The The PR Desk is a regular column on FBC written by PR professional Heather Travis to help food bloggers navigate the ins and outs of working with brands and PR agencies. Today Heather shares tips on how to develop and pitch a big picture campaign, as part of her ongoing Show Me the Money! series.

How To Develop and Pitch a Big Picture Brand Campaign | Food Bloggers of Canada

We're coming close the end of our Show Me the Money! series, so you should know by now that, just like anything worth your time and effort in life, there isn’t a simple step-by-step, coloured-photo guide to drafting the perfect pitch for a big picture campaign.

I encourage you to start at the beginning of this series and read it all again. This is as close to a "formula" as I can give you for successfully pitching a big picture brand partnership.

Don't Follow a Formula to Pitch

A pitch following a formula is the equivalent of you, dear blogger, getting the dreaded (and very formulaic) "Dear Blogger" email. It lacks personality, it lacks any type of relationship, and it is never successful. Just like you don’t want to receive junky formulaic press releases and random solicitations, neither do your brand partners want to receive them in the form of a pitch.

So while I can’t give you a formula, I hope the below can act as a guide to helping you build a winning strategy for a big picture campaign with a brand partner.

And remember, you should only be thinking big picture campaigns with a partner you have lots of experience with, a partner you can pick up the phone and call out of the blue, a partner who already has a pretty good understanding of the value you deliver because you’ve been doing it consistently for a while now.

Steps To Take BEFORE You Start Thinking About a Pitch

1. Be sure you can clearly and effectively communicate your value — The brand may have experience working with you, but you still want to capture all the ways you add value (to them!). Gather up all the traffic your site has sent them, the actions your readers have taken, et cetera.

SEE:  A Blogger's Guide to Determining Your Value.

2. Gain an understanding of the PR or marketing budgets you're working with — You need to gather intel from your brand partner on this. Ideally this information is something you're already privy to.

SEE:  A Blogger's Guide To Understanding Brand Marketing Budgets.

3. Work with your desired big picture campaign partner in unique and value driven ways before you start thinking about a big picture campaign with them — You want to experiment with different tactics to see where the spaghetti sticks and what your audience resonates with.

SEE: The PR Desk: 5 Ways To Work with Brands Beyond Your Blog.

Steps To Take to DEVELOP Your Pitch

1. Do these five things:

SEE: The PR Desk: Five Things To Do Before You Pitch.

RELATED:  Putting together a media kit for your blog

2. Rely on your intel and your intimate brand knowledge to help provide solutions to the brand's problems — This isn’t the "insert-your-blog-name-here show." It’s the brand's show and you need to clearly provide solutions to their problems in order to drive meaningful results. They'll high five you for more Facebook likes, but they'll invite you into the boardroom if you help drive sales through Facebook.

SEE: Love You Long Time: 5 Tips for Building Long-Term Brand Partnerships.

3. Make sure you know the essentials of a good pitch

SEE: PR Desk: A Guide to the Essentials of a Good Pitch.

4. Again, make sure you know and understand the budgets you're working with — A great idea that's way off budget will always get shot down.

SEE: A Blogger's Guide To Understanding Brand Marketing Budgets.

5. Pull everything together — Create a comprehensive document with proof points, examples and everything else, and then …

It's Time To Pitch

Depending on the relationship you have with your brand partner, you could request a formal meeting, present it over a sushi lunch, or in a quick phone call, or … you get my drift.

You should have a good enough relationship and enough working experience with your brand partner to know how to approach the pitch. Some people like formal dog and pony shows, others like quick and dirty over coffee. It's up to you know your brand partner best.

A pitch can always fall flat no matter how awesome, but a well thought-out pitch to a brand partner with a great relationship can only reinforce that you're a true brand ally for them. So while you might not get the campaign, or the desired budget, you still get a brand partner who sees value in the work you do together.

And that’s worth a lot.


Heather Travis is a PR professional and lover of all things creative. She has extensive experience developing and implementing integrated public relations and marketing programs for agricultural brands, producers and processors, as well as high end sporting goods. She’s a DIY junkie with a mean power tool addiction, and can often be found painting, refinishing, and scouring both junk yards and antique markets for her next fix … err, piece of content for her blog Find Heather on Twitter @heathertravis and Instagram @heathertravis.

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