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PR Teams – Confessions from the desk of a Girl Boss

Welcome to my very first Confessions from the desk of a Girl Boss posts. I have been planning these posts for a while now and I can’t wait to get started! After polling my Fan Group, my Design Team and shop owner friends about what things they’d like to see discussed I have planned out a series that I hope you’ll enjoy. For my first post, I’m going to talk about PR teams. Some businesses may refer to them as brand ambassadors, design, or social media teams.

This has been a big topic of discussion in the planner community over the past few months and there’s a fantastic podcast episode by Cindy Guentert-Baldo that covers exactly how I feel about the reason why’s or what role a PR/design team should be used for. This post, however, is more of a dos and don’t’s for when you apply for a position on a team. I have a PR team call coming up in the near future (hint, hint) and felt like this was a perfect time to post this.

While my last PR team call went well, and had a lot of applications submitted, the yes/maybe pile wasn’t as fruitful as it could’ve been. It wasn’t necessarily because there were bad applicants that we, my team lead and I, were sifting through. There were some with little things that could’ve been avoided, or small details that were missing that in turn made the application hit the no pile.

Let’s take a look at what could make your application move into the yes or no pile. The lists below are comprised of things we saw the most of, or those that stood out when reviewing applications.

  1. Don’t link me to a private Instagram account. If I can’t see your content, neither can potential customers.
  2. Don’t change/leave the incorrect user name on instagram if you have an application out with your account listed. If I can’t find you, that’s an automatic no.
  3. Don’t link a non-planner/type of craft/thing you’re applying for related instagram account to your application.
  4. Don’t skip steps or not answer all questions on the application.
  5. The biggest don’t from my last call. Don’t respond to the “I’m sorry” email with a nasty response. This may ruin any chance you have when applying to future team calls.

To get your application to the top of the yes pile, there are several things that we looked for. The list below will not guarantee you a spot on my team, but it will help us look at your application more than once.

  1. Follow all directions on the application. Answer all questions as completely as you can.
  2. Leave your correct contact information – this includes your Social Media accounts.
  3. Have great content on your Instagram feed. This means photos with relevant, planner content – your planner in use, your weekly spreads, tips for planning or tools you use, planner hauls – if that’s your thing; that aren’t just the outside of the envelope as the first image. I’m not saying that every post has to be planner content. If you head to my instagram, you’ll see personal/behind the scenes stuff as well as shop/planner related posts. A balance between the two is always nice.
  4. Be active in the community. Not just in my Fan Group, but out in the Planner Community where you would be talking/sharing with potential customers.

As you can see, the do’s list isn’t unreasonable or unrealistic. A lot of those don’ts could be avoided – especially the last one. I was shocked when I received that response email. I understand the hurt/disappointment that comes from receiving a the “you won’t be joining the team” email, but I have never once thought to lash out at the designer/company that sent said email.

When applying for a PR team, you should take into consideration that this is your first interaction with this shop owner, unless you are a regular customer or follower, this is your first impression; give them a good one. Think of this as a job application – because it is kind of like that. You will be representing a brand and how you will represent that brand is what is considered when reviewing applications.

Most shop owners are really looking for a PR team that supports them. Uses and loves their products and is active in the planner community. The team also helps them not spread themselves so thin when it comes to social media or interacting with customers.

Give them an application that is a true representation of yourself. Be yourself, just remember that this is a business decision for that shop owner, and you should put your best foot forward.


Podcast mentioned above – The Uncurated Life by Cindy Guentert-Baldo, Episode 18