29 July, 2016

How to Send a Quality PR Email

Alright, y'all.  Today I'm talking all about how to send a proper, quality PR email that almost guarantees a response from the recipient.  Maybe you're pitching a company for a collaboration, a hotel for an event, a beauty company for sponsorship.  Regardless of the mission you're on, here are a few tips on how to send the best PR pitch and get a response.

A little disclaimer: All of these tips are based on my personal experience, what I've seen, what I've sent, and responses that I've both given and received.  I've worked as a Marketing Coordinator where I've received thousands of PR emails and have gotten a sense of what works, what doesn't, and what you just shouldn't send.

What you should do:
Send a personalized email to any company you pitch: Always mention the name of the company, anyone you may have spoken to/worked with in the past, and address the company/person you are emailing.  Anything else makes your email seem like spam and sounds like you were rushing.
Give at least one reason why you want to work with said company: If you are a fan of a certain product, campaign, or message, say so! The more details you can give as to why you're pitching a company, the better chance you have of your email being read, appreciated, and responded to.
Mention the specific product(s) that you're most interested in: This goes with the above -- Provide as many details and knowledge of the company as you can.  If you're pitching a restaurant for a collaboration, mention your favorite dish or cocktail.  Tell them about the time you visited with a friend and had a great experience -- Make the email yours and yours only.  Add a personal touch.
If you've tried the company before, mention why you're a fan: A question I always ask as a Marketing Coordinator is "have you tried our products before"?  Avoid the need to ask that question by mentioning if you have or have not tried a brand/company's products before.  Throw in why you are a fan of the company and why you decided to reach out.
Link to your website or social channels: The less work the recipient has to do to look you up, the better.  Link to your blog, YouTube page, Instagram, etc. so that the company can easily click your links, look you up, and see some of your sample work.

What not to do:
Copy and paste a generic pitch: This is not only annoying, but it shows that you're an amateur.  If you're copying & pasting a pitch, chances are you are not addressing a specific company and are clearly in a rush.  This shows that you don't truly care about your message and doesn't make for a quality, meaningful partnership.
Start the email with "Dear sir or madam": ...Just don't.  Again, this makes you sound very spammy and like your email was hacked.  Add a personalized touch: add the person's name, company, etc.  Address them directly.
Say something along the lines of "I have X thousand followers and want to try your products": In case no one's told you lately, you are not defined by a number.  Of course, numbers are important when a company is looking to develop partnerships/sponsored contracts, but show your personality, not your follower count.  As mentioned above, just link to your social accounts so that the company can easily look you up and quickly see your follower count.  You can throw a number into the email, but don't make it your headline or the main point of your pitch.
Send an email less than one paragraph: If your pitch is 1-2 sentences, it's obvious that you didn't write a quality email.  Put some time and effort into it to get the results you're looking for!
Imply that you should have already received an outreach, sample, etc. from the company: This grinds my gears.  Always speak in a positive manner and only speak of things that you can do in the future with the company.  Mentioning that you "should have received or done X" only leaves a bad taste in the recipient's mouth.  This makes you seem entitled, pompous, and simply isn't what one wants to hear from someone interested in collaborating.

Let me know your best tips for pitching a company, and also let me know your tips of what not to do!



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27 July, 2016

Bright, Even Skin with MyChelle

Vitamin C Serum
I'm a huge sucker for skincare, but shouldn't we all be?  Our skin is the largest organ on our body, so it makes me cringe a little when people neglect their skincare, especially in their 20s.  I'm the girl that will be walking down the street and stop someone to ask what their secret product or trick is if they have great skin.  I once had an hour conversation with a gorgeous woman in Miami because I couldn't stop staring at her glowing, even complexion.  (Her tricks were Vitamin C, Retinol, exercise, and sex BTW).
Retinal Serum and Vitamin C
A few months ago I started using the Peter Thomas Roth Vitamin C products and noticed an immediate difference in my skin.  My complexion looked brighter, more even, and a few dark spots started to fade.  I got a compliment almost every time I left the house with the moisturizer and realized how big of a difference one powerful ingredient could make.  I was on the hunt for a good serum to replace the moisturizer once I ran out, plus I needed to replenish a few other skincare goodies.

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26 July, 2016

Bloggin' on a Budget | The Pressure of Blogging and Spending

how bloggers afford shopping and make money
I was recently having a conversation with a friend about my blog - specifically about how I felt a bit stressed out and some pressure to have the latest and greatest products in beauty and fashion, go on trips, and "invest" in situations that would allow me to create interesting content. 

As a blogger, we have to keep up with what's trending, pay attention to popular searches, sales, new launches, and make sure that our blog is up-to-date with SEO keywords.  This can often lead to me feeling like I need to drop big bucks in order to have pieces to feature and to make sure I'm staying in the loop.

Many times we're blinded by more well known, more "successful" bloggers and content creators.  I'd be lying if I said I never compare myself to others jet setting to Greece, eating lavish dinners, and wearing beautiful designer pieces that would put me into debt.  But here's where we need to take a step back: Everyone's journey is different, and we cannot compare our point A, B, or C to someone else's point Y or Z.  Success arrives at different times for different people, but the common denominators are hard work and creativity.

When I start to feel frustrated and pressure to over-spend out of my budget, I talk to my friends and family about ways to get creative with my content.  I never want readers to look at my blog as an unrealistic lifestyle, because trust me, the struggle is real.  I just recently started to "splurge" on nicer pieces for my wardrobe, handbags, and realized that Forever 21 clothing isn't bound to last forever.  But don't get it twisted, I will always find affordable, budget-friendly pieces to incorporate into my wardrobe and my blog posts!

