I had a different post planned for today but after receiving a nasty DM from a PR on Instagram yesterday morning when I wouldn't dance to the beat of her drum, I wanted to have a discussion about brands/PRs and what makes you stop supporting a brand. To be clear, I didn't support this brand in the first place as I had actually never heard of them before but I have heard from other bloggers that PRs have reduced them to tears before and that's just not ok! So, let's chat....
I've been blogging for over four years now and this was my first instance of nasty DM or interaction with a PR. To explain what happened, an online fragrance retailer sent me a DM on Instagram to ask if I wanted to collab. I personally prefer when brands email me rather than DM, which is why I have my email in my bio but I understand that it's quicker for some brands to just DM. I looked at the message but didn't reply immediately. I then received a ? which I thought was rude but I replied asking what they had in mind for the collaboration and then an hour or so later, received another ? I didn't like the attitude so I replied that I needed time to look at their site etc. I won't work with brands that I wouldn't be willing to spend my own money on because I want to maintain the integrity of my blog and I also don't want to do a dis-service to my loyal readers. Regular readers know what I blog about so if I suddenly do a post about something that doesn't fit with my regular posts, I would be a sellout! I personally don't do any sponsored posts so you will never see random posts about subjects not relevant to my usual content just because the brands are willing to pay. I digress, back to what happened with the brand on Instagram - yesterday morning I woke to another ? and to find that the brand had unfollowed me (absolutely no problem with the unfollowing but I do have a problem with the attitude). Apart from the fact that I was completely unfamiliar with any of the brands that the retailer stocked, due to the attitude of the PR, I knew that this was not a collaboration that would work for me so I just blocked the brand. 10 minutes later, I received the message in the photo above. I was shocked, to say the least, because I hadn't actually done anything wrong. I put it on my instastories (if you want to follow me, I'm here) and had so many messages asking who the company was and was then told that many people had the same initial message and the same ? follow up. All of those people went on to block the brand and the PR. I also had lovely messages of support, which were very much appreciated.
Brands and PRs need to understand that sometimes the product just isn't a fit for your blog. Most are understanding - even ones that we have worked with previously. For example, there is no point in me writing about a product for oily skin because I have dry skin so it wouldn't be a good fit or an honest review. Most brands and PRs understand this and appreciate the value of loyal and engaged readers, but I have heard of bloggers who have been very upset by brands and PRs who aren't happy with their content or those who get shirty if you don't post a review immediately. Either they want authenticity or they don't. To be clear, I don't and won't work with brands or PRs with these demands.
Then there's ghosting. So many fellow bloggers have mentioned this. One minute, you're the best thing since sliced bread and the next, you're dropped. Now I understand that things change but so many people have said that brands suddenly don't reply to mails despite calling you 'lovely/babe etc' in them previously. It's a fickle industry and I'm guessing it works both ways but I don't work in PR so I can't say for sure. Some examples in my case are one retailer who asked to work with me and asked for a list of post ideas with a view to working together over a number of months (in 2016/17), which we did but then they suddenly ghosted me without even a reply to a mail. I understand that things change but manners cost nothing so a quick mail saying our criteria have changed or we haven't had as many sales as we had hoped through your links (basically a P.F.O) would be appreciated and then you could part ways on good terms!
When things like this happen, it can leave a sour taste in the mouth. I personally haven't shopped on that site since then. Another ghosting instance is a brand that I raved about regularly (I still do). I posted about a product that disappointed me, which surprised me as I love the brand in general. They got in touch and kindly offered to send me a replacement product, which they did and it was better than the one I had bought myself. They then asked if they could add me to their PR list, which I was delighted about and they sent me their next launch and then removed me from said list and ignored my mails. I have bought some more products from the brand as I still genuinely love the eyeshadows, however I'm willing to bet that many people wouldn't continue to support if they had been treated in that way.
Finally, I want to talk about the many PRs who get in touch and discuss collaborating and then ask for my address and never send anything through. I don't care about not receiving products but don't waste my time and don't ask for my address if you don't actually need it! Are they trying to bolster their database? I'm not sure but I can tell you that it really riles me to be asked for my personal information and then ignored. I know that I am not the only person this has happened to and I understand that circumstances can change but one thing that I will never understand is lack of manners.
To be clear, 99% of interaction I have had with PRs and brands has been wholeheartedly positive but there's always a bad egg in every situation. Also to be clear, I don't and won't dance to the beat of anyone else's drum! I also don't expect relationships with brands to last forever - new PRs want to change things up or maybe my blog is no longer a good fit and that is fine but a reply to a mail would be appreciated.
I'm personally not a huge fan of cancel culture but sometimes, enough is enough. All of these are reasons why bloggers suddenly stop supporting brands but I would love to hear your take on the subject? Are you a blogger, a PR or just a general beauty fan? What makes you stop wanting to support a brand? I would love to hear!
Thanks for reading!
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