Bloggie Wednesday: No, We Are Not That Hard Up For PR Samples!

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© Gratisography

By now, it’s no secret that beauty bloggers receive a good amount of beauty samples from PRs and brands for editorial consideration. Over the years, I’m thankful to have received my fair share of beauty products that were sent to my by PRs for review, even though a lot of them don’t make the cut of a mention on the blog. This is simply the reality of blogging product reviews; there really is just so much one can use and it’s not realistic that every single thing we received can be reviewed on the blog.

The thing is, with the rampant growth of the number of beauty blogs on the blogosphere, brands and PRs also need to be selective of the bloggers they send products to. They’ll have to pick and choose the right kind of bloggers that would suit the clients they represent as they cannot send products to ALL of the beauty bloggers out there. It’s just not possible and it makes sense for them to be picky.

What doesn’t make sense is the need to pit bloggers against each other in order for bloggers to get said beauty products for review. I’ve actually seen competitions held by PRs for beauty bloggers to compete against each other and the prize is a chance to win beauty products to review on the blog. So, instead of selecting the right bloggers to review their products and send the products to the bloggers directly, these competitions offer bloggers a chance to win these products, which they in turn will have to use and review on their blogs.

To enter such competitions, bloggers would have to either write a blog post about how awesome it would be to win the products (hence, a free mention of the brand on the blog) and/or post on social media about how awesome it would be to win the products (again, a free mention of the brand on the blog). All the hoops to jump, just to win all these free PR samples to review! The winner would then be required to review the “prizes” on his/her blog but by then, all of the bloggers who have entered the competition would have already given so much free publicity to the brand and in the end, the ones who didn’t win leave with nothing.

Needless to say, such competitions leave a sour note in my mouth. I hate it when bloggers are pitted against each other to do shit like that. The blogosphere is already saturated with beauty bloggers who are finding it hard to make a name for themselves; there’s no need for extra competition to “win” products that they have to review. We are not that hard up for PR samples!

PRs, if we’re not the right fit for your client, please don’t send the products to us to review. If you feel that we are but you’re not sure, please write to us and get a conversation going on what we can/cannot do for you. We bloggers don’t need to have to compete against each other. Bloggers, please stay away from such competitions. It’s not a win-win situation for both PRs and bloggers. It’s often a win-lose, where we bloggers get the shorter end of the stick.

Okay, time to get off the podium now. Sigh … such competitions really get my knickers in a twist and it’s no wonder why. We need to be supporting each other, not competing against each other for – of all things – free beauty products.

What are your thoughts on such blogging competitions?

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7 comments… add one
  1. Mel

    Gah that competition sounds awful. I get so frustrated with PR companies and brands devaluing bloggers. When companies want to send me a random product worth less than $20 and want a blog write up ASAP without paying a cent, I just get so turned off. Yes, 99% of my posts aren’t sponsored but unless a brand is luxe, don’t demand a post off me in exchange for product. Can’t pay my bills in skincare and makeup!
    Mel recently posted..TMI: Lactose Poisoning | A Night Gone Stinkingly WrongMy Profile

  2. Sydney Shop Girl

    I had no idea it had come to this!

    I’m with Mel. 99% of what I write is not sponsored. I’m actually heading in the direction already of not doing sponsored posts anymore. I just don’t have the time or beauty focus to do products justice or to bring anything new to the beauty blogger table. So I’m just happy to write honestly about things I’ve bought.

    SSG xxx

  3. LeGeeque

    You know, readers are not dumb. We can smell non-genuine reviews from miles away so it really is counterproductive for PRs to do this.

  4. Kayte

    100% agree with LeGeeque above – it’s so easy to tell when a review isn’t genuine or is written hastily because it HAS to be written rather than the writer wanting to write about it. Great post Tine xx
    Kayte recently posted..My Favourites for September 2016My Profile

  5. Paris B

    You know Tine, 10 years ago, maybe this model worked. Now? It’s seriously bullshit. Bloggers who participate do themselves a disservice. Products are just products. If you want it so badly, buy it. Often, all it’ll cost is money. The irony is that it isn’t even the luxury brands who run these blogger contests (because they won’t stoop so low) it’s usually the mass brands. And mass brands aren’t expensive. So yes, you may get the whole range of X mass brand, but really, do you want it or do you just want to enter a competition to give X brand free publicity when you stand the chance of getting nothing at all?

    I’ve actually been approached by A brand to enter a blogger’s contest, where they’ll give me some of their new cleansers (targeted at teens) and I can do 3 different complicated things for them. Hell no. And they even wondered why I would pass up such a great offer /rolls eyes
    Paris B recently posted..Let’s talk about that ad for Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick for Fall 2016My Profile

  6. Michelle

    Awesome post, 100% agree! It’s bad enough when PRs give you a massive list of stipulations for posting about a $20 product, but when they have the stipulations *to win* press samples it’s pretty ridiculous. There are so many things to write about that give better SEO and reader engagement than a review of a product you may or may not have strong feelings about…
    Michelle recently posted..Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo and Conditioner ReviewMy Profile

  7. Amanda Reid Makeup

    Oh I wonder if there are bloggers who do that now. There have got to be better ways to promote these products. I think that people have also caught on to paid promotions. They generally know if a product is too good to be true.

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