A well known holiday company have opened applications to for their ‘Family Ambassador Programme’. It’s been running now for several years. Near the closing date for applications, Bloggers lose their shit for the chance of a few free holidays. Friends become enemies in the pursuit of a badge for their blog and a break in the sun (or snow!)
Last year there were a lot of vlogs for entries, scores of bloggers effectively BEGGING on camera for a free holiday. This year they want a Moodboard of ‘Top 10 Travel must haves’, either in the form of a post, or a vlog. Tagged with their Hashtag, in which you’re either a ‘Mum’ or a ‘Dad’ (hopefully there aren’t many gender fluid, or non-binary parents), and with them duly ‘atted’ into the sharing. It’s a smart way of getting your brand noticed. From the get-go, hundreds possibly thousands of bloggers with a reach stretching into potentially millions are sharing your branding. Successful or not.
I really dislike these methods of application – I don’t like being used, I don’t like my followers being used. Asking me to spread a brand message, and then not working with me feels a little, dirty. We’re all being teased with the chance of a holiday, reality is, most won’t be a part of it. However, they get thousands of free impressions of a hashtag and a brand name, regardless.
For a family ambassador scheme too, it’s fairly unfriendly to families – you can’t take your holiday in school holidays. Plus, if you’re a larger family – you’re not allowed to play either. You’re not being an Ambassador, you’re just filling some spaces, and giving them a fucktonne of social sharing for the priviledge.
Work for the people who deserve you
I’ve worked with countless brands in my years of blogging. I’ve learnt the best ones aren’t the ones that make you jump through hoops to apply. They don’t make you whore their brand before working with them. The best brands might approach you directly, after reading your stuff, or watching your social output. They want to work with you, the person – not your numbers and figures.
Those who get you to apply by filling in a form with links to your blog, and social channels – that’s fine too. Some bloggers might not have the reach of following to get the eye of a brand – so a nudge in the direction will help. There are so many unsung blog heroes out there, waiting to be found. With a humble following, but fantastic word skills, and a knack for creating beautiful, engaging content. No one will see it, if they don’t make themselves known.
I started working with Red Letter Days this year. This started by filled in a form, they looked at my blog, my social, and actually got to know those who applied. We were all whittled down from 500 to five, and I really appreciate the fact they got to know me and my family. I didn’t have pledge allegiance to the Red Letter. Or write a post with certain hashtags and ‘ats’ – I filled in a form, and they found out more about me, and my fellow applicants. I’m not always the most ‘PR Friendly’, my Twitter is a mixed bag from love, to hate – it’s just me being me.
Their little ‘bio’ of me on their blog sums me up beautifully. I’m not a collection of words, or a number of followers. I’m me, and I’m working with them because of ME.
WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?!!
I suppose what I’m saying is, stick two fingers up to those who make you work hard to push their brand. Especially when that brand might not even want you. Be a ‘family’ blogger for someone that’s supportive for the fact you’re a family.
You’ll find the brands who’ll want you, for you – and not for using a hashtag.