{iStyle} Social Media Bloggettes & the Haute Fashion idiots who IGNORE them

This is part one of Haute Social Media: Fashion, Makeup & Anna Wintour 2.0

So maybe it’s just me, but I really get ticked when I come across a “Social Media Guru/PR Expert” handling a makeup brand or fashion line who is an idiot with absolutely no grasp of social media, professional decorum and who treats their brand’s outlet as if it was their own personal Facebook page.

The sad thing is, there seems to be a lot of them out there these days…on Twitter especially. It not only irks me, but it saddens me because these people are ruining the name of some really great, top of the line brands.

And while, not naming any names – if you think hard enough, especially, in terms of Twitter, I’m sure you can think of exactly who (and there are more than one) I’m talking about; these “gurus & publicists” make you cringe.

They don’t the first thing about professionalism, they don’t know the first thing about social media, but there they are, in front your face, representing your favourite brands.

It’s ridiculous.

I’d seriously like to know when it was acceptable to conveniently @reply to your friends only, tweet about your headaches and completely ignore Direct Messages/e-mails (or @replies) from bloggers and other ‘media’ people interested in talking to you.

And THAT my friends, is the BIGGEST problem with the Fashion/Makeup industry today using social media – they don’t know how to use it and hire the wrong people who do more harm than good to their brand.

I know these people are not single-handedly ruining the brands they represent, but if I, or anyone else with sense, had to judge these brands by these people alone – we would avoid them like the plague.

While, I’m sure some of these “PR gal[s]” and “Publicists” might be very nice, very sweet and probably are smart girls in real life – on the Internet, where the rest of us see them, representing these Grade A brands – they are horrendous:-

Image via WeHeartIt.

Return e-mails/DMs/@Replies

Basically, it doesn’t matter if you are in fashion, makeup, medical supplies, school books or the toilet paper industry – if you are in charge of an outlet and a person contacts you with a legitimate inquiry – you are supposed to answer them.

This is your job.

Your job isn’t to spend all day letting the rest of us know how you are going down the street for coffee, that you are going to [insert brand’s name here]’s party tonight, that your bones ache from the gym yesterday or that the streets of New York City make you smile.

Honey, if this is all you have to say, you should be F-I-R-E-D because, guess what?

You haven’t shared one bit of information with me, you don’t return e-mails, you are annoying and I’ve “unfollowed” you because you clog up my feed with nonsense.

Great job little miss “guru” and thanks for giving the rest of us a bad name…

Image via WeHeartIt.

Don’t tweet about nonsense

While, I’m really happy that your [insert brand here] just launched this “amazing new line” – I didn’t need to read about it every day, all day for the entire week.

You’re brand’s Twitter page, isn’t your personal Facebook page or SPAM-network.

That’s what a lot of the “gurus” these brands are hiring simply do not understand. While, some of these people interact, it’s on a very superficial, very limited level and is typically followed by another ten tweets of random, utter nonsense.

With work like this – outside of Hauteland, when you want to join the rest of us – we won’t want you because we’ve already seen how much you “know.”

If you’re a fashion/cosmetics brand, might I suggest actually checking up on your “gurus” and Internet “publicists.”

They might live to die for your brand and be your biggest fans, but that’s all they are, FANS; unqualified and detrimental to your social media presence.

Have ever visited PRCouture? If not, Crobsy, who owns it, puts up some of the most insightful and useful social media-fashion tips around.

If you are a brand and you are reading this, you may even want to read one of her more recent posts from earlier this year that speaks about pitching to people over Twitter.

Well, here’s the thing, it works BOTH ways, to the “following” and the “followers.” You might learn something about social media, blogging and fashion PR 2.0.

Image via WeHeartIt.

Share information…that isn’t only about your brand

It’s like watching a really bad version of Britney’s Circus…except with real people and pretty clothes and the best makeup around….

While, I’m happy, you’re super happy that [insert brand here] is having a 30% off sale this week – you didn’t need to tweet about it every single day, multiple times a day and respond to every @reply letting them know on Twitter.

It’s annoying.

Social media isn’t about you, no matter who you are.

Social media is about sharing and if every single click I click on leads me to your “purchase” page or only your blog – that’ isn’t smart marketing and you’re not being slick. You’re being stupid because I can see right through you, you’ve just wasted my time and given me a reason to ignore you…and might I add, fashion or cosmetics or not, the public relations and social media community is very small. Don’t think that “word” doesn’t travel. Some of us may not know you, but we’ll know OF you.

I’m not saying if you are Apple, for example, you need to tweet about what Microsoft is doing. I’m saying if you are Apple, you can tweet about what’s going on over at Tech Crunch, Mashable or PC World.

Apply the same strategy to fashion and cosmetics brands.

Dan Schawbel, a branding, web 2.0 and Gen-Y expert, put something very smart on his Twitter on Thursday:

PERSONAL BRANDING TIP: Promoting other people actually helps promote you in the process.

Smart man, he also said:-

PERSONAL BRANDING TIP: Show people that you work hard and they’ll respect you that much more!

Ask yourself, what would Audrey do?

