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Bloggers That Let The Rest Of Us Down

by LaurettaCWright
Bloggers that let the rest of us down

There are some bloggers that let the rest of us down and I can't help but take a dislike to those that give the rest of us a bad name. 

Who am I talking about? No one in particular, but since I've been blogging I regularly hear about bloggers who, on the surface, call themselves professional bloggers, but don't act like a pro when it comes to working with brands.
It's a big shame – and it's the basis for one of my mini rants. And since I haven't got things off my chest for a while, I'm choosing now to do so.
Believe it or not, this blog post has been sitting in my ‘drafts' folder for the best part of a year. And when I had a discussion with a brand last week, it reminded me that I needed to finish it.

The ‘let us down' evidence

So what was this message that I received which prompted me into finishing this post? Well, without naming names or people, here it is verbatim:

Hi Lauretta, We had a lot of problems with influencers from this collab so we pulled out on sending any more product. Basically, product was sent and nothing was done and messages ignored. We know this has nothing to do with you but it really made us rethink things and we have to be sure of who we will work with in the future. I hope you can understand this. We will be sending out collabs again in the future.”

When I receive messages like this it saddens me. I also feel the need to apologise to brands on behalf of the bloggers that have let them down. Who would just ignore messages after they've agreed and entered into a contact for a collaboration? Why do some influencers think that it's okay to do this? It's unprofessional and unacceptable. No wonder some brands are suspicious of bloggers and YouTubers – thinking that we're all just out for a freebie.

And to be tarred with the same brush as these so-called influencers doesn't make me happy. In fact, it's because of these bloggers letting people down that makes my job so much more difficult. I have to go over and above to prove myself to brands; reassure them that I'll do what I'll say I'll do.

I'm not alone

I'm not alone in my thoughts. Two of my good friends work in the PR industry and both tell me that they are fed up of false promises from bloggers.

One of my friends had this to say:

I‘ve had bloggers come along on trips promising rainbows and then don’t deliver a single piece of coverage! They just vanish, no thank you email, no ‘I'm sorry but it just wasn't up to standard and I can't feature it’. Nada.
It has happened twice already that a blogger asked for a free trip again, having totally forgotten that they mooched before. When I then asked for the coverage from the first trip again … silence … never to be heard from again! So, as a PR professional I just prefer journalists over bloggers in the hope they have a better work ethic as I've had too many false promises from bloggers.”

I don't blame my friend for the way she feels. When I worked as a journalist we were taught to take pride in our work, back up stories with facts and always follow through on promises. It was called being professional. And yet somehow that has been lost with some bloggers – and this has given the rest of us a bad name. That's why I make sure that when I'm dealing with brands, I never over-promise and under-deliver. I will always err on the side of caution and I'll always ensure that they are happy with what was agreed.

I'll request the ‘content deliverables' (what they need me to deliver and the time scales) and if there's anything that I don't understand, I'll ask. I take pride in my blog – why would I want to jeopardise that?

Bloggers That Let The Rest Of Us Down

I spoke to another friend who has her own PR and marketing company and she offered some interesting insight – and advice to bloggers in general:

It’s been really exciting how content creation has changed the media landscape, providing PRs with additional opportunities to engage with genuine enthusiasts and experts on their own platforms.

 

I've worked with bloggers and influencers for nearly ten years and have seen talented bloggers grow from what started out as a passion, to establishing a business where they can quite deservedly charge for services. Their rise was authentic – one built with integrity, focussed on providing value to their reader. Where I've seen active engagement and interaction, I have no hesitation in recommending clients spend their budget with blogger campaigns.

 

It’s here where you see the greatest return on partnerships  –  and these bloggers have understood that the business of blog partnerships needs to be accountable and far beyond audience reach and pretty posts. It’s about conversion; they work with the brand, ensuring they’ve understood and agreed on the right objective for the campaign, and created a message that engages with their audience but equally important, they also track and measure results to provide back to the client as well as clients checking for visible uplift in traffic or sales.

 

There is no value in spending money on a platform that doesn’t move the dial in some way – this is true for all marketing activity whether it’s traditional press, blogs or online communities. With budgets getting tighter this will be increasingly the case going forwards. Bought followers, gimmicks and fake lifestyles can be blagged for so long before you’re found out and left in the cold by not only your audience but also by potential clients.”

Her insight and advice wraps things up perfectly. Integrity should be the key word for bloggers that work with brands. Treating the brand/blogger relationship with respect is key to being a successful blogger – and it will also set you apart from those bloggers that let the rest of us down. You'll become a trusted and preferred blogger for brands launching campaigns; I've worked with a few brands that keep coming back to me because they know I'll deliver what I promised – and I always keep up the communication.

So my advice to those who feel the same is to distance yourself from the others; show brands that they should take you and your blog seriously – and that you are worth your weight in gold. And of course if you've got no intention of following any of this advice, then there's just two little words that you should be saying if brands contact you to work with them: “no thanks”. You'll do the rest of us a favour if you do.

What do you think? Have you had any experience of bloggers that let the rest of us down? Or perhaps it's the other way round and you've experienced brands that have been unprofessional? How do you go about working with brands? And what rules do you follow?

