Show your sincerity when working with the media

Today’s blog post is about public relations.
By Wikipedia’s definition, public relations is about the practice of managing communication between an organization and its public.

I’ve dealed with a lot of PR when I was an intern journalist over at SPH and now that I’m a blogger, it is inevitable that I have to liase with the PR.

But recently, I’m really appalled at some of the PR or whoever that is managing the communication from the companies. And these actions of theirs made me feel like they are not sincere enough to engage me as their blogger and that I’m of no importance to them, or like I owe them million bucks.

I’m no celebrity and neither am I a journalist of any media companies anymore. I just own a small humble blog that only have few hundreds of readers visiting. But however small my blog may be, the minute you e-mailed me to express interest in working with me, I’d totally expect sincerity from you.
Hello?! Now is you want me to publicize ur products or the other way round?

I may be easy going but I’m not the sort that goes anything with everything.

And how do I define sincerity?

1) Know your audience

First email greeting should address my name and let me know that you know who you are speaking to. Have an understanding of the blogger/media companies that you want to work with. A simple greeting like Dear Vivian tells me that you’ve been reading my blog or at least know who is the writer behind the website. It also shows that this is a customized e-mail specifically for me and not some copy and paste mass email. Everyone likes to feel exclusive.

2) Don’t just keep rambling about the what you/company can offer the blogger/media

Sure enough, this point is important but more often than not, you make the other party feel like they die die have to accept your offer for you are giving so much benefits to them. Now, this makes me feel like I am your slave, working for you and not working WITH you. Partnership means working together as a team. Always ASK the blogger/media what their working style is and what their expectations are. Then, together we can come to a conclusion as to how we can go about doing it.

3) Don’t leave the conversation halfway. In other words, don’t MIA.

No matter what happen, don’t leave the blogger/media hanging there wondering what’s wrong and why are you not responding to the emails anymore. It’s RUDE okay?! Even if you are not interested in working with them anymore, just politely tell them and they will understand. It’s not nice to just leave the conversation without a word.

I’ve met many PR/companies who play the MIA game with me.
There was once a boutique company engaged me to feature their apparels in my blog. After many emails, she said we have to meet up for further discussion and to understand their collection better. I agreed and we even planned the date and time. But one day before our meet up, she actually cancelled our appointment because she said her manager or boss is overseas and not back yet. Oh yeah? So you engaged me when your boss is not back yet? So you fix our appointment not knowing that your boss will not be back by then?! Even if its true, why is it that there are no more news ever since? If you are not interested anymore, then just say so.

For blogshops, please don’t ask for my rates and then disappear. =.=
This is equally rude.

4) Always keep to the agreement

If you say you are going to send me the products by a certain date, I’d expect you to do so just like you’d expect me to do up my blog post on time. I don’t care about the other bloggers who are always late in doing their blog posts but I am definitely someone who delivers what I promise. If you can’t, I would expect you to email me and tell me why. Don’t just say that you can’t and full stop. Let me know the reason so that I won’t take it to heart.

Sometimes when I did not receive my products/payment on a date that we’ve agreed on, I’ve to chase after them and ask them for reasons. Why should I be the one doing that? Shouldn’t they take the initiative and tell me beforehand?

5) Send heavy and important parcels via registered mail or courier

You have no idea how bad Sing Post’s service is today. When you know that your parcel is important, why did you choose to take the risk and sent it via normal mail. Just to save that few dollars?! I do not live near the Post Office and I’m not a full time blogger who have no commitments outside. Please don’t expect me to run to the Sing Post every single time when they failed to deliver YOUR products. I can’t check when there are no reference/tracking number given.

TheSampleStore has been doing a great job because they either send the parcels to us via registered mail or courier. This can save a lot of troubles between us and we can make sure we deliver the posts on time. (though registered mails can be late too but at least we have a reference number to track.)

And I’m deeply grateful when some companies choose to send the products to me THEMSELVES right to my doorstep like Style Aromatherapy.

Oh yes PLEASE SEAL important documents such as pay cheques!
I totally cannot believe my eyes when I saw my pay cheque given by a big company not being sealed up. So my service is important to you but my pay aren’t huh?

Enough said. I do hope I’ll have more pleasant experience working with the various PRs in the future. Because little things like this make me feel like why should I even blog for them. I’ll not say I blog about this topic with no offence for they have already offended me in the first place. I’m just not naming anyone. But if you are reading this by chance, I hope YOU know!

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