How to Blog About a Push-Up Bra/ The Blogger and PR Dynamic

 Regardless of what you think about blogger and PR relations, as a blogger you are kind of entering into an agreement…

I get sent alot of different products to review. Sometimes they are easy to write about and sometimes you need to get a bit more creative. I appreciate when PR people send stuff my way. I feel an obligation to review or post about it, especially when they email me first asking if I’d like to receive it and I respond saying yes. Regardless of what you think about blogger and PR relations, as a blogger you are kind of entering into an agreement there. There is an understanding that you are accepting something in exchange for a review.

That said, you may not be a huge fan of the product you are sent. That is totally fair. No PR person in their right mind would ask a blogger to lie about how they felt about the product. That’s just wrong. Most bloggers just don’t mention the product at all if they don’t like it. I’ve done that and explained to the PR person who sent it to me that it wasn’t really up my alley. That’s respected.

If you don’t have any inclination to work with that PR company again, you may feel such explicit hatred for a product that you decide to bash it on your site. That’s fine too. But you’ll probably be flagged by the PR company who sent you that product and the next time they have something amazing that you’d be perfect for, well, they’ll probably just pass it on to another eager blogger who loves amazing stuff and opportunities and isn’t an ungrateful brat. Remember bloggers, PR companies help keep you in the “review” business, so play the bloody game.

Last part on this tour of Sidetrack Cafe, PR companies, don’t harass bloggers for stats. It’s annoying and rude. Unless you’re paying me in cold hard cash and not candy, I don’t have to reveal anything.

Whoa. Where am I going with all this? This started out as a post about the new Calvin Klein Push Positive Bra and it turned into something completely different. I’d say its a build-up of frustration that has occurred from playing both sides of the fence recently.

Before I bore you any further, let’s move on to my review of the new Calvin Klein Push Positive Bra, who’s PR company, BTW, is a joy to work with. They pre-qualified me by sending an email asking if I’d like to receive the bra and have never harassed me or have been pushy for stats or anything else. Just a pleasant and happy relationship. :)

Obviously I said yes to their email.  Most guys don’t realize, but a good bra is NOT cheap. And there is also a difference between a good bra and a sexy bra. Most good bras are not sexy and most sexy bras are not good (by good, I mean actually useful in supporting your boobs, what bras were made for in the first place).

But I’m not a nun. I want an attractive bra that makes me feel sexy and one that also still does its job. So I was thrilled when the new bra arrived.

It’s a pretty dark green colour, and it is so so comfortable. Also, the push is definitely positive. I’m well proportioned to begin with and this bra takes me from Jennifer Love Hewitt to Pamela Anderson (boobwise of course).

So that’s great. I can tell you about the results. But I was struggling with how I could actually demonstrate them. I’m not at that phase in my life yet where I want to start posing in bras on my site. So I decided to do a test.

I wore the bra out on a Saturday to hang out with my gay friend and three girlfriends. At one point in the conversation, one of the girls said, “Val, I’m sorry, I just cannot stop looking at your boobs”. I started talking about the bra and because we were all tipsy at that point, let Marie snap a photo and tweet it. Within minutes, I had a ton of girls asking where they could buy the bra.

The Push Positive Bra is a product I totally recommend. It’s comfortable and still sexy and does the job. The Push Positive is available at The Bay and is also really affordable.

Thanks for listening to my rant. Happy Tuesday xo

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  • Smichm

    OH MY GOD – I totally agree with the pestering PR people. Especially since we play on both teams (pr and blogging). I’ve even had a PR gal email me asking for my blog stats after a story I wrote about a company I liked, which happened to be her client… but that PR company didn’t even pitch me on that company/story! This is NOT your story and you have no right to ask for my personal information! GAH

  • Mark Hoffberg

    Not to beat a dead horse because we had this discussion already, the request from stats is three fold:
    1- they’re charting the reach they’ve achieved for their bosses
    2- they’re responding to old metrics from TV, radio and magazines. They all have hard numbers and expect that others to have them to
    3- the liars; trying to find out who is full of it and who they can trust. They’ve delt with them in magazines for sure, they’re trying not to gamble.

    In saying all that, the items that they offer for review cost them next to nothing. They’ll sell it to bloggers/reviewers that they’re receiving XX dollars in stuff, but that $80 bra has a promotional cost near closer to 1/20th that, including sending it to you. In fact the full price of a product includes absorbing the cost of sending out marketing/review samples.

    Your policy is probably the best one I’ve seen so far though, stats for paying jobs. By staying firm to that and having the prepared response you save yourself a lot of headaches and being measured against every one else endlessly. But understanding if money is exchanging hands they’d expect a lot of metrics in their investments.

  • Amanda N

    A lot of companies ask me for my stats, viewership, and I never really know how to respond. If I’m asking -them- to review something, should I have a document prepared with info for them?

  • abc123

    I’ve been asked as well. But having worked in PR, I can tell you they don’t ask for stats because they’re using it to rank you or for any other tier-minded reasons. They need stats for results reports for the client. Client X wants to hock product Y. Product Y appears on blog. They need to know how many impressions that blog post made in order to justify such activity for the client. Even if it’s only 100 eyeballs that saw the post – that’s helpful. More useful for the client’s understanding than no information at all. Otherwise, the publicist could just be handing out product to some random friend with some crap blog (… although, that happens too, of course). And there’s only a million small boutique agencies in Toronto, so keeping up with the joneses in your results report is -kind of- important.

  • Anonymous

    I get that. I also work in PR and the client is important. BUT they still have zero right unless they are paying me. I wrote about their product and that’s that. It is important to keep up but it is also important to be able to trust the agency you are with. I refuse to ask people for stats as a PR person unless I’m paying them.

  • Smichm

    Oh – I understand reporting. But I also understand the feeble attempts mentioned above to get blogger stats can be perceived as falling into any of these categories: A) ethically questionable, claiming coverage you didn’t generate in your coverage report B) bothersome to request for numbers to which you are not entitled C) potentially regarded as lazy/unprofessional to not just check tools like quantcast/compete/MRP/etc for stats.

    At the end of the day, it’s about relationship building – if someone has built a relationship with a blogger and asked for stats, chances are the bloggers wouldn’t find themselves bothered by this. I’ve heard many bloggers voice that they find a feeling of entitlement from some (not all) PR people towards blogs… that blogs are frequently treated like the ugly stepsisters of media relations – would these PR people ever reach out to a traditional publication with some of the same requests? (requests include: can you add more pictures? Can you add our key messages? Can you send me your stats even though I’m not paying you?)

    It’s an interesting dilemma and clear niche for people who are willing to take the time to develop relationships (like the good old days of PR). Have we become lazy with PR in a digital age? Have we hired too many people with no PR skills? Have traditional PR people been thrown into blogger relations and have no respect for the blogging media?

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm I’ve been getting this request more often lately. I’ve just given them the information in the past even though I felt a bit weird but I just assumed it was part of their job. From your comments I’m seeing that’s not necessarily the case.