Brands & Bloggers: A story of love, hate and mutual benefits (Take 1) - Nouchaline

Friday, June 6, 2014

Brands & Bloggers: A story of love, hate and mutual benefits (Take 1)

Hello there kind reader, how is your day going? 

My name is Aline, and I've been blogging since 2009/2010. I started my blog in my freshman year of university as an outlet for me to share my (then) recent love of fashion. Back in the olden days, the term "fashion blogger" was not really heard of in Lebanon but was gaining tremendous popularity in the world of the west. I was in awe of these fashion bloggers with their gorgeous pictures and their witty textual banter. These girls fascinated me and I loved checking out their blogs every day. I didn't want to be like them, because let's be honest I'm too lazy to maintain that "image", but I loved the fact that any average Jane could create her own platform of expression. And so my blog was born, back then it was even called Alien's Labyrinth (because I was just THAT cool). I didn't have a mission with the blog, it wasn't part of a greater plan to make it in the fashion world or anything like that. It was just and still is a hobby, an outlet for me to brush up on my writing skills while talking about superficial things I love, such as shoes and nail polish. 
Four years have passed since this blog was born, and over the years many other fashion blogs have mushroomed in Lebanon, some that I love reading and some that just make me want to cry. It makes me happy that the fashion blogging community is expanding. The ladies I've met are actually great people who are coming up with great content, and I've even become proper friends with a couple. There's just a little something something that's been slightly ticking me off about this whole blogging ordeal. I've been debating whether I want to share it with the world or not. I honestly do not want to come off as a cynical toota, but I guess I just have to share? So don't mind if I do. These rants will be divided into segments, the first segment is about brands, fashion bloggers and this little thing called a PRESS RELEASE

Brands are to fashion bloggers as candy is to your sweet tooth. A little bit of candy satisfies your craving and cheers you up when you're feeling down, but too much candy will give your cavities and make you unhealthy. 
When I first started my "blog", many brands probably didn't know what that word meant. Today, it seems that that is all they're thinking about. "Must get blogger exposure, AHHH". The sad part is that they don't know how to go about it. They send press releases about the weirdest things to bloggers who have nothing to do with the topic. I've received press releases from everything between a spa in Malaysia to casinos in Atlantic City. The most annoying part of a press release though, is not the press release itself, but the way the email to which the press release is attached to is written. First of all dear PR sir or madame, PLEASE learn some manners. My name is not Mr. Editor, or Media Partner. I will not "immediately release" this on my blog. And no, I will most certainly not talk about that event that I was not invited to and so have no relation to it (unless it's a red carpet related, mama loves some red carpet looks). My friend Hijazi wrote a blog post on this topic around two years ago, and it's sad to see that all the complaints are still applicable today.  As a former media student and current advertising world person, I'm quiet aware of the purpose of a press release. I'm also aware that a lot of media outlets are too lazy to create their own content and so depend on these badly written press release. But son, this is a BLOG not a boring news paper that can't find news. Please refer to me as a fellow human being, and not a free channel for you to throw press releases to!
In order to not make this rant sound too high and mighty, I would like to actually be productive and share some tips with the people who send these things to bloggers.

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  1.  A blogger is a human being, not a machine. Please refer to them by their name. Where can you find their name you ask? ON THEIR BLOG. That page where you want your client's product/services to be on? Yup, that page. 
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  2. Speaking of their blog. Do you even know what they blog about? It would be mutually beneficial and less time consuming for both parties if you sent content that somehow relates to the topic of the blog. I.E. Gardening tools are of no interest to me, same goes for casinos in Atlantic City. I don't gamble. You would know that, had you checked out my blog for just a split second. 
    [ source ]
  3. If you insist on sending press releases (which FYI rarely ever get published on a decent blog), don't write the email like you're God telling Jesus to put your press release on his blog. It will not be immediately released, especially with that attitude. In fact, you will be marked as spam and I will create a voodoo doll for your brand and poke needles in it (ok maybe not the second part). 

There's a lot to be said about this topic. The relationship of brands and blogger is honestly one of love and hate wrapped in mutual benefit. I can talk about it for days, but I'll stop here for now. I will be sharing more on the subject soon though. Until then, feel free to share your thoughts. 

PS. This is my opinion/conclusion on the matter that I've come to after a long time of objective internal debate. If you do not agree with what I've said, I completely respect that since you too are human capable of having your own thoughts. It would be lovely to let me know your reasoning. We could always agree to disagree.

PPS. PR people, I'm not talking about ALL of you. There are some very awesome PR agencies that I've worked with and you have been very professional. But sadly, some people just gotta ruin it for the rest of the group. I'm not being mean, and I don't mean to offend you.

PPPS. Sorry for buzzfeed like post... but we gotta spice up a wordy post with some pics yo!


  1. Love the honest words, you make complete sense. Also, the blogger is a bit to blame too; he gets too tempted by the brands bombing him he loses his focus and start going in every direction. Bloggers, be focused. Make sure what you want to blog about and stick to it!
    I am just glad no one came to me with a hello mr. I wouldve smashed them in the face, hihi.

    L, xo.

    1. You're completely right. I'm going to talk about the blogger part in the next rant :)

  2. GOLD! I relate to this a hundred percent


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