Confession | How I Get Invited to Media Events

It's not a secret because I'm ready to confess 
- How I get invited to media events.

--
//Confessions of a Food Blogger is a tell-all series of what my life has been like as a food blogger. Check out the full list of posts here.//
--



The glamour. 






The free food. 




The famous. 








Are you interested?

… In the parties, scandals, and famous associations that come with it?





(Okay. JK About the scandals. Unless you scandalous…)



Well then, get ready. I am about to tell you how to get your exclusive invite.








| You just need to be an influencer.

What exactly is an influencer? It’s basically someone really popular on the internet. Basically, someone that can influence their audience on social media to do something such as buying a product or checking out the newest restaurant. This can be a blogger, Instagrammer, or Youtuber.

Because Influencers tend to have a more authentic relationship with their fans, it is a more organic way for companies to reach new consumers. Thus, influencer marketing has become a $1 billion industry.  Companies are always on the lookout for influencers they can collaborate with. They throw parties and host media events to push out products to influencers and get coverage on social media.

But becoming an influencer isn’t easy, especially since nowadays the market seems so saturated with micro-influencers popping up everywhere. Competition is tougher than ever. But that just means influencers need to get more creative to build their audience.

Although it takes time and patience, becoming an influencer can be fun and rewarding if it’s what you want to do either as a side hustle or a full-time career!







| Well…you don’t need to be an influencer. Just become friends with one.

Don’t got the time to create good enough content to attract an audience? No worries. Just become friends with an influencer. Or even better, date one to lock in your status as the “Plus 1”. Most of the media events allow influencers to bring a plus 1. That is your gateway.

Here’s how:
Find an influencer  get to know that person  go on a few dates   ask to accompany along to a media event   eat free food   start taking pics of said free food because everyone else is doing it anyway   make your own food Instagram   become a foodie influencer yourself.

All this magic can happen if you just slide into a few DMs… *wink


OR……………………..


just reach out to an influencer to ask for advice and maybe said influencer will be kind enough to help ya out! (Feel free to reach out to me anytime if you’re an aspiring influencer!)






| Fake it till you make it

Don’t got that much time but still wanna be an influencer? If you have the money you can buy followers and likes. There are influencers who take their own photos and videos while many other influencer accounts just repost photos of other users on Instagram. Sometimes, you might notice that the number of followers and likes might seem too poppin` to be true. But these “influencers” actually do get invited to places and eventually may even have their own authentic following. It is a controversial strategy that some people may frown upon but hey, it works. And it isn't always 100% bought followers/likes. Maybe just a small percentage of it is paid. Who knows. 

Everyone has their own way of getting popular. Buying the likes/followers can present the account as worth following and gives a sense of "social proof". For an example, if you see a restaurant full of people. Is it good? You don’t even know yet. But you might join in (hit that follow button) because it seems poppin`.

You do you, and everyone has their own means of doing things. But here's why I wouldn't recommend this route 100%:
  • An unfortunate result of this, is that the Instagram accounts that do not intend to ever put effort into creating valuable content do somehow slip through the cracks and take advantage of the invites and free food and may actually hurt the restaurant (because the IG account might not be reaching a real tangible audience and thus, no potential customers).
  • A high follower account with mostly bought followers makes it harder for the other IG accounts to grow genuinely / organically (without buying followers). The accounts who are trying to grow without the help of "steroids" may have high quality content, but are sometimes overlooked because of the low follower count. This constant chasing of likes and followers can have a negative toll on some people. So remember, it ain't always about the likes and followers.💕




| So here’s how I got my first meal compensated for free.

The first ever food I got for free was Bowl Of Heaven! I visited the Newport Beach location of Bowl of Heaven just to support my friend, Phil, and to hang out and chill. I ordered an acai bowl (so yummy btw!) and took some photos of it as usual. Of course, I had to include my friend in it too for funsiez! At that time, my blog was still a baby, less than a month old. I uploaded my review and hangout with Phil on my blog and Bowl of Heaven took notice with the help of Phil! Bowl of Heaven even shared my article on their social media and invited me in to get anything on the house. WHAT! That is so cool! 




On my second visit, I ordered my acai bowl and it felt sort of surreal that it was just free. All because I shared something on a website and social media. WAHH!

I also barely had any followers on Instagram at this time, probably less than 500 or so? But over time, it continued to grow and so did my website.

Check out my Bowl of Heaven posts here:






| Then I got my first restaurant tasting invite.


OMG OMG OMG! NO WAY! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. WHAAAAT. 
– these were screams I shouted, excitedly, during a car ride to somewhere with my friend.



I read the email over and over. It was The Copper Door. It was an email from their Public Relations company. It was an invite to free food, right?

