Sometimes I think it’s dangerous for impetuous people like myself to have a blog, but then think if I leave out the goings on from the beauty world, then what kind of insider blog would it be? So here goes – a post I might regret, but I don’t think so.
PR/journalist relationships can be amazingly good, or, in equal measure, amazingly bad. I’ve just been caught out thinking I had a good relationship with one PR office, only to discover that in reality I didn’t. If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I used to write for the papers and various magazines – I still do on occasion, but am so tied up in the on-line beauty world that I rarely have time for it anymore. I’m finding however that it still stands that if you write for what is considered to be a ‘prestige’ publication, then your words count for more. And, that no matter how much you have supported a brand over the years, you leave the past behind. What counts is where and who you write for today. I’m proud of the sites that I write for, enormously proud of my own blog where the beauty world is my oyster, and it’s by choice that I’ve moved to on-line work predominantly (although ironically, I am working on a feature for a national newspaper right now).
I’ve found the beauty PR world divides in those who ‘get’ blogs and those who don’t, and my invitations tell me exactly who does get it and who doesn’t. Some offices keep me on their press lists, and some don’t. Surprise blog supporters are Chanel, Dior and Lauder because for some reason I had assumed their interest would lie solely with Vogue and the like. Newer brands such as Illamasqua and New CID have embraced bloggers with both hands, recognising their value in spreading the word. I’ve always had a robust attitude to being dropped off a press list or moved from a sample list to a press release only list – it’s not as though there aren’t a million and one beauty brands to feature instead – and do often, in fact, get my secret smug moment when one PR moves to another office where they are very blog active. That’s always a fun call.
But today I really felt, well, genuinely upset, to find I’d been excluded from a launch by a brand where I had always thought I had good relationships. I’m cross with myself for minding – it’s only candles after all, and also cross with myself for not seeing it coming when my main contact left recently. I’ve never been the beauty editor of a flashy magazine or newspaper….I’ve always been freelance, so I guess I have become used to the ‘middle’ standing – ‘bottom’ is probably regional or trade, with ‘top’ being the afore mentioned flash mags. It’s just how things are, but this one was unexpectedly painful. Horrible, in fact.
Beauty writers are such a niche and small group, that we kind of all know what everyone else is up to. I can feel wistful when there’s a gorgeous press trip, and, okay, green with envy when the Christmas handbags turn up to others, but on the whole, I love the industry I work in, the people I meet, the amazing places I get to go to and of course, I’m still excited by the products themselves. Now, though, this incident has made me wonder if I shouldn’t focus so hard on having good relationships and step back? PR’s are quick enough to complain if they’re treated with disrespect by journalists or find it impossible to get through to a key editor, but I am beginning to think that maybe there is something in being distant. You find me in an unexpectedly gloomy mood about things today, and I’d love to know your thoughts.
PS: News has spread to the said press office – they phoned. I just didn’t have the energy to speak to them about it. They made their bed, now they’ll have to lie in it.