Ever Wonder what a Company is Looking for in a Blogger? Read what Wholly’s PR Rep has to say

I often get asked how I find certain companies or how to connect with them from other bloggers. Hopefully the following post from one of my faves helps you all have a better understanding.

When Gingermommy asked me to write a bit about how we, as a brand, like to work with bloggers there were a couple of things that came to mind. 

1. No one is perfect. Mistakes will happen. Emails will fall through the cracks. Deadlines will be missed. 
2. Lack of perfection doesn’t excuse professionalism or common courtesy. Being up front, honest and having a solution prepared will get one much more grace than silence and defensive tone’s. 
3. Too many mistakes can eventually make one unreliable and not worth the effort. These apply to brand reps as well. It is a two-way road. Everyday I’m in touch with bloggers setting up reviews, giveaways, talking about sponsorships and conferences and the occasional friendly “OMG are you caught up on Gray’s Anatomy? They had another cataclysmic disaster that will change their lives forever.” 

Our blogger program is about two years old and is home grown. We don’t have an agency to manage our bloggers because we believe that developing real relationships is important. When we work with bloggers on reviews and giveaways, here are a few things that we look for: -Be creative and come to us with ideas. Not all brands approach reviews the same way. Our favorite reviews are from people who try something different and make it work for themselves and their readers. We try to encourage this by telling bloggers how much we love people who think outside the guac box. It’s always disappointing when the response is, “Great! Let me know what you had in mind!” Think about the service you provide to your readers and what would interest them and make you stand out! 
-Copy and Paste with caution. I can’t speak for other brands, but the copy and paste command is a blessing and a curse. There are times when we want a very specific message out there and that is when we love it. There’s also great info on our website that can help enhance what you are writing or back up the points you are trying to make. It’s always a bummer to see a review of nothing but a paragraph grabbed from our site. That’s not really a review at all, in my book. Did you try it? Did you taste it? Was it wonderful (hopefully it was!) Did you discover something you didn’t expect? Were you disappointed about an aspect of it? Review it and tell us what you thought! We want it to work for both of us too. 

Do you ever feel used by a brand for “free” or “low cost” ad placement? Believe it or not, there are times when we feel like we’re a place for “free stuff” or “buy my plane ticket” requests. The truth is that there is room in this business for both of us to get what we want. Sometimes it’s a matter of asking, sometimes a matter of offering. But together, brands and bloggers make an awesome marketing platform

 It’s a numbers game … sometimes. We can’t help it. We can get hung up with numbers. How many times do you click a blog just to see what their stats are? I do it every day. We have a qualification system for new blogger review requests based on their numbers. Some qualify for coupons and some for actual products. This is a way for us to control our budget spending but it’s also a way for us to get to know you. Think of it as a first date with coffee. Getting to know a blogger and understanding their level of commitment, energy, level to grow and creativity to stand out goes a long way. There are many times we do special promotions with bloggers we respect. They may not have the biggest numbers or the most klout, but they are loyal and enthusiastic and in our book are just as deserving (if not more so) to be on the VIP list than the big machine blog site with the big numbers. 

We want to end with our thanks to all the bloggers who have tried our products and put the time and effort into posting great reviews and handling the logistics of a giveaway. We know that it’s not easy to be a mom, house manager, pet wrangler and marketing guru. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep up with it all and we salute you! Thank you also to Gingermommy for allowing us to share our thoughts. We know we can always count on her integrity and loyalty when it comes to promoting our products. She is a true professional. 

To be a part of the Guac Squad Blogger Program, please visit WhollyPR.com to register. You can also email Jennifer directly at jsawyer@eatwholly.com.


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