I’ll start by saying, the only reason I am writing this is because of the polite email I received from a ‘beer blogger’, this followed another communication from a Instagram ‘beer reviewer’, and their two completely different manners of opening a conversation.
I don’t really want this piece of writing to be all about bashing beer reviewers but its a little hard for this not to look like that!
I’ll start with how it should be done, think of it as a How-To-Guide.
“Hi my name is Barry B Reviewer, and run a beer blog over at www.myfictitiousbeerblog.com you can also find me on all the socials (inserts links). Here I’ll tell you a little about what I do and how I do it and what I’d like to do with your beers. And how great it would be to come and check the brewery out sometime.
Thanks for reading, Kind Regards
I’m going to copy paste the recent conversation from Instagram so you can make up your own mind as to whether this was the right way to make an introduction.
Them: Would love to review some of your beers if you have any samples
Me: We have loads of samples, just pop in and buy some 😉 Cheekiness aside…. We tend to want to know people we send beer to, have a bit of history with etc. Cheers Adrian
Them: I understand, you are a bit far from me otherwise I would love to pop in!! Wanted to spread about your beers to my followers and maybe we could start some history!!
Me (Actually trying to be helpful): #TopTips Lets take assumption you are worthy to review beer, I wouldn’t know because I don’t know you. When you contact a brewery for the first time start with “Hi my name is” introduce what you do and tell the brewery why you should have free stuff (which would cost us £21 at least). Then politely sign off thanking them for their time. The Cheeky “Give me beer for Reviews” lark can really wind up some breweries and they will proceed to slag said ‘Reviewer’ off on social media. Hope that helps your next interaction with a brewer that is new to you. Cheers Adrian
Them (And the point where the “Influencer” word gets busted out): My experience of being an Instagram influencer is that that those Breweries who understand the strengths of social media marketing readily share their beer for feedback. In return they are reviewed and if any good will improve sales. For example Pinter has been nominated as a contender for Time Magazine invention of the year. They sent me a Pinter and brew kit worth over £70 in return for my review. So at £21 you would getting my influence cheap. Best of luck with your business.
Me (Shouldn’t had said they were an Influencer): Now I can laugh. Hahahaha, thanks for the giggle. We are a very small business and £21 may be ‘Cheap’ to you but after this year and only me keeping the business going instead of our usual compliment of staff, £21 is something we don’t take lightly. Referring to yourself as an Instagram Influencer is like quantifying your own self importance. So best of luck to you too with your freeloading and Merry Christmas.
If only the conversation had been started differently with an introduction rather than what was pretty much “Give me beer for Reviews”, it would have been nice to have the name of the person, it would have been nice for them to say ‘Hi’ at the start. But then the claiming of self-importance by saying they are an Influencer was like them shooting themselves in the foot. Surely if you are an influencer then you have built up and certain standing in your area of interest and it should be your followers that bestow on you the title of Influencer?
Back to the good bit… and how someone else started a relationship.
Sorry to write to you out of the blue, but given the amount of time that a lot of us have at the moment with the lockdown, furlough, and everything else that’s going on my family and I have decided to start an “all things beer” blog called ‘Blog named here’. We are currently trying to put together a series of interviews with Brewers around my local area. The first interview wit Blabla Brewery is due to go live tomorrow via Twitter (Twitter link) please feel free to have a look at this to get a feel for the type of questions we will be asking, to see if you are interested in participating.
The aim of the game is to ensure that adequate coverage is given to those breweries in my local area, and what they are/have been doing in this trying time. I plan to review some of your beers on the blog. However, I thought it would be even better to have a short 10-ish question interview with you to go alongside the reviews to round off your entry.
Would you be interested in participating? my plan would be to do it over email so that you can answer the questions at your leisure and it would also negate any social distancing issues we may have if I visited you at the brewery.
Their Name here
I know which approach I prefer, can you guess whether or not I gave a polite and full response to this email?
Do you think I was too blunt or I shouldn’t have said what I did?
I’m told one brewery give out discount codes to the folks that say “Give me your beer for Review”, should this be the way we deal with future interactions? Would this let us quantify a persons “Influence”?
Answers on a Postcard (post on the Socials)