I’ll tell you what she would do, she would tell you…

Image via WeHeartIt.

“Please don’t TwitPic THAT, oh my goodness!”

This is the worst of them all and I really can’t stand it for the life of me: these “gurus” tweet their latest pictures on TwitPic…of themselves. Or they post a blog – but it’s all about their day or week at whatever event is going on.

While, it is great to see some humanization of a brand, it’s absolutely NOT cool to let these narcissistic twits tweet and blog about themselves, exposing themselves via a well-known brand and making people wonder if your HR department has lost their sanity.

While, again, not naming any names, I came across one profile recently, belonging to a huge brand that just blew me away…in the wrong direction.

I mean we are talking about one of the motherships of cosmetics and the person who runs their Twitter posts TwitPic links on random things like food, New York and the makeup she does on herself.

The food and the New York things aren’t a big deal because she’s being personable, friendly and showing rather than telling – but as for these makeup shots, they are NOT COOL.

We are talking about someone who a) is not a makeup artist, and if she is, I woudn’t ever pay her to do mine b) does not hold a torch to the makeup artists this specific brand produces. But, yet, is using their products, bragging and asking this brand’s “followers” how she did on her “look” and if she looks good.

#PR FAIL. #PR FAIL. #PR FAIL.

Did you get that?

#PR FAIL. #PR FAIL. #PR FAIL.

I thought it was a one-time deal – then I realized she does this ALL the time. It goes back to even a year ago.

You mean to tell me this social media nightmare-fashion-makeup-person has been loose that long…on her own? Hello? Someone? Anyone who works for this Grade A brand who is her boss? Where are you?

And there you have it, the sadness of social media in Hauteland.

Image via WeHeartIt.

Fashion and Cosmetics companies NEED to do themselves a favour and stop hiring their fans, who are only that, their fans.

They need to step it up and hire qualified people, who actually understand social media, who are responsible and mature – inside the workplace and online for the workplace.

If not, sure these brands will continue to sell, they always do – but the respected people in the public relations and social media industries will never ever take them (or the brand they work for) seriously. And when push comes to shove, as a Grade A brand, you want to be taken seriously as a professional in as many fields as possible. Your people will never get invited to speak at a Blog Her event, make the list to be keynote for a PRSA conference etc.

Just because a business is based on the seemingly superficial,  doesn’t mean it needs to act the way it looks.

I know these brands didn’t grow to the level they are now by being silly and playing with pigments all day.

Understand something, we are public relations people, we see everything we are supposed to see, when and where we are supposed to see it. We do it even when it’s not our job because this is how we are built. So we’ll see “you” even if we’re not looking at “you.” It sounds scary I know, but it won’t matter if you don’t have our full attention.

But this issue, these “gurus” and “publicists” — they have our attention.

And I’m telling you, “Hauteson, we have a problem.”

~*~

Heck, if you’re a fashion or makeup brand out there and you’re looking for someone who knows social media AND public relations – hire me. I’ll represent you well 🙂

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.

Copyright © 2009 SashaH. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

  1. I couldn;t have said it better myself……re-tweeting now! LOL…

  2. For some reason, they all populate in Fashion/Cosmetics PR land…I just DO
    NOT get it.

    haha, thanks chica 🙂

  3. @mikeschaffer says:

    So tell us how you really feel about this?? 😉

    I think the main problem here is that “Social Media Expert” is seen as an entry-level position by most companies. Their thinking is “well, you're young…go get em!”

    And while some people may understand how to write 140-character messages, they don't have a clue how the PR industry works.

    Having worked on many different types of projects, the principles of PR for a tech company, a mixed martial arts show and a basketball team are all the same. Knowing how to promote smartly is a huge step that you can't expect an intern or just-graduated person to understand.

    That isn't a knock on education at all…it just means that after a few projects, you're better at your job than on the first day at the office.

    Aren't NFL quarterbacks generally better after some seasoning? Same thing applies to publicists.

    It's a shame that these brands are doing themselves a disservice by putting very inexperienced people in such a visible position.

  4. Thanks, Sasha, for your very spirited post. I enjoyed it and learned from it. Problem is, as you infer early in your post, new social media pros are learning some of this stuff from the “gurus.” It comes off as major ego instead of humanity. I follow some of them to see what they're doing, but their egos are getting to be too much for me. It doesn't help that the companies that are hiring new young professionals don't have a clue as to what social media is all about. So there's no mentoring and no understanding of nuance.

    Thanks, again. Keep telling it like it is.

  5. lol, yes, that's how I feel.

    It's really sad more than anythning else because some of these brands are
    the most upper market of brands. They have individual stores in the upper
    market strip malls or are strictly available online or in places like Saks
    and Nordstroms…but then you see these girls who are clueless.

    But what I didn't tell you Mike, is that some of these “gurus” aren't fresh
    out of school — the one in my example about the PR Fail is in her early
    30s, late 20s at the earliest…she's been doing this for awhile. I looked
    her up on LinkedIn — she had another job in a similar company previous to
    this…but it wasn't PR and it wasn't social media.

    Interesting, isn't it?

  6. Yes, there is no mentoring because no one has done it before and the people
    they are hiring are fans, not real professionals.

