FAQ for PR people

Hel­lo, love­ly PR per­son. We hope this advice will be of gen­er­al use to you in under­stand­ing beer blog­gers, as well as help­ing you com­mu­ni­cate with us in a way to which we’ll respond pos­i­tive­ly.

1. How can I get you to men­tion our brand in any con­text what­so­ev­er?

Do some­thing inter­est­ing or, rather, get your client to. We’d be most inter­est­ed in the launch of a new beer or an improve­ment to an exist­ing one but even launch­ing a real­ly ter­ri­ble beer might lead us to men­tion how ter­ri­ble it is.

The fol­low­ing things are rarely if ever inter­est­ing:

2. How do I get you to say nice things about our brand?

(a) Engage with us. Don’t send us emails only when you want some­thing — com­ment on the blog or talk to us on Twit­ter between cam­paigns. Even bet­ter, get the peo­ple who actu­al­ly make the beer to engage with us, even if it’s to tell us we’re idiots and that we don’t know what we’re talk­ing about.

(b) Make good beer and help us find it. Tell us where we can buy it near where we live (Bris­tol) or via mail order. We’re prob­a­bly not going to say nice things about a beer we haven’t tried.

3. How do I get you to stop say­ing bad things about our brand?

(a) Make the beer bet­ter and tell us what you’ve done to improve it.

(b) Get some­one (ide­al­ly a brew­er) to make us think again by get­ting in touch to tell us what is inter­est­ing about the beer. Maybe we’ve missed some­thing or just don’t get it: we’re hap­py to be per­suad­ed.

4. Why should we waste all this time and ener­gy tai­lor­ing things for you?

Yes, cor­rect. Hard­ly any­one reads this blog. So, if you can’t real­ly be both­ered to engage with us for that very legit­i­mate rea­son, don’t con­tact us at all. Bad­ly tai­lored or tar­get­ed emails irri­tate us so not only do they fail to engage us but actu­al­ly make us feel less warm towards the brand you’re try­ing to pro­mote.

We don’t demand huge amounts of per­son­al­i­sa­tion but it’s nice to be addressed with some sort of name, i.e. not just ‘Hi!’ or ‘Hey there’ and it helps if there’s some sense that you’ve read our blog. That doesn’t mean pre­tend­ing to have been a fan for ages or nam­ing one of our blog posts at ran­dom – that’s just cheesy – but if you scan, say, our last three posts, then you’ll get an idea of the tone and scope of our writ­ing and whether what you’re pro­mot­ing might fit.

5. What kind of engage­ment don’t you like? And what would you pre­fer?

(a) See ques­tion 1 above.

(b) We can rarely find the time to go on media jol­lies in Bel­gium, Nor­folk or wher­ev­er. And, in fact, we find the blog posts that these kinds of events gen­er­ate – espe­cial­ly when five land in the same week – pret­ty bor­ing.

© Why aren’t there more ‘meet the brew­er’ events on Twit­ter? Cheap, easy, gen­uine engage­ment. In fact, why isn’t one of your brew­ers (head or oth­er­wise) on Twit­ter right now chat­ting to peo­ple like us every day?

(d) If you’re going to launch gim­micky beers, why not make them inter­est­ing as beer? We’ve not shut up about Fuller’s Past Mas­ters series and have spent hun­dreds of pounds of our own mon­ey buy­ing bot­tles of it, despite not receiv­ing one email about it from their PR peo­ple.

6. Will you run a paid adver­tise­ment?

Some blog­gers do this, and good luck to ‘em. We’re not try­ing to make mon­ey from the site, and don’t like feel­ing oblig­ed to be nice about a spon­sor, so the answer has, so far, always been no. We might con­sid­er run­ning ads for char­i­ties or oth­er good caus­es (for free). Ask us — it can’t hurt.

7. Why aren’t you inter­est­ed in the cere­al, mush­rooms, but­ter or gin I’m pro­mot­ing?

If you bought a mail­ing list of ‘food’, ‘bev­er­age’ or ‘lifestyle’ blog­gers and we’re on it you’ve either (a) been ripped off and should go back to the agency in ques­tion and ask for some mon­ey back; or (b) haven’t spent enough time tai­lor­ing the list. Of course you can just keep spam­ming peo­ple but it’s not very pro­fes­sion­al and does not gen­er­ate good­will.

8. Can we work in part­ner­ship with you to place con­tent on your blog?

We take queries like this to mean that you want us to pass off your con­tent as our own, or mar­ket­ing copy as a ‘guest post’, for the pur­pos­es of boost­ing traf­fic to a com­mer­cial web­site (SEO) and rais­ing the pro­file of a par­tic­u­lar brand. We find this fun­da­men­tal­ly dis­hon­est and think it deval­ues blog­ging as a medi­um. We’ve worked hard to pro­duce con­tent and earn what­ev­er rep­u­ta­tion we have and don’t want to throw it away by mis­lead­ing our read­ers.

Write your own blog.

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