What we can learn from transparent fashion bloggers

Last week Abrakedabra wrote about the need for fashion bloggers to disclose information about sponsorship and working with particular brands. Abrar focused on the cost of featuring in Sydney Fashion Blogger‘s posts, up to $850. While Sydney Fashion Blogger has been criticised for her lack of disclosure, some bloggers use transparency to build authentic relationships with publics. 

PR practitioners understand the need for transparency in an organisation, especially when it comes to affiliations with big brands.  

One entrepreneur who understands this need is Australian fashion blogger Nicole Warne (aka garypeppergirl). In an interview with Renegade Collective, Warne spoke of her qualms with accepting “gifts” from brands, saying that she no longer accepts them due to the associated expectations.

“I don’t do sponsored posts and if I have worked with a brand, I’m quite clear on communicating that I’ve partnered with them.”

 Warne has been criticised by Jonathan Moran (The Daily Telegraph) for her position as a blogger. Moran noted Warne’s current location as “a freebie around Europe as a guest of Contiki in exchange for daily social media posts”.

As Blogger Mrs Woog stated in her guest post on Mumbrella, it is okay to get paid for your work. And Warne was very clear about her relationship with Contiki in all of her captions on her “daily social media posts”. 

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PR practitioners can learn a lot from these often-misconstrued bloggers. The good ones, like Warne, understand their audience, respond personally to emails and engage only in things they “love” in order to continually connect with their followers.  

Here is why we need to learn from fashion bloggers. According to BamRaisers:

  • More than 60% of U.S. online consumers say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of reading a bloggers recommendation, and;
  • Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines

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So next time you discover a fashion blogger, judge more than her cushy title, because we can learn some good (and bad) internet etiquette tips from them. Warne doesn’t have 826,303 instagram followers for nothing. 

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Getting publics to do more than ‘like’ the social media presence of the NFP sector

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Turning online awareness and communication into actual engagement is an issue plaguing all areas of PR. The evolution of web 2.0 has empowered publics by giving them an ever-increasing ability to share their experiences with an organisation. The problem is: how can we shift our public’s awareness to changes in behaviour?

This issue is particularly relevant in the not-for-profit sector (NFP) and non-government organisations (NGO), who are constantly dealing with “slacktivists“.

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As posted on PR Daily, an outstanding campaign relating “likes” on social media was the Likes Don’t Save Lives advertisements, made by Forsman & Bodenfors for UNICEF Sweden in 2013.

“Social media is a very good tool tog et attention to a specific topic,” says UNICEF Sweden’s Director of Communications Petra Hallebrant. She noted that while this helps “spread the word”, likes won’t save lives.

In February, The Guardian reported on UNICEF’s campaign, with:

  • Tweets relating to the campaign: 10 500
  • Views on the advertisements: 750 000 +

The result of the campaign was deemed successful due to the action that followed: Enough money was raised to vaccinate 637 324 children against polio.

This problem is not specific to UNICEF, so how can PR practitioners increase engagement from potential publics (aka donors)? 

According to Karen Sutherland, researcher at Monash University, it is important to be “user centric” and maintain a lighthearted tone throughout your social media activity.

Sutherland’s research (due to finish in 2015), has highlighted three key problems that might be stopping NFP organisations from engaging key publics:

  • Posts are too long
  • Posts are too negative
  • Posts and calls-to-action are too frequent

My advice:

  • Keep it relevant to your audience: they need to be interested!
  • Communicate positive changes your organisation has made
  • Emphasise a specific call-to-action (donate please) and keep this message clear across all departments (this will fit nicely with your integrated marketing campaign)

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below! x