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I was contacted recently by a dummy account that claimed to represent a PR agency. I always find these types of Instagram direct messages funny. I know they may be fake or at least a ploy to get you to visit the actual brand.
I’m not saying PR agencies don’t reach out to content creators. It’s just the way these messages are it makes me a bit leary of them. If the PR agency doesn’t have the time to contact creators why bother using a dummy account?
Things to look out for
I’d love to be represented or work with a PR agency. But this message made me wonder how legit the brand is. First off as I said the message came from what I like to call a dummy profile/account.
It didn’t have any real info aside from the message that was sent. No bio or even profile image. It was pretty blank. I don’t know if the profile had some account info before I saw the message. It was a day old so some dummy accounts remove any info after a few hours.
I would say if the dummy account is suggesting you check out a PR agency view the profile by using search. Look it over and see if you feel it’s for you.
always search for the PR agency or brand
You can visit the brand on Social media or do an online search. I like to see what people have to say about the brand. Visit the PR agency’s website. See if anything seems odd to you.
I always search for the brand or PR agency and any info that is listed on the website. Such as a phone number or address that way you can check to see if it’s legit.
If you chat with fellow content creators ask if they are familiar with the brand or if they were contacted as well.
Make Whois your new best friend
I love using Whois because it allows you to view IP info about the URL. That way you can see how old the site is. This is all public information.
Beware of being featured on Magazine covers
I’ve noticed this was a bit pull for the company that was featured in the DM. They claim that you can be featured in popular magazines. Or be on the cover of them.
This seems a bit of a stretch if you’re not a writer. But as a content creator, this can cause a stir of excitement.
I again would take this with a grain of salt. Because if the brand contacts you out of the blue there needs to be some research done.
Claims to grow your audience as well
Some of these claims may be true but others may just get people’s hopes up. I can say this much if you have enough content you or your content will show up on Google or other search engines.
If you created content (written or video) on a niche topic or something that isn’t talked about often you may be on Google’s first page.
I should know I have a few posts and videos that are listed there or that are the only content on a topic.
All this representation comes at a cost
I understand PR agencies need to cover their costs and the cost to represent you. But always check to see if the cost is worth it to you.
If you can afford it and if it’s within your budget.
The main takeaway from this
I would say the main takeaway from this would be to do your research. If you are contacted by a random account directing you to visit a PR agency profile think twice.
Your the only one who can decide if the PR agency is legit and for you.