    One of the ones in my example from above who has a habit of only @replying
    to her “friends” — for some reason I paid extra attention to her today. I
    DMed her and @replied her — she never once spoke to me. I sent her a
    question, AFTER she tweeted (twice in fact) to tweet her questions, comments
    etc., But she was there, and I know she was getting them — she was tweeting
    like every couple of seconds for about three hours today.

    What's even more interesting is her consistent use of “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” after
    every sentence, as if one “!” isn't enough?

    The thing is, we can laugh — but at the same time, we should be angry
    because these people are giving our industry a bad name, and the companies
    that hire them aren't helping the situation either.

    For some reason, these “gurus” of Internet PR/social media live in cosmetics
    and fashion land and you can find them on Twitter — it is ridiculous what
    you see. No lie.

    You saw it for yourself.

  7. lol, yes, that's how I feel.

    It's really sad more than anythning else because some of these brands are
    the most upper market of brands. They have individual stores in the upper
    market strip malls or are strictly available online or in places like Saks
    and Nordstroms…but then you see these girls who are clueless.

    But what I didn't tell you Mike, is that some of these “gurus” aren't fresh
    out of school — the one in my example about the PR Fail is in her early
    30s, late 20s at the earliest…she's been doing this for awhile. I looked
    her up on LinkedIn — she had another job in a similar company previous to
    this…but it wasn't PR and it wasn't social media.

    Interesting, isn't it?

  8. Yes, there is no mentoring because no one has done it before and the people
    they are hiring are fans, not real professionals.

    One of the ones in my example from above who has a habit of only @replying
    to her “friends” — for some reason I paid extra attention to her today. I
    DMed her and @replied her — she never once spoke to me. I sent her a
    question, AFTER she tweeted (twice in fact) to tweet her questions, comments
    etc., But she was there, and I know she was getting them — she was tweeting
    like every couple of seconds for about three hours today.

    What's even more interesting is her consistent use of “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” after
    every sentence, as if one “!” isn't enough?

    The thing is, we can laugh — but at the same time, we should be angry
    because these people are giving our industry a bad name, and the companies
    that hire them aren't helping the situation either.

    For some reason, these “gurus” of Internet PR/social media live in cosmetics
    and fashion land and you can find them on Twitter — it is ridiculous what
    you see. No lie.

    You saw it for yourself.

  9. @mikeschaffer says:

    So tell us how you really feel about this?? 😉

    I think the main problem here is that “Social Media Expert” is seen as an entry-level position by most companies. Their thinking is “well, you're young…go get em!”

    And while some people may understand how to write 140-character messages, they don't have a clue how the PR industry works.

    Having worked on many different types of projects, the principles of PR for a tech company, a mixed martial arts show and a basketball team are all the same. Knowing how to promote smartly is a huge step that you can't expect an intern or just-graduated person to understand.

    That isn't a knock on education at all…it just means that after a few projects, you're better at your job than on the first day at the office.

    Aren't NFL quarterbacks generally better after some seasoning? Same thing applies to publicists.

    It's a shame that these brands are doing themselves a disservice by putting very inexperienced people in such a visible position.

  10. Thanks, Sasha, for your very spirited post. I enjoyed it and learned from it. Problem is, as you infer early in your post, new social media pros are learning some of this stuff from the “gurus.” It comes off as major ego instead of humanity. I follow some of them to see what they're doing, but their egos are getting to be too much for me. It doesn't help that the companies that are hiring new young professionals don't have a clue as to what social media is all about. So there's no mentoring and no understanding of nuance.

    Thanks, again. Keep telling it like it is.

  11. lol, yes, that's how I feel.

    It's really sad more than anythning else because some of these brands are

    the most upper market of brands. They have individual stores in the upper

    market strip malls or are strictly available online or in places like Saks

    and Nordstroms…but then you see these girls who are clueless.

    But what I didn't tell you Mike, is that some of these “gurus” aren't fresh

    out of school — the one in my example about the PR Fail is in her early

    30s, late 20s at the earliest…she's been doing this for awhile. I looked

    her up on LinkedIn — she had another job in a similar company previous to

    this…but it wasn't PR and it wasn't social media.

    Interesting, isn't it?

  12. Yes, there is no mentoring because no one has done it before and the people

    they are hiring are fans, not real professionals.

    One of the ones in my example from above who has a habit of only @replying

    to her “friends” — for some reason I paid extra attention to her today. I

    DMed her and @replied her — she never once spoke to me. I sent her a

    question, AFTER she tweeted (twice in fact) to tweet her questions, comments

    etc., But she was there, and I know she was getting them — she was tweeting

    like every couple of seconds for about three hours today.

    What's even more interesting is her consistent use of “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” after

    every sentence, as if one “!” isn't enough?

    The thing is, we can laugh — but at the same time, we should be angry

    because these people are giving our industry a bad name, and the companies

    that hire them aren't helping the situation either.

    For some reason, these “gurus” of Internet PR/social media live in cosmetics

    and fashion land and you can find them on Twitter — it is ridiculous what

    you see. No lie.

    You saw it for yourself.