Monday, 27 July 2015

The Abuse of #PRRequest

Abuse of #PRRequest
You know what I'm really sick of? The hashtag 'PR Request' and the abuse it gets from bloggers. I wrote recently about how some bloggers think they're entitled to the world (have a nosy here) and I touched on this point briefly but you know what? A few things recently have taken people from bloggers to blaggers and it is going WAY too far. 

I'll throw it out there now that this post obvs doesn't apply to everyone and many bloggers use it sparingly, often for the good of other bloggers (to get support for events etc). And of course, I have a lot of blogger love for bloggers who do it for the right reasons. HOWEVER, some bloggers are simply taking the piss and the world is starting to feel a bit like this.




These are examples which I have seen in the last 48 hours. I'm not naming and shaming as y'know, I'm not a bitch. But are people for real when they're asking for these things to review?

'Looking for washer/dryer for vlogging & blog review #prrequest this is my media pack link: [Link Removed]'

'#prrequest looking to review a restaurant between leicester square and Tottenham Court Road Stations on Monday who wants me ;-)'

'Ok, any luxury takeaway companies in North London? 4th anniversary today, stuck home with a toddler! #asktwitter #prrequest #pbloggers'

'I'm looking for clothes to feature with my upcoming jewellery posts. Interested? Contact me at [Email removed] #prrequest'

'Anyone know of any tent companies for luxury camping? #prrequest'

'Looking to work with brands for my sons christening please get in contact if you would like to work with us. #blogger #pr #prrequest #work'

'pls rt Does anyone have a fitness tracker that they'd like reviewed? [Link and email removed] #prrequest'


There's no pitch to an individual company, there's no listed benefits with promises of fantastic photography, shout outs on social media and undying love forever. It's simply begging for things, for free. 

I get that money is tight. I get that sometimes it's a need and not a want. But what makes you entitled to beg a brand to send you things for free instead of simply buying it yourself? Having a blog doesn’t mean you stop being a consumer.




Also, dare I say it, (braces myself for a massive backlash), some of these blogs aren't that great. The social followings aren’t amazing, there isn't a great amount of interaction on the page and they're often full of reviews and sponsored or endorsed content. Which may still be interesting and it may still be own opinions, but it's an SEO's worst nightmare and something that a reputable company probably won't touch. I’m not saying that bloggers shouldn’t have some incentive to work for a brand, whether it’s monetary or a product but begging brands for high-cost goods isn’t the same as a brand inviting you to do a review.

Being desperate for freebies doesn't make you a good blogger. It makes you look like a wannabe charity case. Scheduling tweets to go out every few hours asking if PRs want to work with you (it happens a lot, I'm a PR, I have a running feed on that hashtag going throughout my working day) makes you look desperate and as though you'll take anything and everything. That doesn't make a PR feel special as someone representing a brand. Brands want people who are genuinely interested and who would genuinely feature the product as it fits with their blog because they think the brand is fabulous.





What was once a hashtag that was used by PRs who were reaching out is now being abused and spammed by bloggers who are quite simply letting the side down.


So, let me know what you think in the comments!
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8 comments

  1. Lots of 'blaggers' as you call us (right?) use #prrequest as a quick hashtag for recommendations, as it gets lots of views and generally people have good knowledge.

    Anyway, although you very graciously omitted my handle, I have no problems owning up to the tweet about luxury takeaways.

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    1. Hi Sanna, you are right that it gets a lot of views, my main point is that it is not used appropriately as it was created in order to create communication between PRs, not necessarily for anyone to use for a recommendation. I wouldn't say every single blogger who uses it is out to blag freebies, but unfortunately, that is the case for some which tars us all with the same brush - when in fact so many bloggers have blogs for their own love of writing.

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  2. I agree the amount of begging tweets has gotten out of hand. There are no longer any decent opps on there because you need to sift through 190234 tweets begging for a free holiday to Spain. I needed a hotel in London recently and I could have easily tweeted a request for one, but I am not about to sell my soul and I paid The £75 instead cos you know, CONSUMER. There is a fine line between blogging and just hoarding crap. I have been offered cleaners to review, and yeah it would be nice but that’s not my blog and accepting it would be ridiculous.

    Yes my blog is full of samples from PRs but these opps were from contact from them to me. If I really wanted a new mascara I would go buy it and not tweet for it. I myself have used the # in the past, but for events. Sadly though the culture won’t change and will only get worse.

    Great post neighbour :)

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    1. I agree, it's getting a point where those who will take anything just for the sake of it being free is really selling out the entire blogging industry. I've used it before at work and I've been inundated with tweets for up to a week later, because people think there could be a freebie involved! I 100% agree that bloggers, especially those who are putting on events should be using it though as it's in the benefit of the PR industry (for whom the hashtag is aimed) to access that many bloggers in one go!

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  3. Great post! I've used the hashtag as a joke before after seeing so many begging tweets. I don't understand why people feel entitled to anything! Checking out your other post NOW

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    1. Thanks for your comment :) I do love the blatant piss-taking on that hashtag, it's so funny! But agreed, nobody is entitled to anything when you set up your blog off your own back with nobody asking you to!

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  4. Great post Lizi!

    I've got no problem with people using the hashtag to get recommendations - and you can usually tell these apart from the outright asking for things tweets. But like you say just the almost begging style of some of the tweets you see can get really old. I can only imagine how irritating it is to you as a PR professional!

    Definitely agree with everything Hayley said in her comment as well - it's a great hashtag for events, and having attended an event organised by Hayley I can safely say her use of the hashtag (in the correct manner) worked! But definitely if I want to review something I go and buy it. I have no reason to believe I should be handed it on a silver platter just because I have a blog!

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    1. Agreed, it's a way of accessing an audience, though often for recommendations, there is still that underlying sense of someone hoping to get something out of it (as otherwise you could just google!) though perhaps I'm just cynical after seeing some blatant begging!

      I also agree about events, a lot of brands see blogger events as a quickfire way of getting their product to a big audience who'll shout about it so it's for the benefit of both PRs and bloggers. But I'm also the same, if I want to review an item, I just do it, it wouldn't even occur to me to attempt to get it for free!

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