At C.E.M. a crucial part of our business is partnering with bloggers. As Drew Barrymore put it, bloggers have the marketing world by the “cajones” right now. We connect brands to bloggers, who help feature brand posts, giveaways, reviews and more.
Samantha Curtis of HoohahandHiccups.com has been one of our go to bloggers. Honestly, yes we love her blog. But we love working with her even more. She’s super professional, easy to communicate with and just an all around great person to work with. If every blogger was like her, our jobs would be so easy! Her blog features fashion, family, parenting and life… which is just a bit of everything. She’s genuine, super sweet, and of course totally gorgeous!
All too often brands ask bloggers, “What can you do for me? How many unique visitors do you have? How many people will enter your giveaway?” etc. etc. We think its time for bloggers to tell brands what they expect of them! It’s only natural for bloggers to wonder, “what’s in it for me?” After all, gaining access to retail space on Samantha’s blog is like getting a small piece of her personal life, and that space has influece which equals value. If you’re a PR rep, marketing manager or brand owner, listen up. Here’s what this particular blogger is looking for from you!
What blog in particular did you write that got the most hits?
Samantha: “My most popular posts are one’s that I write from the heart. This one is when my husband returned home from Afghanistan. It was a really popular post."
What inspires you to blog?
Samantha: “Lot’s of things inspire me. My husband, my son, and my love for fashion. Despite being a stay-at-home-mother and wife, I strive to keep myself put together, trendy, and up-to-date on the latest styles. I also love being able to look back and see how far we've come as a family.”
How do you prefer to receive pitches from brands, marketing managers and PR professionals?
Samantha: “Email is best for me with my busy schedule.”
What makes a great pitch from a brand and inspires you to write a or cover the topics presented in the pitch?
Samantha: “I only review and cover things that myself or my readers would be interested in. If the pitch gets me excited and I know my readers will be excited too, I am all over it!”
What’s in it for you?
Samantha: “Since this is my full time job, compensation is obviously wonderful. However, if I'm receiving products in exchange for a review, those are wonderful too. Since I only review things I would actually buy or use, I technically count that as income since I do not have to go out and purchase it on my own. There are times, however, when I will cover a pitch because I think it's a great cause or I'm generally interested and excited about the topic.”
What’s the best way for a marketing company or publicist to build a relationship with you?
Samantha: “Keep in touch! I have companies check in with me on Twitter or email me when they have new opportunities, which is great! I love having a relationship with the companies I work with, not just a one and done kind of deal.”
What will make you so no to a pitch?
Samantha: “If it's a product, event, or cause that I personally do not agree with, or think my readers will not like either, I won't do it. If the email seems unprofessional or questionable, I will politely decline.”
What is a guarantee that a company or publicist will never hear back from you again?
Samantha: “I once had a company ask for the email addresses of my readers from a giveaway. I felt completely uncomfortable and found it super unprofessional. My readers are friends, people that I've created relationships with, and didn't think it was fair to ask for that information. Also, when companies or publicists don't acknowledge my reviews or give me feedback, I just feel like they aren't appreciative of the time I put into it.”
Do you ever write blogs from press releases you have received?
Samantha: “I think I've only ever received one press release, to be honest! And yes, I wrote a post on it.”
What do you wish more marketing companies and publicists understood better about bloggers?
Samantha: “There are a ton of bloggers out there and those that do it for different reasons; some blog for fun and others blog for a career. I put my heart and soul into my blog and go about it as professionally as I can. If I am offered products or compensation and build a relationship with a publicist or company, I go above and beyond to make sure they are happy with the outcome. So many people, myself included, value the opinion of a blogger. We are real life people that have tried products or been places we review on our blogs, and genuinely care about our readers. I would never give a dishonest review because I look to other blogs for their advice as well. We are a community, and we trust each other. Like I read in the previous blogger's spotlight, I wish companies and publicists would reach out to us more and understand how powerful the blog world is! We are more influential than they might think!”
Connect with Samantha and her blog on Facebook and Twitter. www.facebook.com/hooahandhiccups and www.twitter.com/hooahandhiccups Use hashtag #CEMFeature. For more information on blogger partnerships and how C.E.M. can help connect your brand to influencers, contact info (at) cabraledwardsmanagement (dot) com.