A few ways to keep your content relevant while trying to save some coins:

Stay up-to-date with online sales by subscribing to your favorite retailers: You don't need to actually purchase anything here.  If you're creating a post about your favorite coats for the Fall, search for a range of pieces and create a collage or board to share.  You can still link to the pieces and monetize your links, put out quality content, and engage your readers.

Use your friends: Maybe your friend has an awesome trendy or vintage piece.  Either ask to feature it in a post, style it, or have a fun coffee date and girls day and snap some photos of her to share too.

Repurpose older content: Don't go overboard with sharing old content, and don't copy and paste.  But there's nothing wrong with taking a post you created months to a year ago and repurposing some older photos or posting a throwback.  Chances are you've gained new readers or subscribers since then and it will be new to them!

Apply for a program like RewardStyle or ShopStyle Collective: Chances are you've heard of these if you're a blogger, or you recognize the name from links you've clicked.  Both RewardStyle and ShopStyle offer widgets that are extremely easy to create and add to your blog and your new posts.  There are tons of different options to choose from, and you don't need to spend a dime to feature products in them.  They'll send you alerts for big sales (ahem, Nordstrom Sale happening now), and they'll provide their best tips, analytics, and SEO recommendations.

Let me know if you've felt this pressure, and leave your best tips to get creative in the comments.
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25 July, 2016

Best Cream/Stick Blushes + Pixi Beauty GIVEAWAY!

Every woman needs a good cream blush in their makeup arsenal.  I remember when I discovered Mac Ladyblush in high school, realized how quick and easy a cream blush was, and instantly took a stronger liking to a cream finish vs. a powder.
Cream Blush Stick
Pixi Beauty recently launched their new Multibalms, which can be used on both the cheeks and the lips.  They come in an easy, travel-friendly stick which makes them even easier to apply (and slightly less mess on your fingers)!  These are absolutely gorgeous and look almost gel-like when you first apply them to the skin.  They come in 5 shades: 4 blush/lip shades, and 1 contour shade.  Once you apply the sticks, they dry in a cream-to-powder finish to leave a soft, natural flush.

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21 July, 2016

The NSale: My Shoe Picks

If you're a Nordstrom card holder, chances are you've already browsed online or in-store, added too many things to your shopping cart, or have already purchased a few items from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Don't have a card?  No worries -- The sale officially begins this Friday, July 22!

Let's talk shoes.  I have to admit that I kind of suck when it comes to my shoe collection.  I tend to spend all of my coins on makeup, clothes, and food, and unfortunately my poor feet are neglected.  Since I started blogging, I've been wanting to step my shoe game up more, and I'm trying (I really am)!
Nordstrom Shoes Sale
BOOTS: HALOGEN

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14 July, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Starts NOW!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2016


Bring on the Fall vibes.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale doesn't officially begin until July 22, but if you're an obsessed (not to mention smart) shopper, you can start shopping the sale today with early access.  I'm already drooling over the endless choices of booties, open-back sweaters, bomber jackets, and Nikes.

I've been in the market for the perfect pair of both over-the-knee boots and booties, and I have a good feeling I'll find the final contenders in this sale.

Here are a few of my favorite finds while browsing the Anniversary Sale.  Don't sleep: the sale ends August 8th!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Leather Vest
LEATHER JACKET: $165.90 SALE/$249 REGULAR

Nordstrom Nike Sale
NIKE JUVENATE: $70.79 SALE/$95 REGULAR

Black Boots Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
BLACK BOOTS: $109.90 SALE/$189.95 REGULAR

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Bomber Jacket
NUDE BOMBER: $75.90 SALE/$115 REGULAR

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Heels
SUEDE LACE-UPS: $79.90 SALE/$129.95 REGULAR
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty
FOREO LUNA MINI: $74 SALE/$99 REGULAR


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07 July, 2016

World Chocolate Day

Yep, you read that right.  There's an entire day dedicated to chocolate.  It seems like there's a day dedicated to every trivial food, relationship, and thing in existence, but I'll be damned if I have something negative to say about World Chocolate Day.

Scrolling through my phone, I expected to see hundreds of photos of chocolate desserts that I've enjoyed in Houston and during my travels.  I'm a little disappointed to say that I only found a handful...shame on me.  I eat way more chocolate than that, but I still have a good collection.

Here are a few of my favorite chocolatey treats -- Let me know your favorite chocolate dessert so I can add it to my list of indulgence!

Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts: Any chocolate donut on the menu.  Why can't donuts be part of the food pyramid?
World Chocolate Day Donuts
Sprinkles: Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream
Sprinkles Ice Cream Sandwich
Tout Suite: COOOOOOKIES.  Looking at this photo makes me drool.  We had all of these cookies at a Sugar & Cloth event and I couldn't stop paying a visit to the table.  Chocolate chip is by far my favorite.
National Chocolate Day Cookies
Starbucks: Chocolate Chip Cookie and Chocolate Brownie.  If you've ignored the temptation that lives inside the Starbucks glass cabinet, you're missing out.  Treat yoself and try their cookie or brownie warmed up.
World Chocolate Day
 Tout Suite: Chocolate Croissant.  My favorite.  Get it warmed up for about a minute and watch the chocolate ooze from the delicious, buttery croissant.  The middle bite is by far the best, so snag it for yourself!

video
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