Lets have a little chat about why people really shouldn’t be moaning about influencers being gifted trips and holidays shall we? Someone messaged me last week on Instagram to tell me how cross they were that my family was on YET ANOTHER gifted holiday, I mean did we pay for anything ourselves or just swan around turning our kids into spoilt brats (curve ball – the answer is yes we do pay for things ourselves.)
Firstly, I write this as a so called influencer and I’d like to point out that we didn’t choose that title, influencers remain dubbed by the media and general public. I speak to a lot of “colleagues” and their attitude is often that they would rather be known as instagrammers, youtubers, bloggers or if they combine “content creator”, because that is what we do… which brings me to the first point in this post.
Reasons why YOU can’t moan about #gifted holidays (well, you can but it makes you a bit of a twat):
1.) Content creation – we does it, you google it. For free.
So if you’ve ever googled anything to do with “baby on a plane”, “best holiday locations for small kids”, “breastfeeding abroad” or ANYTHING at all relating to holidays then chances are that you will land on a blog and it will answer your question. I know, that doesn’t mean the person needs a FREE holiday right? Jesus wept, we should all be spending hours editing photos, compiling tips, drafting and linking to promote the holiday location we just paid for like REAL journalists who write for the mags we used to buy to tell us top holiday locations prior to the tinterweb… wait, what’s that you say? They were given free holidays back then in exchange for content just not in a digital format?! The holiday locations PAY journos? Fuck me sideways I had no clue… also, haven’t you been abroad Barbara? Why didn’t you review it and leave your top tips, best restaurant tips and answer every Tom, Dick and Harry’s question about it… or better yet, answer the question you were googling and using free digital content to answer…
2.) It upsets me because I want to go on holiday and I can’t aﬀord it so I should automatically be more worthy despite offering nothing in return in terms of that aforementioned free content…
I mean it upsets me when I see Kim Kardashian’s yacht but I have as of yet to have a hissy fit over it. It’s jealously plain and simple. Internalise that shizzle and fuck oﬀ. No really. This culture of “I can’t afford it so I should automatically be given it over him/her” is bollocks.
Here’s the clincher: most ‘influencers’ can’t afford to create free content for you to google/consume via their channels and pay for a holiday every time – and the only people benfitting from that scenario are the ones that own the massive companies. Despite popular belief, we’re not all married to wealthy businessmen or celebs and just doing this because we’re bored. It’s simply so unrealistic to expect something to be created for people to consume FOR FREE but then be angry about the way it was created. Can you IMAGINE the outrage if @Whoever wrote a fab review about how to cope at Disneyland with a baby and hadn’t even been. Queue fake comments en masse in 3, 2, 1… you can’t have it both ways poppet. Should holidays be “gifted” to talented writers regardless of their social media count? 100% – and they are. Journalists who bring a non-digital oﬀering to the table, I have been on countless panels with travel journos and they are wayyyy better travelled than my family, for “free”. Smaller niche social media accounts are also frequently gifted stays/reviews, though not as much as they could be but this industry is a baby and has a lot to learn! If you are sour because you can’t afford something and you want to be cross about the fact that someone is gifted something when they could afford it, aim your annoyance at the MANY celebs who have everything gifted with no request to promote anything, no intention to create content and deliberately hide it from you. Now that is shite.
3. It’s automatically biased because it was a gift. Trip advisor reviews are done by paying customers and genuine.
Unless you’ve seen the documentary proving that tripadvisor can be (and oh so frequently is) manipulated by marketeers in order to rank a place higher… yeah, shits on that theory a bit.
I think I can meet people half way on this one though – you will get people that simply won’t say anything negative or offer a critical review because it was gifted but I think they are few and far between – most people are honest because no one really wants to read that someone took their advice and is having a terrible time. I would feel terrible if someone came at me on the aggressive because something I had recommended was naff, and I would lose all credibility because if there is one thing that people love to do, it’s moan about perceived wrongs.
4. Companies should focus on REAL people or charities.
And they do. Easy way to break it down: Influencers take up company marketing budget, charity takes up company goodwill/charity budget. This is business at the end of the day and whether people like it or not, it’s the way it has always been and the way it will always be, despite some grumpy people on the internet writing about how cross it makes them. FYI influencers ARE real people and that is what ultimately pisses everyone off about a “free” holiday as they see it – because they could do it themselves if they could be arsed.
If you’re enraged by this, ask WHY? Literally how many times have you contacted the local newspaper to lose your mind over the fact that their journo went to Spain to write about the new parks there and didn’t even give you the courtesy of letting you know that the trip was a paid for review? How many times have you told Celeb A she’s dodgy af for not telling you that hotel room isn’t paid for by her team?
This is nothing new, influencers are just the new recipients of it all.