Insert fashion bloggers and influencers. We love ‘em! It’s fair to say we find great pleasure from fashion blogs, daily. Check in on your faves and you will find immediate street style inspo, fashion product, industry and event news or witty words and beautiful imagery. They can put a pep in your creative step and take you on sartorial adventures to the suburb next door and around the world. Above all they are a chance to take a peek into someone else’s existence other than your own and belong to a community you connect with. It’s the very nature of working in youth focused PR that collaborating with bloggers is part of our daily life. Fashion blogs and bloggers to us, are a little ray of sunshine.
However with the rapid convergence of traditional media and newer online technologies, bloggers have become the unofficial face of journalism. Yet with their freedom to publish comes a dangerous uncontrolled media industry with no code of conduct. And since there’s no industry recommendation on ethical blogging we thought it was time to take it into our own hands to create an influencer code of conduct clearly needed by some bloggers who simply start a blog to get free shit.
Fashion Blogger Code of Conduct
1. Explain your blog monetising and advertising opinion to your readers clearly.
2. Disclose all sponsored posts and gifts.
3. Do not let advertising or commercial considerations undermine your personal beliefs and authenticity. If your blog model is centred around free, then you are training your audience to devalue you.
3. Proof your copy. Bloggers who can’t write will only get so far.
4. Do not plagiarise and do your utmost to credit all sources.
5. Do not buy followers and fans or if you do, disclose it. Firstly it effects your genuine reader visibility due to social media algorithms (or in other words your posts will be less visible to your real fans). Secondly, marketing and PR people don’t (or shouldn’t) believe them anyway.
6. Don’t forget that blogs have created a media platform that is more diverse and less exclusive. Seeing blog posts of bloggers sip champagne with a bunch of self-important socialites is boring.
7. Don’t abandon your freedom by publishing outfit posts featuring product you received for free and felt obligated to wear. Be authentic and believe in the content you create.
8. Don’t perpetuate other companies just to further your own enterprise. Be in it for the right reasons – because you have something to say!
9. Don’t accept all advertising. Be selective and keep your messaging on- brand.
10. Don’t fake your social media posts. If a Facebook post or Instagram shout-out is paid for, declare it.
Let’s not sugar coat anything, blogging is hard work. Creating compelling content, layer upon layer takes time and skill. We firmly believe bloggers should be paid for their work and we see no harm in bloggers collaborating with companies they dig the most, featuring products they love (heck, we encourage it). BUT c’mon; cash for comment is an old media equation and not the reason blogs were born in the first place. We support bloggers getting paid, but keep it real, post what you love and be authentic.
Words by Jade Roberts, Founder/Director raraPR.