Bloggie Wednesdays: Frequently Asked Questions About Products Received For Editorial Consideration (Part 2)

Bloggie Wednesdays: Frequently Asked Questions About Products Received For Editorial Consideration (Part 2)

Happy Wednesdays, folks!

Thanks very much for your input on last week’s post where I share with you the answers to the frequently asked questions about products received for editorial consideration. I’m glad it’s been a helpful post to most of you. Man, I wish someone told me what to expect and do when it came to products sent for review years ago. A lot of the time, I felt like I was running around like a headless chook! :P

Today, we continue with the second part of the FAQs about products received for editorial consideration.

6. My skin reacted badly to a product that was sent to me for review. What do I do?

If you developed a minor breakout from trying out a product that was sent to you, it’s up to you if you want to let the PR know. If it’s just a minor breakout of one or two pimples, I don’t. I will mention it in the review as a small negative point. Minor issues like this aren’t a deal breaker for me unless I’m getting consistent breakouts from using the product. However, if you experienced a severe reaction to the product (e.g. flaring red and hot skin that feels like it’s burned, hair falling out, rashes and so on), you have to stop using the product and let the PR know immediately. This way, they’ll be able to send feedback to the brand as soon as possible to avoid this from happening to anyone else.

7. If I received products for editorial consideration, does that mean the reviews can only be positive ones?

Nope. That’s the beauty of blogs; you can be honest in your reviews. If the product doesn’t work for you, just mention that it doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t matter if the product was sent to you for review. Be professional when it comes to writing negative reviews and don’t slam the brand and product like it’s smeared poo on your shoes.
Example 1: This lipstick was drying on my lips and smells very waxy. I needed to apply lipbalm prior to the lipstick or else the product will sink into my lines. It’s just not for me.
Example 2: This lipstick is just shit. What was brand X thinking coming up with rubbish like this?

If I read Example 2 before Example 1, I wouldn’t know what was actually wrong with the lipstick. All I know is that the blogger thinks it’s shit. It’s not an accurate review, even if it’s a negative one. If the lipstick was really awful, I wouldn’t even bother writing about it. Unless there are pressing matters about the lipstick that my readers need to know about (e.g. the lipstick contains lead, it goes bad very quickly, it turned my lips green, etc), I’d prefer to talk about more interesting products than one lousy lipstick.

8. A product that was sent to me was damaged when I received it. I don’t know if it was damaged on transit or if it was damaged prior to sending. What do I do?

Let the PR know. I’ve experienced this a number of times: broken compact powders, cracked mirrors, smashed lids, etc. I’ve even received a pressed powder compact once when it was clearly used before. Send the PR a polite email about this and let him/her know. Many a time it’s not their fault. I’ve had couriers which PRs engaged throw boxes clearly marked as FRAGILE on the front over my gate and onto the floor. I’ve had postal workers shove and cram parcels in the small mail slot resulting in damaged products. Whatever it is, if it’s damaged or not looking as it should like new products, let the PR know.

9. I really want to work with brand X. How do I go about approaching them? Or do I wait for them to contact me instead?

When I first started beauty blogging in Malaysia in 2007, the thought of approaching brands was unheard of. I considered myself extremely lucky when a brand in the US sent me a small body of body lotion! When I moved to Australia, I was very lucky to have a prominent PR firm in Sydney contact me and sent me products to review. I actually only started approaching brands myself after blogging for over 3 years.

Having said that, it doesn’t work like that anymore. These days, there are so many beauty blogs out there that it’s confusing for brands and PRs to know who’s who. The saying goes “if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.” If you want to work with brand X, send them an email introducing yourself, your blog, what you do, what your blog’s demographics are and so on. Send them an updated copy of your media kit (don’t know how to create one? I’ve got a free ebook for you on how to do that! *ahem shameless plug ahem*). Tell them what you’re working on your blog these days. Ask if they can put you on their database for any press releases. What you don’t do is ask for free product with that email. That is a huge no no.

