You may have seen from my Twitter feed or Facebook feed today, or if you just happened to be surfing on social media, there is a rather strong discussion going on about who is right: the business or the blogger. Not that I am going to answer this question in any way but I am going to share some views. Mainly because I am a blogger and I learnt something today.
This particular case is about a bakery, which looks amazing by the way, who was approached by a blogger to go in and do a good review (and by good I mean take professional photos and write up their experiences of the time in the store). Sound familiar? Yep! It is something us bloggers do, with the places or products we love. The bit that offended me was that the blogger when offered a box of something yummy and a cuppa, asked for nearly a hundred pounds worth of stuff! When the owner didn’t agree, by the way the owner was not in the shop at the time, the blogger had a “toy throwing out of the pram session” on social media. And is then surprised that the brand hit back with a blog post.
I can see that the brand have defended their honour and business because of the social media rants from the blogger. Which is understandable. Small businesses do not have the large funds for advertising. That’s why lucky bloggers like us get to work with them as we are a cheaper source of advertising, with hopefully, positive reviews and experiences to talk of and photograph.
As a whole I feel quite defensive, I do not go out and demand products in the exchange for a positive review and I hope brands won’t think this of us! When I approach brands I never ask for things for free, I want to work together. If I get a discount on something thats amazing, if I get something for free that is just fantastic. To be able to work with a brand is so much more than the cost of the product though, its about building relationships and helping eachother with marketing. Something which comes at a high price elsewhere!
The blogger has responded with their version of events and after much deliberation I can see her views. If only she had communicated her expectations in the first place though. Not thrown a massive wobbly when not getting the gifts she deemed acceptable and just remained professional. None of this would have happened! I get that she is obviously used to having expensive freebies and wonderful meals out, but some small businesses, with little marketing budgets, cannot always afford to treat you in that same way. The fact that the blogger asked to go in there too, isn’t that argument in itself. If the brand asked a blogger to review their shop/product and said there would be loads of lovely goodies, then I could see why someone might be a bit miffed if there were no
Instead of just saying to the brand “I am really sorry but I can’t write something positive because my experience has been terrible with your product”, or whatever the opinions may have been there was a rant on social media. Now you may be thinking that is all well and good, nothing too wrong with having a rant (we all do it), but when you are having a personal rant about a business, as a blogger, an influencer, it can be quite a dramatic thing to do. If I am unhappy with something I talk to the brand or PR company that sent it to me and iron out whatever the issues are – the post then goes live with a mutual agreement or I do not post anything at all.
It’s been a lesson for me. A lesson that I must have better communication! I will never turn up to do a review or product reviews at home, without making it clear what the project involves. Understand the expectations. The other lesson for me is my timekeeping, it has made me worry that there will be an uprise of brands having their say – I know I do not post everything out in time, I do try, I get there eventually. This has made me consider things from the brands perspective more and I will be more ogranised!
Lessons are: communicate the project clearly and be organised.
The macaroon image is by Shutterstock.