, or knowing that someone is inspecting your work and judging whether or not you are good enough for them or the brand they represent.


What is the best way for a PR to approach a blogger?

For me I like someone to have a quick 2-5 minute look at my blog to get to know me and to then approach me in a friendly way, maybe mentioning something from my About Me page or a recent blog post they liked. I feel more confortable working with a PR I can have a friendly chat with and have a relaxed but professional relationship with.


What are the best things about reviewing products for a PR or brand?

I would say the opportunity to try things you may not have usually bought or something you thought about buying but didn’t because of other reviews you’ve read or because you couldn’t afford it.
I don’t view anything I receive as a freebie because testing out a product, taking photos and writing the review can take time.


Does it bother you if a PR asks for something specific to be done for a review, for example, if it was a high-value product and you were asked to do 3 posts over a few months?

I think it depends on the product. I am quite happy to do 2 or 3 posts for a high value product or for a low value product that I think requires a follow-up post.
For example, I am soon reviewing some party products soon and will be writing two posts. Firstly one about the website and first impressions of the products, and then a post showing the products at the party.
If I’m not too keen on the product or can’t see how a follow up post would benefit my previous review, the product or my readers then I would like to think a PR would understand that and appreciate that.


Do you think bloggers are only interested in hearing from PRs in relation to reviews or competitions? For example, if we had news of an amazing new product launch would you want to know even if we had no samples?

I think this is a really touchy subject. I am happy to promote particular products, services or events if I feel it’s relevant to my readers or is something I personally feel passionate about. But I feel the approach has to be done write. So sending out a press release with no personal message too can come across a bit rude and can make the blogger feel unimportant.
I am more likely to promote a product if I have worked with the PR before or know I will be able to work with them in the future.


How long does it take you to put together a review, and do you think PRs have realistic expectations about this?

It completely depends on the product. Some items can be received one day and be reviewed within 24 hours. Others need a week or two to review, and others a month or more.
I think some PR’s have a realistic expectation but others don’t and can seem to want a rushed review and not an honest in depth one written about a product the blogger has spent time getting to know and use properly.
I like to make an effort with photos and don’t like this to be rushed either.


If you are invited to an event organised by a PR/brand what do you expect, or what would entice you to go?

A contribution towards travel is appealing for me although not essential depending on the location and event, and also an event at the weekend as I can’t really attend events during the week due to the school run.


Last time we checked there were over 7,000 parenting bloggers in the UK, do you think there is always going to be room for more blogs, and what do you think distinguishes the good from the bad?

I think there will always be room for more blogs as long as bloggers are themselves and don’t try to blog like everyone else.
For me, what distinguishes the good from the bad is when you can tell someone loves their blog, blogs for themselves, is honest, isn’t copying others and writing as others do and someone who doesn’t let other issues in the Blogosphere affect them.


Do you think bloggers are competitive?

I do, which I think is understandable in some ways because our blogs are essentially our babies. I think what is sad is that around blog award season we see the ugly side to blogging as people judge other blogs shortlisted, or forget to support their friends. I think we also forget just how many other blogs there are and to compete with all these other blogs can easily make us forget why we started and the positive things we get from our blog.

Now, I know my answers are not what every blogger thinks and are personal. I'd love to know if you agree or disagree with any of my answers.

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