One of the most common questions bloggers ask when they want to start working with brands is how to connect with PR professionals. I was in that very same position not that long ago and had a near-impossible time figuring it out. I asked blogging communities and FB groups. Sometimes I’d email bloggers directly and ask for guidance. I rarely received a response. When I did, it was either referring me to networks or trying to sell me a course. All I wanted was a simple answer. Eventually, after a lot of research, I figured it out and I’m sharing it with you today.
If you already have a brand in mind and you’re looking to connect with a specific person, these sites aren’t going to help. In that case you’re best bet is to look for a “Media” page on the brand’s website. If that doesn’t work trying Googling for a recent press release, the brand name + media or pr, or searching LinkedIn.
What these websites do is connect you with PR professionals that are currently seeking bloggers for campaigns or story ideas. Sometimes they offer compensation but other times it’s just story ideas for content creation. Either way, they put your name and your blog in front of the people you need.
Top 3 Websites for Bloggers to Connect with PR Professionals
I’ve had a lot of success since I started using these websites and I know you will too. If you have any questions about them, feel free to shoot me an email.
Cision is PR software that allows PR professionals to find influencers, build awareness, share brand news with press releases, and track coverage across traditional and social media outlets. By registering your blog with this software you’ll show up in the database which is a total win for you! When you register, you’re asked to identify your categories, contact preferences, pet peeves, among other things that help classify you and your site.
PR Professionals search this database for journalists and influencers that fit their requirements and will reach out via email with a story proposal. It’s then on you to negotiate contract terms and deadlines. I receive a ton of emails through Cision so I recommend creating an email filter and directing them to a dedicated email folder to sort through on your schedule. I’ve found that there aren’t as many paid ops but I’ve had the opportunity to interview a few major celebrities (for other sites) which is great for page views and SEO. Paid ops are usually negotiated one-on-one. It depends on the pitch and it’s on you to know your worth and fight for it.
GroupHigh is focused specifically on helping bloggers connect with PR professionals. They promote the ability for PR professionals to find the best bloggers and influencers, manage their relationships, and measure the value of content. This is a site you must be on to connect with the PR world and build a name for your blog. They have an enormous client database and are a go-to site for finding influencers. If you’re not on there, you’re missing out big-time!
GroupHigh generates lists of bloggers or influencers based on PR search criteria so classify your blog appropriately. It’s still on you to grow your blog, build your audience, and expand your social reach but this a database you need to be in. The brands here are looking to connect directly with bloggers. That helps you cut out the middleman (networks) and connect with PR professionals.
PR Newswire is nothing more than a syndicated collection of press releases but it’s a great resource! I check PR Newswire at least once a day, usually in the late afternoon. I’ll sort through press releases for products, services, or announcements that my readers would relate to and I prep emails to the media contact. The media contact is almost always listed at the bottom of the press release. I use Boomerang for Gmail to schedule emails for the next morning if I can’t get it sent out by 6pm. I hate sending emails with a timestamp of 9pm or later. It looks far more professional to send emails during regular business hours.
One of my favorite things about PR Newswire are their emails. I set up a profile for my blog and set preferred press release categories. Once a day I receive an email with the press releases that fit my criteria. That helps me sort through everything and identify only the items that are a good fit for me.
For more tips about working with brands, including the exact templates I’ve used to book paid campaigns, check out my eBook – Pitching 2 Brands.
Have you had trouble figuring out how to connect with PR professionals? Any other tips you’d like to share with other bloggers?