Secrets of Public Relations…Revealed!

Victor Aragon2016 Dad 2.0 Summit, Live Blogging Dad 2.016, Uncategorized

Welcome to the third breakout panel. This is the live blogging of Secrets of Public Relations…Revealed!

The key to any successful business pitch is an appreciation of the goals and imperatives of the person across the table. Our panelists, all of whom are veteran architects of blogger-based campaigns, give and receive these pitches all the time, and they’ll describe a day in the life of a public relations professional. They’ll also share the aspects of pitches that catch their eye, and that make them want to seek you out for further work.

Moderator: Beau Coffron – @lunchboxdad

Panelist: Jim Lin – @busydadblog; Barbara Jones – @BarbaraJones, Justin Aclin – @justinaclin

Beau – We hope to have some fun and practical information that you can use right away. One of the top things that comes up is how do I work with PR people.

Jim – I started the Busy Dad Blog. About 4 years ago I went to the dark side and started working with a PR agency. I work for Ketchum.

Barbara – Founder of Blissful Media Group and One2One Network. I’ve been doing campaigns with brands and agencies for many years.

Justin – Like Jim, I went to the dark side. I work for Hunter PR. I was a journalist. I write comic books on the side, that’s my thing.

Jim – The objective of a PR agency is to get people talking about a brand. PR naturally extends to social media. The things you put out there cause and stir conversations. We try to harness third party conversations in order for brands to be part of the conversation.

What does a network do for blogger?

Barbara – There are a lot of networks for bloggers and they are great for bloggers to join. It’s a great way to get a campaign without dealing one-to-one with the brands. Our goal is to figure out who do we pick to help achieve the brand’s goals. We are doing tons of research about you. There is so much that is done behind the scenes.  We’re getting all of the assets and messaging information and getting it out to you.

Beau – The great thing about networks is that you don’t have to be well-known. Just because they are dealing with a lot of bloggers you are not lost in the shuffle.

Jim – It’s a lot of work for a PR firm to directly work with bloggers. Working with a network helps streamline a lot. We look at the end result and the good ones will shine. Getting your foot in the door with a network is a good thing to do.

Beau – What is the difference between being pitched and paid contracts?

Justin – Earned media vs marketing vs paid media. I sent out a letter to all the dads I worked with and basically told them “Here is some product write about it if you want or don’t write about it.” We have certain expectations about what we want for you. One is not better than another.

Barbara – If you are pitched for something for earned media and you feel that it is something that works for your readers, it’s great.

Beau – Is there always a budget behind the scenes?

Jim – One of the reasons this panel exist is because a conversation on the Facebook blogger page. A PR agency reached out to dad bloggers and a lot of them got upset. It was earned media. The whole thing about PR is that there are different sides. One that is pitching, one that is paying.
When you get reached out and told to make a video without pay that’s when you should get paid.

Justin – If we pitch you and you do something cool with it, we might remember that and can reach out to you when we have a paid opportunity.

Barbara – If you get something pitched to you that doesn’t feel right, share it with someone you feel would be a perfect fit.

AUDIENCE QUESTION: Do you have people that you always work with and how can I break into that list?

Barbara – Sometimes it is just us being lazy. We have to know YOU. Your “About Me” page is important.

Jim – We do have a list and for me I know a lot of you from here. It’s about relationships and making relationships with other bloggers.

Beau – I reached out to a company that I haven’t talked to in awhile and it’s a way to keep yourself in their mind.

Barbara – I’m shocked when no one reaches out to me and keeps me up to date with that they are doing. It’s a great way to stay in the mind of that PR agency.

Justin – We are basically selling you in.

Beau – I would buy things and tag the brands when I would write to them and show them how I used their stuff.

Barbara – Your “About Me” page is your online resume. and it’s very important. Be specific. I’m looking for stats, social links to your online content. and your post ratio. If it’s just sponsor, sponsor, sponsor that can hurt you.

Jim – For your about page the most important thing: Put where you live. Put down the ages of your kids, the ages are very important. Put your favorite post ever on your About Me page. Social media icons are very important and add the things that are very important to you.

Justin – If you have been featured on some other blogs or other websites, put it in there. 90% of PR is doing powerpoints.

Beau – Make sure your links are not dead.

How to respond when the brand wants changes?

Barbara- We go back to what was the agreement. They want to have approval. Don’t be surprised if they ask for revisions. We picked you because we like how you do it. Pick your battles.

Justin – The impetus is on us. if we don’t mention the number of revisions, ask us.

Jim – I tell the brand “Please don’t kill their creativity.” Set expectations.

Beau – What should bloggers look for in a brief and what kind of questions should bloggers ask?

Barbara – Ask how many people are in the campaign and who they are? Do you feel like you’re in good company?  Know about exclusivity. What they are doing is licensing the rights to use your content.

Jim – What are my guidepost? Can I mention other brands? What can I say and what am I allowed to say.

Beau – Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to say no.

AUDIENCE QUESTION: What are the clients expecting from the campaign?

Jim – Impressions are very important. Give them your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram impressions. A good anecdotal report is also important. Comments, shares, Facebook conversations about the post help out.

Barbara – The amount of engagements with that post. Those are all the great thing that are needed. Reach out to the agency with an update for the post.

Beau – How can bloggers be found?

Justin – I love hearing ideas, but that will sometimes not be enough. Tell us why we should take you to our client.

Beau – How do bloggers pitch themselves?

Barbara – Put yourself out there and be known.

Justin – Use your network. The dad blogger page was a way I got to meet a lot of the dads I work with.

Jim – If you have a great idea say it, but don’t say it after the company tells you what they want.

Justin – Even if you have an idea and are not looking to get paid for it, reach out.

Jim – If you have a great social media channel that is what is going to sell you. Don’t treat you social channels as a broadcast channel.  There is more social engagement.

AUDIENCE QUESTION: Is there a specific number?

Barbara – Yeah, there are minimums. Certain times there are for live media.

What is the [desired] ratio [of sponsored content] vs original?

Barbara – 20% from sponsor to personal ratio.

AUDIENCE QUESTION:  What are your fees are and what are bloggers being paid?

Barbara – There is not a set, each project is different.

Beau- Ask them, what’s your budget?

Barbara – Ask the agency for a higher fee . . .

AUDIENCE QUESTION: How to use social to contact PR?

Jim – Remove PR friendly from your bio. PR friendly means “I will do anything.”

Justin – We want quality over quantity.

Jim – It’s almost like product placement in a film. I’m going to trust them to be creative with our product.

Beau- You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make good pictures.


Barbara – We are a visual economy.

Justin – Make it count and make it impactful, so that it stands out.

Jim – Work harder on your sponsored stuff, than you regular stuff.

Live blogged by Victor Aragon Jr. of @Fandads.