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Blogging. Pitching. Freebies. And yes, *that* cafè

So a couple of days ago there was drama in the blogging community, I know, shocker! I saw a few people talk about it on their Instagram stories and realised the cafè involved was the White Moose Cafè. I was pretty shocked because I had grown to love them because of Anna and Jonathan Sacconejoly (aka the Sacconejolys on YouTube). I know they’re known for their funny, brutally honest, sarcastic comments but this was a step too far. Why you ask?

First of all I want to address the question of ‘Is it okay to pitch/contact a brand first?’ So here’s my opinion…YES IT IS OKAY. How is it any different from applying to a job? Selling you and your skills in an interview? You contact a brand to tell them what YOU can offer THEM. Of course you don’t just ask for free stuff which is why I am slightly against the way the blogger asked, but that’s not the issue. The issue is that Paul’s reply (owner of the hotel) replied in such a rude, disgusting manner it could be classed as bullying and harassment. Not only that he posted the e-mail to all his social media sites with her named blanked out, as if that’s still acceptable (FYI it’s not). But the thing is some bloggers who responded could also be classed as harassing them. I don’t agree with leaving 1 star reviews on their Facebook but I do agree with telling them how wrong it was.

If you don’t know what happened, a blogger (with a good following) asked to stay a free night or two at their hotel in exchange for advertising on their social media such as their blog, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc…She had previously worked with Florida Orlando and it helped them so imagine what it could do to their business.

This was his response…

Now the blogger could have noticed that the WMC already had a huge online media presence, but a simple no would have done it, explaining why you think it wouldn’t help you given your big following and that’s not something I’m afraid to admit, the WMC have a fab following. I get where Paul was coming from listing who would pay the staff’s salary when they cook and clean, etc…so again, that list and a simple ‘thank you but no’ would have been nice. Instead he decided to write a very rude e-mail back and post it publicly (again) and now his followers are branding bloggers as all sorts of names. Do we need to remind them we are:

  • Content creators
  • Influencers (we all are in some way. Look up the definition before you laugh.)
  • Photographers
  • Editors
  • Creating our own brand
  • Basically creating our own jobs
  • Helping brands
  • Working with amazing, polite brands
  • Inspiring and building a trusted relationship between us and our readers (hopefully)

Although if you’re laughing at this, chances are you’re the folk who never listen. It’s okay, we can talk to a wall, it would probably be less painful.

Let’s be real. How do you expect to get anywhere in life is you sit and wait? You can’t have everything handed to you on a silver plate. This woman created her own brand and pays the bills via her social media sites, what is wrong with that? I have worked for free and never once have I received money for a blog post. Yesterday, I sent away a few e-mails with a pitch including ideas for a few blog posts explaining my audience and what I could provide them.

I trust bloggers more than most YouTubers and actual reviews online. Blogger build a great connection with their readers and so do YouTubers. So why is this such an issue? If a magazine came to you asking for advertise your brand for exposure, they would expect 2/3 free nights stay alongside being paid too. All this blogger was asking for was 1/2 free nights stay.

Having a blog is no walk in the park. I started my blog as a school Geography project and began loving writing. I then wanted to go into journalism and knew a blog would help. I then began reviewing products and saw people getting paid for the exact same thing. I didn’t and still don’t have a part-time job because it’s hard to balance with studying so why is it harming anyone if I want to try and build my own brand and earn some money whilst studying? Buying houses are so expensive nowadays as I’m sure you know…but cutting down on the amount of sandwiches we buy won’t help us save up, will it?

If she had the attitude of ‘you come to me’ you’d be mad. But now she has the attitude of a business-woman, you’re mad? Okay sweetie.

Leave a comment if a blogger has ever influenced you into buying something or researching a product? Yup, me too. I literally rely on bloggers for my next skin-care and beauty product/brand fix. If you want to pitch to a brand, GO FOR IT. Small following or large. You need to start somewhere. Mot brands will either say no or ignore you, but let’s just hope they’ve learned from Paul and Co. what NOT to do.

Here are my tips for blogging:

  • Pitch to brands. But research them first and don’t straight up ask for free stuff.
  • Be kind to everyone
  • When you’re pitching, remember what can YOU offer THEM. Why should they work with YOU.
  • Give them a few vague ideas to make them interested enough to contact you back.

PS: I’m following Elle on social media now. Loving her content. researching a few brands she recommended.

22 Comments

  1. 31st January 2018 / 12:45 pm

    I agree with everything you have said here. Reviews are so important, you just should take care in how you approach companies but posting it all over social media was unnecessary.

    Faye Jessica | fayejessica.co.uk

    • Sophie
      Author
      31st January 2018 / 4:28 pm

      Exactly. Reviews are a make or brake when purchasing anything!

  2. 29th January 2018 / 4:46 pm

    I felt this whole situation was massively blown out of proportion!!!

    As a marketing student, it’s VERY bad PR for the hotel to act in this manner but I also understand where they were coming from when it comes to paying their staff, on the other hand, they probably wouldn’t make much of a loss from one free stay considering they are probably making a profit from all their other rooms/services.

    The blogger definitely didn’t deserve the abuse she reveived but what annoyed me the most about this situation was the tweets coming from the cafe owner talking about how much publicity he is getting from it all 😠 disgusting and very unprofessional behaviour!

    Loved this post gal xx

    • Sophie
      Author
      29th January 2018 / 10:12 pm

      Agree – way out of proportion. This is how NOT do to PR!

