While this is a common practice abroad, it is slowly reaching the Czech Republic. The talk is that fashion bloggers and bloggers are becoming equal partners for various PR and media agencies. Their task is to promote the interests of their client, in this case a fashion house or brand. Fashion blogs are great for this – they are read by a circle of people with close interest, they are still current, they have (mostly) one publisher, whom readers, unlike classic fashion magazines, trust much more.
As a blog author, you can only benefit from working with a PR agency – you receive the latest press releases and information, you are invited to various journalistic events, you can easily access their client’s products, you receive samples… On the other hand, the agency expects you for this “attention” output that will somehow (I’m not saying only positively) inform about their client. And this is something that a lot of (especially the beginning) bloggers can’t work with and they can easily become an extended hand of the PR department of one or another brand for one lipstick or perfume sample. And that is the way to perdition for every medium.
First and foremost, you should be aware of who you are blogging for and whose interests you are defending . They are not PR agencies or fashion brands. They are your readers. And sooner or later, you will write all the highlights and reports from XYZ events just because you want to be fine with them, because you want their support. In the end, you will lose the reader and logically you will not be interesting even for the brand. (And it doesn’t have to be a month, but maybe half a year.) I’m not saying you should write objective, unbiased articles (which isn’t good enough for a blog) and give balance to all possible and impossible brands, just try to remember why you started writing a blog and who you want to reach!
Maybe now is the right time to set some rules for bloggers and PR agencies. There are.
- When first contacting a PR agency / manager, introduce yourself – provide information about yourself, your blog and do not forget all contact details (phone, address).
- Track data about your blog and learn basic terminology such as unique visitors, views, subscribers, and more. Get to know your reader and don’t be afraid to share this information with the agency.
- Before you ask for any samples, ask if they have you in their database of fashion blogs and media so that you don’t miss anything. Show your real interest in the brand.
- Respond politely and in a timely manner to all PR e-mails, even if their content does not appeal to you in any way.
- Always comment on invitations to events, even if you can’t attend them.
- When sending products and samples, always agree on what the output will be and at what time you will process it.
- If you decide not to write about a product that you have expressed interest in, you will always return it in its original condition.
- Once you have written an article about the product, don’t forget to send a link to it to the person who provided you with the materials for writing it.
- Never be pushed into writing positive-sounding articles and reviews.
- Never be pushed to download a negative-sounding article or review.
- If you are already writing about a product or brand negatively, think about the words used. Be sure not to be afraid to write your opinion, whatever it is, because your readers will appreciate it. Never condemn, even if you write in a negative spirit. Before you publish an article, try to think about how you want readers to perceive it. And don’t forget that someone from the agency will also read it…
- Be aware that not all events of a given brand will reach you as bloggers, nor will you receive all the samples you will be interested in. Work honestly on your blog and it will definitely pay off in time.
- Always treat people from PR agencies and brand managers with respect, no matter what you think about them.