I’ve been blogging for nearly six years. I’m part of the class of 2009 when it was about sharing common interests with girlfriends but on a much larger scale. Everyone was nice and supportive to each other – genuinely, none of that two-face back-stabbing malarkey and there were no such thing as press samples and PRs in our lives.
Over the years, some of these wonderful bloggers have gone onto becoming hugely successful, through sheer slogging-their-guts-out-round-the-clock dedicated blogging.
Meanwhile I’ve had my own personal accomplishments that I am very proud of. I’m not in a big league and I never will be, not when I am committed to my day job but I have certainly grown as a writer and I consider my achievements on the grounds of my words doing the talking. It’s one thing I am not prepared to compromise over, which is why I will spend weeks (if not months) trialling products. It gives me personal satisfaction that I’ve done a job to the best of my ability and it reminds me to stay true to my blogging roots.
Unfortunately I have noticed a worrying trend (yes, not again!) and it irks me write about it but I can’t contain my frustrations and feelings any longer. There is a very ugly side of beauty blogging and the crimes committed is paying off for the perpetrators while genuine bloggers like many that I know are falling behind, some even getting pushed out of the way and forgotten about.
Basically it grates me to see beauty bloggers spring up from nowhere and frog leap ahead of you through dirty tactics without one moral fibre in their bodies over the ethics of beauty blogging. Work hard and be true to yourself, don’t effing use others to get what you want. I don’t like to see beauty blogging become corrupted but sadly it is happening and now I am going to tell you how.
- Protect your little black book
Those who have no shame whatsoever in asking for PR contacts when they get wind of a press event that will be lucrative to them. By ‘lucrative’ I mean a generous goody bag of samples. Any kind of relationship whether it’s personal or professional is a two-way street except in this case, some just take, take, take and never return the favour.Take a moment and consider it from a PR’s point of view: not everyone has a bottomless budget to cater for the whole of London and PRs make their selections carefully depending on who fits the profile of their brand or product. There are so many brands I would love to work with but I respect they have restrictions (lipsticks don’t grow on trees), also they examine carefully which blogs give them a return in traffic and sales. What do I do? What any sane person would – I buy a product if I want it so much. Leanne will frown at me for admitting this but I really want Terry de Gunzburg’s Terryfic Oud eau de parfum, which costs £135 for a bottle. And I will buy it. I am a consumer and the origins of blogging stemmed from buying. Why is that so difficult to comprehend?
- The ones who just won’t take no for an answer.
Linked to number one, if a PR doesn’t respond to you, they are just not that into you. Get over it. I’ve heard bloggers complain that they didn’t get hear back from a PR for an event that was ‘by invitation only’. Duh! That is why! You weren’t invited FFS. Why do you think you are entitled? Sometimes PRs will handpick a selected few that they feel fit in with their brand and to whom they can trust to deliver on. PRs aren’t stupid – they too can spot a ligger. However, if something constantly yaps and bites at your ankles, one day a PR will give in.
- The Samples Stalker
One who follows your blog or social media channel and automatically assumes the product reviewed or captured on camera is a press sample. It may not be de rigeur but some old fashioned bloggers will buy beauty products and write about them because it’s fun, yeah?
- Calling in products
‘Calling in’ is a term used to describe press requesting samples/images though a few bloggers have latched onto it and decided they are entitled to doing the same. I’d hate to state the obvious but ‘calling in samples’ is with the intention that you will feature the requested product on your blog, not restock existing ranges for your bathroom cabinet. Sadly this is happening and those who do it don’t see anything wrong with it. Here’s a suggestion to the tight-fisted ones, take that credit card out of your purse and use it when your favourite powder runs out, don’t shamelessly ask a PR. Like I said, lipsticks don’t grow on trees and they have to pay for these products.
- Diary Directory
Diary Directory is something I came across recently. Honestly, I had never heard of it. It’s the beauty, fashion and lifestyle industry’s bible of contacts, press events and it comes at a subscription price of a few hundred pounds. I don’t remember exactly how much but I do know it’s A LOT. *googles it quickly* Oh! It’s £880 PLUS 20% VAT. That’s over one grand!Now there are rumours about login details being passed around to newbie bloggers who have infiltrated the list of events, found out what’s happening and showed up to launches. Newbies who have only been blogging for 5 days or something. It makes you think…when it costs a rather large sum of money to access this site, how on earth would a blogger who has only been around for a short while afford it or even consider making that investment?Thankfully sources have told me they are cracking down on multiple logins by checking IP addresses but by then the damage can’t be reversed for those who have abused it by fraud.
- In and out
This is usually the blogger who shows up to an event and leaves 5 minutes later, armed with their goody bag. Every single time. Seriously? That is plain rude. When a PR company has hired a venue, paid for some kind of activity or entertainment and informed you what an event will involve, you jolly well have no excuses to bail out early. The rest of us stick around, and we’ve come straight from working a full day’s work. If you can’t commit, then don’t accept.
- Heavy weight or feather weight?
Can you believe there are some bloggers who judge an event by how heavy a goody bag is?
- Anything and everything
Bloggers who will go to the opening of an envelope in other words. If you’re a beauty blogger, what are you doing at a techy press event – looking for Christmas presents?
- “Look at my stats!”
Here’s a reality check: sometimes, just sometimes, stats aren’t everything. Occasionally content prevails (thank the Lord). But I’ve heard some whinge their stats are so good that they don’t understand why a PR doesn’t want to work with them.My stats are chicken feed compared to the big bloggers but I do take pride in the fact that a few people will come back to me and tell me they purchased the Tria after reading my review for example. If stats were the end and be all every time then I would have bowed out of blogging a long time ago. Any way, who’s to say half a squillion stats aren’t courtesy of a spambot?
- The arrogance of self-entitlement
Where the hell do bloggers get off on this sense of self-entitlement and self-importance? If X, Y and Z have been invited to an event, it doesn’t mean W should be there too. Get off your effing high horse and write a decent blog post. That does not mean regurgitate a press release and crow on about the ‘gorgeousness’ that’s splattered on your desk.
I think that’s everything covered. Are you a PR? I would like to know how it looks from where you are sitting and if you’re a blogger, can you relate to this or am I blowing smoke out of the proverbial?