It was my first real invite ever to a tasting event, and I had no idea how it was like.

WHAT DO I WEAR? IS IT FREE? IS IT COMPENSATED? I DON’T UNDERSTAND. HOW WOULD YOU EVEN KNOW?

I ended up dressing quite fancy with my friend. The food was, indeed, free.

And yup. I was freaking out!

Every meal was followed by an explanation of how it’s sourced and cooked. There was a center table with all the food laid out buffet style for all of us to help ourselves.

Everyone dressed quite casual actually but I didn’t mind bein` all fancehhhh

I got to meet bloggers Suki (a.k.a. @forktopen on Instagram) and Danielle (www.danisdecadentdeals.com) and they were super friendly.

This was an entirely new world to me, and I felt so lucky to be introduced to it.

Read about my first ever media event experience here.


| I had no idea what being on a “media list” meant.

I began to get more emails about restaurant openings and news. I’ve only been blogging for a little over a month or two and the few emails that I received excited me.

How did all these people stumble upon my blog? And…they took the time to find my email to contact me? WOW!

But honestly, I didn’t understand what some emails meant.

This one time, I got an email about an event.

“If you are interested, we will add you to the media list!” – PR Company

“Yes, I would love to know more. By the way… what does being added onto the media list….mean?” – not exact words but basically that’s what I emailed back. I felt a bit embarrassed to ask because after GOOGLE SEARCHING all the hemispheres of the interwebs, the only results I got were advertisements buying a media list. T_T

Luckily, this PR Company was nice and explained back nicely and clearly. That person must have thought I was a total noob… maybe…LOL


And if you don’t already know, a media list is a list of guests that have “media access” to whatever event or restaurant. These are usually bloggers, Instagrammers, Youtubers, News Reporters, etc. that are invited as media guests to do media coverage on a particular event/restaurant to post on their media channel (Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, TV, Blog, etc.)


| You weren’t invited to something? Take action for yourself!

Throughout my journey, I learned that you don’t need to wait to be invited to a tasting or event. At a certain point, I realized that I was producing content that matters to my audience and can impact a restaurant. A reason why a PR company or restaurant hasn't reached out could be that maybe they

  • simply haven't found me yet, but would find my media coverage valuable
  • do not know about influencer marketing (sometimes still the case)
  • do not know how to reach out


Many festivals and events have a website with a ‘media request” section on their website. These sections usually have a fillable form for bloggers and influencers to express interest in providing media coverage of the event. For the most part, if you have good content, you will get accepted and receive a “media pass” to those events!

In addition, you can reach out to restaurants yourself if you feel like you can create valuable content and have the right audience. You can contact restaurants by email or slide into their DM’s on Instagram (though I believe that via email is more professional) and explain who you are, what your stats are, and why you would be valuable to their marketing efforts and how you would do it. Remember to make it clear that you are offering media coverage in exchange for compensated food (free food) or compensated food + $$ if you’re at that level already. For tips, feel free to email me anytime (gethungry@eatwithhop.com) or slide into my DMs yo!


| Basically…

I get invites through restaurant PR companies, or the restaurant owners themselves via e-mail and Instagram DM. Sometimes even through Facebook messaging. They will contact me with an email / DM inviting me to try

  • New menu items
  • Anything on the menu
  • Current promoted menu items

And I just RSVP and schedule a date/time!

The more media events that I go to, the more opportunities I have to network with other influencers and meet restaurant owners, PR companies, etc. This leads to more opportunities of being invited to more media events and building my brand within the community!


| Quick Tips

1. Remember to have your contact information somewhere accessible on your Instagram page or website so that companies and restaurants can reach out!

2. Do not just email or DM restaurants asking for free food just because. This will seem unprofessional and borderline begging for food in exchange for... what? Really. What will you offer in exchange? What will you do that is valuable to the restaurant? Just because you have a following doesn't mean it is the right following for the restaurant. Keep in mind your audience.


| Also, don’t get cocky!

We all started from somewhere so remember not to take advantage of restaurants by ordering too much food and throwing it away just to get that aesthetic Instagram shot. Don’t forget all the people that supported your journey from the beginning. I’ve seen some peeps grow some big heads and it ain’t a great look. When it comes to blogging, I believe that I would be nothing without an audience (that's you!) that listens and reads.



Stay Humble.







Find out why I started blogging in the first place here.

Wanna chat? Contact me anytime via email:
GetHungry@EatWithHop.com

If you're an aspiring food blogger and want some advice or want toexperience a media event, feel free to slide into my DMs as well. 
Link up with me on Instagram @x3hoppie.

Remember to like the Facebook page if y'all want updates:





No comments

Powered by Blogger.