Let’s talk about blogger perks.
Last week I went along to a fashion event at a well known shopping centre in the Midlands. It was essentially a press trip. I went along with the understanding that I would be covering the event via my blog and social media channels – this was something I understood and was happy to do as I have a relationship with the PR and company and supported their event. When I arrived at the event I received a goodie bag filled with a generous offering of beauty products and chocolates. It was awesome and I was very grateful for the gesture. I then spent the afternoon attending a few workshops, covering all of them on social media.
Now, I could happily tell you all about my goodie bag. It really was one of the nicest collections of STUFF I’ve received.
But then I remembered a comment I overheard at another event I visited recently. Again, I covered the event on social media and my blog. Although I was under no obligation to do so. It was genuinely an interesting event and suitable for my audience. The comment I overheard was from another blogger, they was asking where all the freebies were at. They’d been given a free ticket to a large public event, which actually did indeed provide various samples if you looked around. And we were in fact given a little tote bag with a few token goodies inside. Apparently they were expecting a lot more.
I was horrified.
You see, yes I do love to receive complimentary gifts (don’t we all?). But they are just that. Gifts. They are not a given right. They are not an entitlement. Being a blogger doesn’t give you the right to expect anything for free. And yet, I am increasingly seeing a culture of entitlement amongst some groups of bloggers. Not only is this rather unpleasant (bloggers being called blaggers, not cool) but it gives the rest of us a bad name.
Like I said before, sure I enjoy a freebie, or a gift as I prefer to see it. But I certainly don’t expect it. Because expecting a gift is rude. It’s unprofessional. And it negates the purpose of being a blogger.
We didn’t start out blogging to get freebies. We starting blogging because we wanted to share, communicate, inspire and be inspired. The goodie bags and event invites were extras. Being able to blog as a profession is an incredible bonus, an honour in fact.
And with that being said. It is work. The event I attended was work. I took time away from my business to attend the event and cover it on my social channels. The goodie bag was not expected but it was a nice gesture of thanks for my attendance and work. But it’s a perk, not a right.
So, if you turn up to an event and expect, demand or moan about goodie bags, you will come across as unprofessional, entitled and quite frankly, a disappointment to the blogging community.
If we want to be treated fairly and professionally by PR’s, brands, our peers and the media industry as a whole then we need to be behave as such.
Be gracious and polite. Give back to the community by keeping your blagging ways to yourself. Because a gift is best received when not expected.
What are your views on blogger perks? Should they be expected?
P.S. This is a separate discussion from payment and work. I believe in fair and professional relationships between bloggers and companies. But we’ll chat about that another time.