People who don’t blog won’t really get it. I say that with respect and humbled opinion. I am just emphasizing that I don’t expect the majority of you reading this to feel my pain or frustration to its full extent.
Saying that however, I know that anyone who has ever worked hard at something for zero compensation and acknowledgment will understand my aggravation. Anyone who has ever invested a lot of time in to something and who could fully relate to the term ‘blood, sweat and tears’ should be able empathize with me.
Last week I was approached by a PR girl doing work for a popular shopping mall that were looking for influencers to promote their up and coming events. Without trying to sound dramatic, I can honestly say it was one of the most upsetting emails I have ever received in my years of blogging. She wasn’t overly rude or mean spirited. She wasn’t even aggressive or threatening. No, in some ways it was worse! Firstly, she barely took the time to introduce herself, nor did she address me by name. I mean she may as well have addressed me as Blogger Lady.
*Side note: It takes 2 minutes to find out my name if you even bother to go onto my home page. If you haven’t gone on to my home page or done a bit of snooping around on my site, what on earth makes you think you are going to be a good fit for me and my readers?
Secondly she went on to tell me how she expected me to make use of her press release (pretty much every blogger’s worst nightmare where they expect you to copy and paste it to include every last bit of information they are trying to squeeze in – which for the record I don’t do!) with attached images and to advertise her event for FREE. Thinking back, it was this that got me all riled up. The Lovely use of CAPS to emphasize that I was expected to do this for FREE! The words flashed before me like a horror movie with an evil laugh to go with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have done a fair share of free work in my blogging career, but always through a good relationship and where a certain level of compensation and mutual respect has been the center of that relationship. There have been times where budgets have been tight but we have worked something out because I knew it would be a worthwhile thing to share with my readers, the people whose opinions I value most. The people who trust me to bring them news and stories that are going to benefit and inspire them. But, this email didn’t sit well with me and I think my reply to her will accurately express my feeling why.
*Please note: If you work in PR and are good at what you do, you may feel embarrassed by the way this girl represented your area of expertise. I have had some very good experiences with amazing PR companies who could really teach this girl a lesson in, well, PUBLIC RELATIONS!
Dear PR girl (Don’t worry I actually used her real name – more to show her how it’s done!)
Thank you for your email. (In all its wonderful clarity!)
Unfortunately my FREE advertising comes with a lot of time and hard work that I have invested into growing my blog – a platform that you would now like to benefit from without offering compensation for a job I would be doing for you??
It boggles me how you expect this kind of a relationship with blogers to work in your profession. You clearly don’t value the people you throw your content at to publish your press releases. I struggle to understand how you expect a good relationship to come out of an email like this. I struggle even more to understand how you work in PR when you haven’t even bothered to address me by my name and start off with emphasis on the word FREE?
Let me tell you something so as to help you avoid making a mistake like this again – FREE doesn’t buy me groceries at the end of a days work, nor does it pay for my kids schooling. (Do you have kids? It’s a joke how expensive it is right??) FREE doesn’t pay my kid’s doctor’s bills or the WIFI I pay monthly to do jobs like this (for the people who actually value me and the work I’ve put into to growing my brand)
I realise you are scraping the end of a barrel and have a budget that may be tight but please do me and the general blogging community a massive favor and stop reducing what we do to an email with no tact, no respect and lack of any personal care and consideration. It’s degrading and does not reflect well on you, your job or your client.
I wish you well finding bloggers and other influencers who will allow you to treat them like this. I hope to God most of them don’t allow themselves to be.
You see, while this may seem dramatic to some of you, my fellow blogging friends will understand why this presumably sweet yet thoughtless PR girl was on the receiving end of all that wrath and indignation. But let me ask the rest of you – teachers, bankers, accountants, coaches, designers, sales managers, doctors, vets, physiotherapists, writers, journalists, actors, office clerks, shop assistants, PR GIRLS AND BOYS and the rest of the people who WORK to live. Would you be happy doing your job for free? Would you be satisfied with an email like this? Unless you work in an orphanage doing charity work, I highly doubt it. Because like myself you have bills to pay. I, like you would really like to pay off our mortgage and keep my kids in school.
Or wait, perhaps I should ask our bank if we could arrange a trade exchange? I’ll get PR Girl to write a proposal for me. If her email to me were anything to go by, Her version would read:
Dear Mr. bank manager HI!!!
Here is how it’s going to work. Il advertise for you on my blog and you can waive our monthly bond payments. I would also like to talk to you about reducing my banking fees.
Sounds perfect, thanks for your understanding.
OR here’s a thought! Perhaps PR girl could just pay blogger lady her fee so she can have actual money to pay Mr. bank manager.
A girl can only dream right?
Do you work in PR? Is this what should be expected? Or are are you a blogger who hates emails like this too? What have been some of your worst experiences. Better yet how can we learn to work better together without all the assumptions? Comment please!