You’ve got your first PR invite, all looks legit, what happens next?
I was positively ecstatic to receive an invite to a blogger event from a bona fide PR company. Having only been blogging for four months it really was a great surprise. You may have seen posts from bloggers about events they have attended and products they have been sent to review and it all looks very exciting. They have worked hard on their blogs and worked up a big following but how does it all come about? And what actually happens at a blogging PR event?
If you’re a newbie blogger like me, here is the lowdown (you know, from my extensive experience).
What is a Blogging Event?
It will differ wildly depending on the product and the brand. For example this Tefal event – A Moment With Franca was in a house in North London as it was for cookwear. If it was a film pre-screening it may be at a cinema. The one I was invited to was for Smiggle which is a kid’s stationery brand so it was at their Cardiff store. It was in the morning 8.45am-10am and the store was closed to the public. There would be competitions and free goodie bags and the invite extended to my family too; so the kids could try the products.
How do you get invited to a Blogging Event?
I registered with Tots 100 which is a blogging community website which links with PR companies. I registered, messed it up, emailed someone and then forgot about it. That is where the PR company who organised the event (Beattie Communications) got the details of my blog along with my contact email. To register just outline your blog in one paragraph, add your social media links, and tick the box that says you’re happy to be contacted. At the event I met some other mummy bloggers, one of whom Heledd from Yummy Blogger invited me to join a facebook group for parent bloggers local to my area. Event opportunities are often shared on that page too which is really handy.
What happens at a Blogging Event?
It was all very exciting and felt very exclusive. Thankfully I wasn’t the only blogger there who hadn’t been to anything like this before Madeline from This Glorious Life was a newbie event blogger person too which I was glad of.
I went with my family; hubby & 2 kids. We got there early to find the store roped off with a chalkboard sign at the front saying ‘Welcome bloggers!’
There were a few other people nervously loitering so we said a quick hello to one another. The rep from Beattie Communications said hi, ticked my name off the list and let us in. There were free coffees and breakfast baps on offer which was a nice touch. I couldn’t eat/drink them as I am currently dairy free for babba so hubby had 2 instead. The cheek of it! While he was eating me and Beg got down to business perusing the goods. I took a load of pics while Beg sniffed everything as she had discovered some things were scented. The Manager (who had an Australian accent – Smiggle is an Australian company) gave us a quick talk to give some background information about the company. She highlighted one or two things they were keen to promote; mainly their back to school range. This was when we found out there was a £200 gift card up for grabs and one of our names would be pulled out of a hat to win it later. Oooh. Then we looked round a bit more while a staff member demonstrated a toy for the kids and helped them with their entries to the design a backpack competition.
Then the big moment for the gift card raffle. The name was drawn and it was me! I couldn’t believe it. So while everyone else made their purchases and left, Beg went on a trolley dash (basket dash) and shopped, shopped, shopped. Everyone had a goody bag at the end and just like at a kid’s party we knew we could then politely exit. Then we went round the corner by the loos and did some silly posed pictures with our haul but you don’t have to do this bit yourself if you don’t want to.
What happens after?
I emailed the PR company to say thanks for inviting me and used the event hashtag #backtosmiggle on my social media. Then a few days later I wrote up the review and published it and also emailed the PR company to let them know it was live.
The Best Bits.
The obvious highlight of the day was winning the gift card. Seeing Beg so excited because of something I had done and feeling a great ownership of my blog was good. Also I was thrilled to meet other local mummy bloggers that I had previously only met online.
Hopefully this post gives a little insight into what these type of events can entail. I hope there will be more in the future to write about but until then here’s a video of me ‘unboxing’ the free goodie bag.