Following on from my post yesterday: 3 Rookie Mistakes Bloggers Should Avoid, I thought I’d jump on the other side of the fence and share my worst experience so far, working with PR agencies. Now, if you’re a PR friendly blog—believe it or not—it’s not always air kisses and champagne. (Actually, very little of it is.) While there certainly can be benefits to having great relationships with PR agencies (access to information first, trialling product yet to hit the market, sponsored content and working towards the same goal; maximum exposure for you and the brand), it can also mean an exploding inbox, deadlines, embargoes… and sometimes being asked to leave an event. Yes—you read that right. While 99.9% of PRs totally get it, are first to defend the value of online exposure to clients, there’s the 0.01% that fail at working with bloggers, and they fail hard. Behold, my worst experience so far. (I can think of two more, but that’s another post and girl, you’ll want to hear ’em.) Read on for the juicy details—sorry, names and brands withheld! MC
[the food]THAT TIME I GOT ASKED TO LEAVE AN EVENT[/the food]
Along with a whole lot of media, (bloggers included) I was invited to a lunch for a new haircare product launch, where there would be a couple of well-known panellists fielding questions from the media. (A bit of background, the parent company of this product is massive, a player on the world stage, if you will.) The luncheon was to take place from 11am – 2pm in a ballroom—fancy. I originally said no to attending because it was in the CBD and parking would be a nightmare (Not to mention expensive!). After a few emails from the PR asking me if I was sure that I couldn’t come, I relented. I was really interested to hear one panellist in particular speak anyway.
THE PARENT COMPANY OF THIS PRODUCT IS MASSIVE…
When I arrived the ballroom was full, and the launch was going as planned. After about an hour of questions, the MC announced that lunch would be served. That’s when I saw the PR quietly rushing around to each table whispering to a handful of bloggers and a couple of online media and asking them to leave. There was an urgency to her tone, because the waiters were already starting to serve lunch and she was pointing them in the right direction to the media that would stay and enjoy lunch. It was also then, that I realised that the PR had been so insistent on attending because she needed seat fillers—she really didn’t care if we wrote about the brand.
ALONG WITH A FEW OTHER F-WORDS!
In fairness to the PR and Agency, inviting bloggers/online media to beauty events was new back then. I was embarrassed and mortified as we all did the walk of shame, out of the room like a bunch of badly-behaved schoolgirls, as everyone looked on. I’m not going to lie, there were a few smug looks from some of the editors still seated. As I passed a table, that a Beauty Editor friend was on, she asked me why I wasn’t staying. I was so embarrassed, that I lied and said I had to get back to work! I happened to hop in the elevator with the editor of one of Australia’s biggest online publications, who didn’t hold back; ohhhh, she let it fly. She was furious! Filthy! Along with a few other F-words too. MC
[the food]Have your own story to share? SPILL! [/the food]