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17 comments

Eric 25th October 2019 - 3:13 pm

These are great stories; thanks for sharing. It’s really a given that people should be dedicated to their craft, especially after making an agreement! Communication is so vital.

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LaurettaCWright 26th October 2019 - 8:54 am

It really is Eric – I think real life cases highlight how this goes on much more than we think. I just think that if you’re going to promote yourself as offering a service then you really need to go to great lengths to ensure that you are true to your word when it comes to delivery.

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fiona jk42 30th August 2019 - 7:50 pm

I had heard about this problem, but had not realised it was such a common problem. I can only surmise that these people think they can get away scot free with taking merchandise, services or trips and not honouring their part of the bargain. Brands and PRs will have to start getting proper contracts in writing in order to stamp this out.

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LaurettaCWright 30th August 2019 - 8:47 pm

Yes, I fear that might be the way forward Fiona – shame that they can’t just rely on the goodwill of bloggers to stick to their end of the bargain. It should be an unwritten rule, but I think that there are that many bloggers out there trying to get away with doing the bare minimum, that something needs to be done.

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Alex Grace 18th August 2019 - 4:42 pm

Thanks for sharing this Lauretta. I think it’s really sad that this happens. I feel there is room for improvement on both ends of the scale, there are a lot of companies that demand a lot but offer next to nothing in return, with no respect for the time and hard work involved on the bloggers part to create the content. Or brands not paying the agreed amount despite the brief being met by the blogger. BUT an agreement is an agreement and should always be honoured – like you said, a ‘no thank you’ should be given if you’re not happy. I’m sure those same bloggers would be quick to complain if the brand didn’t uphold their side of the bargain!

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LaurettaCWright 30th August 2019 - 8:43 pm

Yes – good point Alex. I agree that it works the other way too. Many times I’ve received an email from a PR, replied to them then I don’t hear anything back from them – and I wonder why they even contacted me. Seems like a waste of time to me! But I think if work has been agreed, then it’s only fair that bloggers stick to their end of the bargain. It seems many are just out to grab a freebie and have no work ethic at all.

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kerry 13th August 2019 - 4:37 pm

This is so interesting to read, and in truth, I was a bit blind to this. I have seen bloggers take whatever freebie they are offered,and I do find it distasteful, and wasteful. I never realised that some don’t even deliver content that has been agreed! It is a crazy industry for sure! Probably too unregulated, but hopefully that will change x

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LaurettaCWright 30th August 2019 - 8:36 pm

I do hope so Kerry – I think putting in some guidelines is the way forward, but then again, I get the impression that most PRs work out who’s good to go and those to avoid. It’s a shame they even have to play the guessing game really, but at least we know we always deliver when we say we will.

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Kizzy 10th August 2019 - 2:19 pm

It’s horrible how someone who doesn’t take this industry very seriously can cause issues for those that do.

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Anne Fraser 7th August 2019 - 1:23 pm

I think this is awful. I always hate it that people think influencer is a job. I would rather be a travel writer or a journalist and I think people should deliver on what they promised or at least get in touch to explain why it is not possible. I have pinned your post in the hope others will see it.

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LaurettaCWright 30th August 2019 - 8:32 pm

Thank you Anne – I really appreciate that. I wanted to highlight this as I think it’s important for us all to be aware of what goes on. At least then we can be extra vigilant when it comes to working with brands and reassure them that we’re reliable and trustworthy!

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Bella at Dear Mummy Blog 7th August 2019 - 11:36 am

That’s awful and reputation is so important in this industry. Bloggers and vloggers have a hard enough time justifying worth. It’s unbelievable that people do this and try to cheat PRs. There is no excuse for radio silence. Shame on them.

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LaurettaCWright 30th August 2019 - 8:29 pm

My thoughts exactly Bella. Integrity should be a top priority for bloggers and vloggers – it’s the only way we guarantee to get repeated work so it really baffles me why some bloggers are willing to jeopardise this – they only have themselves to blame.

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Kara 7th August 2019 - 7:16 am

I find this really frustrating that others give us a bad name. I work really hard on my blog and make a real effort to please whichever client I work for. Obviously sometimes people make mistakes or life gets in the way, but a simple email can help the PR understand what is going on and give more time

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LaurettaCWright 30th August 2019 - 8:27 pm

It is frustrating Kara I totally agree. And of course it’s natural for unexpected things to happen but people can’t read minds, so that communication line is key to keeping up appearances. Otherwise we all come across as unreliable – and most of us are certainly not like that!

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Laura - Dear Bear and Beany 6th August 2019 - 8:50 pm

Reading this makes me really sad and embarrassed to be part of an industry that doesn’t deliver on what was agreed. I actually can’t believe that people do this, its no short than stealing. To take a product or a trip and not deliver your side!

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LaurettaCWright 30th August 2019 - 8:25 pm

Yes, I agree Laura. People who let the PRs and brands down also let us bloggers down too – I don’t think they seem to appreciate that. No wonder the industry has a bad name – guidelines need to be drawn up I think!

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