Unprofessional reporting and seeking a balanced life. I thought it was about time I share a personal post, I lay it all bare.
It occurs to me that I probably haven’t written much of a personal blog post in some time. I for the most part try to keep the content on here as balanced as I can, across the categories that I like to write about most and those that you guys respond to the most.
Well, if we are being REALLY honest, the most viewed posts I ever do are the swimwear ones. Even the ones on which I look back and cringe, but I leave them up anyway. Progression, right?
While I may not personally feel as drawn to posting about swimwear all the time, there is a time and place for it and it is a part of my life, so I include it but I am no Tash Oakley!
HOW I PLAN MY BLOG POSTS
The breakdown I tend to draft each month for editorial content basically equates to:
– 3 x Lifestyle/ Culture/ Self-Development or general ‘other’ stories
This works out to a minimum of 12 posts per month. It does confuse social media followers for me to have an interest in so many topics as a trend is to follow an account for one or two things only and see these repeated in various ways. I find this somewhat limiting.
A fellow blogger recently pointed out to me that in my own branding journey it is about building towards becoming iconic within an undefinable niche rather than cutting down on one of my chosen areas of interest.
WHEN PRINT MEDIA WEIGHTS IN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
What has me on this topic? It is my response to an article I was sent a link to yesterday morning. An ignorant, blatantly under researched, one sided article in the Weekend West Australian titled ‘Insta-models Look For Free, Easy Life’ stating that bloggers and Instagram influencers are asking local businesses for free services without any return.
There are two sides to each story, however this article shared a few examples of one side and targeted readers who do not understand the industry or business we are in. In the fall out over Essena O’Neill ‘revealing’ how social media works for some (which came as news to so many), these types of under researched articles are embarrassing.
MY RESPONSE TO BEING ASSUMED AS A FREE-LOADER
I can imagine that many small businesses are contacted by unprofessional influencers who request complimentary product in exchange for promising to share this with their readers. Personally I am emailed many requests daily for me to work with both small and large businesses pro-bono. More often than not I politely decline, as unless I am excited by a product and think my readers may be as well, I have to prioritise the paid work coming in.
GIFTS DON’T PAY THE BILLS
It costs me in both time and my budget to style, shoot, edit, write and share my articles. These costs have to be weighed and have to fit into not only my own schedule but my business partner Mario, as this is his blog too.
Funnily enough, being gifted shoes, dresses and beauty products do not pay for our bills, nor does Mario get the same enjoyment out of them as I do. All of these factors have to come into consideration, as well as how something will work into my editorial calendar which is drafted several months ahead.
WHO DO YOU TRUST?
Unfortunately many readers who commented on the article with an uninformed opinion believe entirely the spin placed by the journalist who interviewed a couple of local business owners who would rather opt not to use social media as a form of local marketing. Fair enough, too, it is not for everyone. If I owned a small business and had return clients and no desire to test the market through social media I would simply respond to the requests with a ‘thanks but no thanks’.
As a content creator I pitch stories to brands regularly based around products or experiences which I am passionate about and would like to share with my readers. I hear ‘thanks but no thanks’ regularly for any number of reasons. I also do not place all of my eggs in one basket nor wait for opportunity to fall in my lap. If I love a product, I will share it simply because I bought it and love it. If I promote something I am unsure of, it is obvious and I lose the readers I work hard to engage with. I choose to make decisions with a longterm goal in mind, not a short term one.
I clicked through The West Australian website to read their Editorial Policy to find that though not demonstrated in this particular example, the newspaper does consider it important to report accurately with considered efforts to research balanced and fair articles. See an excerpt from the Editorial Policy below:
“The Directors also acknowledge that the rights and privileges extended to the newspapers’ journalists by the nation’s political and judicial institutions bring with them a duty to report the workings of those institutions fairly and accurately in the public interest. Fulfilment of this duty will require the newspapers to appeal to the widest possible cross-section of their communities, to maintain the highest standards and traditions of journalism and the English language and to provide training in the skills and principles of journalism to young people. The Board has therefore laid down broad parameters for the type of newspaper it believes will best meet this duty and has developed a set of ethical guidelines for the papers to follow. This in no sense implies any interference by the board in the day-to-day running of editorial. The Board of Seven West Media Limited requires its journalists and editors to adhere to principles of integrity, balance and fairness in all news gathering and presentation. The Board expects its newspapers to be probing, sceptical, honest, courageous and forthright. Fact and comment should be clearly delineated in all news reports. Every possible step should be taken to ensure the accuracy of reports and significant errors should be promptly corrected.”
WHERE TIME IS SPENT
I sat down last night and looked at where my time is spent, where my hours lie each week given that I have named this my ‘year of balance’ as an objective. I average about six hours of sleep per night (42 hours per week), around 48 hours per week working for my business and an average of about 35 hours per week working my other job, about 15 hours in commuting and personal grooming per week and around a further 24 hours per week in doing chores, fitness, and eating or preparing food. Of course, these hours vary, but it was an interesting exercise.
The key points for me are already obvious, in that I work perhaps too much. My goal is to generate more of my regular income doing the things I love and have greater skill and education in. At present this is a huge imbalance in my life which I would like to transform. I am working on it. Watch this space.
PUBLISH WHAT YOU LIKE
I do not feel the need any longer to justify my choice to write this blog nor post on social media. This site is a very different media space than that of a news publication and I am not a journalist. I do have integrity and am proud to control what I publish and how I choose to do so (owning ones own website means I am not at the mercy of the algorithms of a social media app, this is my space and where I spend most of my energy). I can post what I choose including goofy pictures such as the one on the right here, as long as I stick to my brand.
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF
I feel that being given a bad name for being a blogger by way of generalisation in our local media whom many people go to with trust, is disappointing. There are unprofessional people in any industry. Publishing an article which does not research both sides to the story where Perth based influencers are concerned is disrespectful.
I hope that you have found this article more interesting than if I had have chosen to write something along the lines of “here is what I wore out for breakfast”. Actually, I did wear this out for breakfast and I paid for it like everyone else.