The B word. - Lakatwalk - a fashion and lifestyle blog.

The B word.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Today is already Sunday and I am typing this post from Starbucks in London and blogger conference was on Friday in Zagreb as part of Dreft fashion week Zagreb activities. I waited purposefully for a couple of days to write and publish this post in order to gather my thoughts and clear my head.

Firstly, It's important to say that I am working for Dreft (P&G) and I was working on organizing this blogger conference therefor I will not comment on blogger conference organization and set up as I would not be objective but I will share, as I know first hand, what was the goal of the blogger conference and what it is that we were really trying to achieve with it.

The goal of the blogger conference was to share experiences, expectations and best practices in between Croatian bloggers, professional blogger Yvan Rodic - Facehunter, representatives of big companies (present were: Avon, Clinique, P&G, Estee Lauder PR representatives) and traditional and online media (present were:, Grazia, Story) as many traditional media have started to recruit and hire bloggers as columnist, stylists and contributors.

All of the guests we invited are by our opinion the best in their field and could contribute to dialog we were trying to start with the first blogger conference in this part of the Europe.

In the light of increasing number of new bloggers to blogger scene in Croatia, many local companies but also local offices of international companies are trying to work with bloggers as a separate and quite a powerful new consumer influencers and opinion formers with vast readership and social media following but they are often not sure how to approach them, measure them and compensate them for their work. Our (Dreft's) goal with this blogger conference was just to start this dialog in a more organize manner.

The feeling I had when leaving the conference was that our communication at the blogger conference was missing a bit of open mindedness and true desire to understand each other in a more productive and respectful manner. It almost felt like BLOGGER is becoming a dirty word in Croatia, people are ashamed to be classified as bloggers because of the way some bloggers communicate and behave, which is not really healthy for our media environment but the reason why this is so is two fold in my opinion.

First reason is that many local bloggers although they would like to be percieved as professional bloggers, lack transparency towards their readers, profesionality and maturity to be taken seriously by companies but also to gain respect and credibility by traditional media representatives.

To give example, many have announced and got accredited for blogger conference but at the end, didn't come, some just called for goodybags delivery later. Some according to Dino from Style Brick Road blog have Chinese online shops which produce fake designers clothes as blog sponsors so they are ashamed to share with their readers that the clothes they wear is actually fake so they do not fully disclose it, which is in my opinion wrong on so many levels. One can be a very successful blogger without having money to wear expensive designer clothes and disclosing to their readers when your post is sponsored, paid for and/or you recieved merchadise as a gift. At the end, it' all about the trust. If you want to be a professional blogger - act professionally! 

Secondly, inability to innovate in digital environment and preasure of selling ads without real creative local approach makes some representatives of traditional media a bit bitter and fearfull of the future which also affects their attitude towards bloggers as a new speedily increasing influencer on Croatian media scene.

As Lucija Biondic, the editor of said, Croatia is a young market and online media market of lifestyle and fashion portals and especially blogs, but also traditional media will clear out with time and only the good quality ones will survive longterm as there is realistically way to many media outlets in Croatia in comparison to the size of the Croatian speaking market and its buying and consuming power.

In the end, my perspective as a blogger is that I would like to be treated by traditional media representatives, fellow bloggers and company representatives with the same respect I give to them. 

   Just like they invest their passion and knowledge in their editorials and relationship with their partners I - (as a one women show :)  invest all of my free time, money, passion and love for fashion for more then last five years in developing my blog's content, building relationships and learning together with my blog's partners, publisher, the editor of the papers where I write my column, my friends bloggers and most importantly my blog readers.

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