As award season comes up, so do gifting suites. While at gifting suites.. Many people are not aware of how to properly speak to a brand. While meeting brands who are gifting YOU with their product, you want to not just say thank you.. but sell yourself to them in just the right way. By doing this.. you open up the door to possible future collaborations, sponsorships and at the end of the day.. good business relationships.
6 Steps To Speaking With a Brand At A Gifting Suite:
The first thing you do when approaching a brand is smile, shake their hand and introduce yourself. Introduce yourself with your name and job title (actor, singer, dancer etc.) followed by two of your biggest credits and achievements. Brands want to know who you are and what you do.. so kindly get to the point before starting a conversation.
The Second thing you should do is ask about the brand. A great question to ask is.. "What inspired the concept or idea behind your brand"? This makes the brand feel like it's not all about you.. and that you are approachable. There is nothing worse than a brand showing up at a gifting suite and dealing with unapproachable celebrities. It kind of defeats the purpose of a gifting suite.
The third thing you do is wait for them to tell you about your brand. Small polite comments are great, but try not to interrupt them as this is their time to sell THEIR product to YOU. While you hope for future collaborations, they hope you will like their product and post on blogs and social media. Most brands do gifting suites to get their product into influencer and celebrity hands in the hopes that their followers will buy the product.
After a brand shares their journey or story.. They will usually hand you a product and begin the gifting process. I always like to let them start this process and I never try to grab a product first, unless they tell you to choose. This is a sign of respect.. that you are patient enough to let them share their story and not just there for a gift. Once you have the gift I. Your hand the brand may ask for a picture right on the spot.. always say yes. After all they are gifting you.. so it's the least you can do.
Once you get the gift always say thank you.. I also like to shake their hand and tell them how nice it was to meet them. I recommend leaving them with a business card sot why have all of your social media and so they can tag you. I also recommend asking for a business card so you can properly tag them.
Once you leave the gifting suite, make sure before you start opening gifts that you know all of the brands that participated. I recommend making a list of the brands and social media handles. Once you have done this.. I recommend end taking individual pictures with the products. If some products are similar (all food products etc.) than you can style them together. You also can just take pictures of the products.. not being in the picture yourself. Once you have the pictures I like to post on social media thanking the brand within 48 hours of the gifting suite. This is because these brands will get the most exposure and press from everyone within 48 hours.. So why not help them out? Once again it's the least we can do. An example of something to post would be "Thank you so much to @__________ for my new _______! It was great meeting them and I'm so excited to try it out!" This is simple and to the point. Exactly what they want.
Just remember that these brands are paying to meet YOU.. being polite, humble and grateful makes their investment worthwhile. Also.. how you act at a gifting suite reflects your brand AND your PR firm. Gifting suites can be exciting, but staying calm and professional reflects positively on you and your team. It's acceptable to bring a parent/guardian but bringing an entourage is not proper gifting suite etiquette. The brands are there to see you, not your biggest fans! I hope this simple guide helps you and gives you the confidence to approach brands and represent yourself the right way.
-Hayley (Key Elements PR)
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