10. Is it a must to disclose products that were sent to me for review?

If you’re a blogger in the US, it’s a legal requirement by the FTC to disclose products that were received for editorial consideration. There’s no such law in Australia. At least, not yet. It’s ethical and good practice to disclose to your readers that that product that you just reviewed was sent to you by the brand. If the question is “why should I disclose?” then my question to you is this: “why shouldn’t you?“. There’s nothing to hide and certainly not a big deal to be honest to your readers. Blogs thrive on the connection that bloggers have with their readers and it’s something they have over glossy magazines. Just a short line above or below the review will do, nothing fancy. Be honest with your readers and they’ll be back.

As always, I hope this helps answer some questions you might have about products sent and received for editorial consideration. Always remember that nothing comes for free, not even that gorgeous free lippie you just picked up from the PO box.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I’ll try my best to answer them or make a whole new post out of your question! :)

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments.
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17 comments… add one

  1. Chelsea

    As always, great info, Tine :) I’m still asking questions on blogger pages about working with PRs, because it’s dog-eat-dog and I want to make sure I develop good relationships with them. x
    Chelsea recently posted..Epic USA HaulMy Profile

    1. Tine

      You’re welcome Chelsea! As long as you’re kind and professional with them, you’ll be fine :) x

  2. BlushandBarbells

    Thank you so much for this series. I downloaded the ebook – I didn’t even know that I needed a media kit!
    BlushandBarbells recently posted..Manicure Monday – Avon Sparkling SkyMy Profile

    1. Tine

      My pleasure! So glad you enjoy it. Hope the ebook helps :)

  3. Allison

    Thank you for another great post on this topic. This week on a review of a product I was asked a question by a subscriber for a head to head comparison of the brand I reviewed vs a very well-known brand. That was tough because they were basically equivalent in terms of performance and value, but the brand I reviewed may have one advantage so I tried to focus on that. But I felt a little weird about the whole thing.
    Allison recently posted..Ageless Derma Loose Mineral FoundationMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Yeah I know what you mean. Personally, I don’t find it a problem as long as we’re professional about it. Sometimes products from well-known brands can be lacking as well.

  4. MissCarole

    As useful as ever, Tine! Thanks.
    Would you be able to do a post on blogging and social networks? As in which ones to use, how often to post, what to say… The very basics really. If such a post exists, please point me in the right direction ;-)
    MissCarole recently posted..The Picture of the Month – July 2013My Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha nah I don’t think I wrote about that social network topic. Thanks for the suggestion though. Have written the idea down in my notebook :P

  5. Nikki

    Tine, very helpful! thank you! this is very useful for old bloggers like myself! BTW, I just commented now but I never stop reading your posts! :D Just busy with Kyle :D

    1. Tine

      Nikki!! So glad to hear from you! :D Kyle is growing up so beautifully xx

  6. Jennifer

    I have enjoyed reading this tremendously. What goes behind the scenes of beautiful makeup products photographed in pristine condition and an equally stunning look of the day to boot and erm yeh, maybe in PJ shorts too :) Thanks for your honest and candid sharing as always.

    1. Tine

      Thanks Jennifer! Hahaha yep, sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but most if not all the products are photographed with junk on the side (pushed away so that the table looks clean) and me in my pyjamas and robe. Those FOTD posts? Nice top on top, pyjama bottoms below :D

  7. Hilary

    Tine, you are so clever and wise! :D Massive sucking up I know, but you really do have the best pearls of wisdom for people, even those of us whom still only have a beauty blog in our head :D Many thanks for the fab post :)
    Hilary recently posted..End of one adventure, beginning of another?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Aww Hilary you’re too kind! Oh do go on ;) x

  8. Sunshine

    I absolutely ❤ these posts Tine. Thanks so much. You should publish an ebook of blogging tips. I know a lot of bloggers would buy it =)
    Sunshine recently posted..Movember Mustache NailsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Aww thanks Sunshine. I’m currently working on one. There’s SO MUCH to write! :P

      1. Sunshine

        Can’t wait! =)
        Sunshine recently posted..Movember Mustache NailsMy Profile

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