      Thank you Hann x

  3. 28th January 2018 / 8:23 pm

    I agree, the email wasn’t worded very well. It lacked abit of the personal touch too it seemed to just go straight into the pitch but I think the guy overreacted a lot but I saw he’d written and directed a video a few moths back mocking bloggers (on the WMC fb page) she if she’d have looked into things she might have know to avoid it! There are also Other photos slating bloggers, and vegans, they seem bad too! I love getting recommendations from bloggers, must of my makeup used to be from bloggers opinions until I bacane one myself!

    • Sophie
      Author
      29th January 2018 / 10:14 pm

      It did lack personal touch – agreed. She could have suggested ideas and made it *that* more personal to them but everyone makes mistakes so I’m learning from hers and I hope brands learn from WMC what not to do! x

  4. 26th January 2018 / 6:05 pm

    While she could have worded her request better, it’s not like she didn’t reference any benefit to the brand. We’ve all made mistakes on the way we have gone about stuff in this career path. His hateful and attacking responsible was completely uncalled for. I really hope that this doesn’t discourage newer bloggers from putting themselves out there.
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

    • Sophie
      Author
      26th January 2018 / 6:06 pm

      Agreed! Definitely could have worded it better but WMC are taking it too far. Hopefully it’s all calmed down now!

  5. 22nd January 2018 / 2:17 pm

    I think it’s crazy how some people don’t realise the influence us bloggers have. Just goes to show as we all grouped together and supported the poor girl that was targeted by a man seeking out publicity. I think he knew what he was doing and how big it would blow up so I have simply decided to not ever visit the hotel or pay any notice to him!

    Amber | http://www.ambambe.com

    • Sophie
      Author
      24th January 2018 / 8:59 pm

      Well said, Amber – we do have such a big influence, Our family, friends and neighbours all do, we just maybe don’t realise it. As bloggers, we’re creating our own brand. I have dropped this now too. He is milking it and being rather rude now. Oh well – at least the blogging community came together even stronger!

  6. 21st January 2018 / 10:15 pm

    I have so much love for this post, us bloggers need to stick together!! I trust bloggers a lot more than any other influencer I see online. We’re a great community and I’m proud to be apart of it xx

    • Sophie
      Author
      21st January 2018 / 10:44 pm

      Thank you! I love the blogging community too. We’re so supportive of each other and give general life advice as well as blogging advice be it woman’s issues, men’s issues, health, relationships, anxiety, depression, etc…and if that’s not a great community I don’t know what is.
      So product to be a part of it too!

  7. 21st January 2018 / 8:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, I do feel sorry for whoever has sent that message to WMC. I do understand that WMC has already established a following on their own right. But as a professional I do hope they would have responded in a more polite and professional manner. I am a new blogger myself and do feel a bit intimidated contacting brands as they may do the same as what happened on WMC, but what they don’t understand is that being a blogger is not all glitz and glamour where we post about a particular topic and get paid for what we talk about, it takes a lot more work. It is not all about just producing your own content it is also about managing all the other social media platforms, ensuring you have engaged with other bloggers and promote yourself as well as carrying out some website development and other behind the blog scenes. I just hope whoever sent that message he/she should know that it is not the end of the world and there are a lot of people supporting her/him.

    • Sophie
      Author
      21st January 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Well said! It’s so much more than just writing a post, etc..Paul from the WMC built his brand on roasting people. It was funny at times and plain childish. I unfollowed them on Snapchat a while ago because of it and kept them on Instagram. Very unimpressed with the WMC. Loving your blog, for a new blogger, you’re doing FAB. Don’t worry about contacting brands they’re not all as rude as Paul. I hope!

  8. 20th January 2018 / 11:15 pm

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one; I really don’t think that poor girl should have been dragged across social media, a simple no would have been just fine!
    Charlie | http://www.charlieswonderland.co.uk

    • Sophie
      Author
      20th January 2018 / 11:16 pm

      Thanks Charlie! WMC definitely didn’t need to be so rude. They posted a picture with ‘ashes of vegans’ and ‘tears of bloggers’ which seems like they’re just milking this whole thing now on top of what they’ve already done 🙁

    • John Reynolds
      11th February 2018 / 11:00 am

      Doesn’t her ‘job’ rely on attention? She wanted it, she got it. Why should anyone feel sympathy?

    • John Reynolds
      11th February 2018 / 11:02 am

      No, a ‘blogger’ has never positively influenced me to purchase a good or service. They have however influenced me to NOT purchase a good or service after seeing what sorts are associated with it.

  9. 20th January 2018 / 9:29 pm

    Emma Inks did a vlog in which she applied makeup and I spotted her contour stick, I’ve sinced purchased it from Illamasqua!

    • Sophie
      Author
      20th January 2018 / 9:32 pm

      That’s great! I’m checking her out. Blogging and YouTube community spirit is amazing. I recently bought a two shade contour palate as suggested by a blogging group. Definitely influenced me 💪🏽

      • 20th January 2018 / 9:33 pm

        Bloggers/vloggers influence me all the time! I can’t imagine not looking for someone’s review or opinion before buying something.

        • Sophie
          Author
          20th January 2018 / 9:36 pm

          Exactly! Reviews are extremely important and I always ask bloggers on twitter or via blogger groups if they have any recommendations and they always do. I’m so thankful too!! X

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