If you’re a fashion blogger or have any interest in the future of fashion blogs (which I’m guessing you are/do as otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this), you must read this compelling article by Nicola Copping in the FT about fashion bloggers and brands. One of the points it flags up is the attention bloggers are getting from brands keen to engage with them and how a blogger handles the seductive nature of being courted. Once a brand starts paying you attention, showering you with compliments and offering you
freebies products for ‘review’, it can become increasingly hard to maintain your integrity. Brands and PR agencies are now hosting blogger meet-and-greets in order to build relationships with bloggers in a similar way to the PR-journalist relationship. But blogs aren’t magazines and bloggers don’t *have* to follow a code. However, in reality it’s very hard to be impartial about a brand or product if you have met and liked its representative, it makes you feel like a bit of a bitch if you have a negative viewpoint.
The answer I’ve found is to take a step back. Apart from anything else, if you find you’re spending all your time writing product reviews, it’s taking you away from the spontaneity of your original blog posts. And chances are, it’s the honesty and originality of the pre-PR-pitched posts that brought your blog to your readers’ attention in the first place. I’m stepping away from the competitions and product reviews unless it’s something I really like and concentrating on keeping things personal and honest. It’s better for the blog and less stress for me.
[Pic: FT.com, I’d love to see the thought bubble coming out of Susie Menkes and Michael Roberts’ heads!]