If you’re an avid blog reader then chances are you have heard about the upcoming SA Beauty Blog Awards and the supposed controversy surrounding it. If you have no potting clue what I’m on about then lucky you, because, in my opinion it’s been a lot of hoo-ha over nothing. While I’ve tried my best to be Switzerland throughout all the complaining, with the awards coming up on the 22nd of August I wanted to throw my opinion into the hat because I feel like it’s high-time everyone dropped their pitchforks. Here’s why I’m excited for the awards and why you, the readers should be too!
I also got the chance to interview the organisers of the awards and gave them the opportunity to set the record straight on a few things so, keep reading to see what they had to say about the issues raised by the beauty blogging community.
Too legit to quit
One of the biggest reasons I’m excited about the South African Beauty Blog Awards is that it’s a chance to legitimise the hard work so many bloggers put into their blogs. Let’s face it; there are a lot of blogs out there and the beauty blogging arena is quite saturated with everyone and their sister starting a blog about their favourite beauty products. For me, these awards are a great way for the best-of-the-best blogs to shine while also helping readers navigate their way through all the nonsense.
I asked the organisers why they decided to start the SA Beauty Blog Awards and loved the admiration they showed for the blogging community. In fact they don’t just see beauty blogging as a community, they see it as an industry and one that they want to see grow in years to come:
“We saw this as an opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of beauty bloggers, many of whom do so whilst holding down full-time jobs, and we felt that their commitment should be recognised,” said representative, Greg Gunner. “We understand that bloggers work hard and unless you are one of the elite few, blogging is done for the love of it, and not for financial reward.” Another important reason they started the awards was to “bring bloggers and brands to a social event so they can foster better relations, and all whilst supporting a worthy charity,” said Greg.
It’s not about us
Yes, that’s right, being involved in the awards also means helping to support a worthy cause. I feel like people have forgotten all about the fact that this isn’t really about us; it’s about having the opportunity to support the Look Good. Feel Better workshops and all the good they are doing for women affected by cancer. Not only will all the proceeds from the awards be donated to Look Good. Feel Better but the awards will also help to raise awareness for this wonderful charity. In my mind, that’s more than enough reason to drop the pitchforks and get excited about being involved.
The organisers reviewed a few charities (including The Breast Foundation and The Skin Cancer Foundation) before deciding on Look Good. Feel Better. “We opted for Look Good Feel Better as they had a better fit with the beauty industry,” said Greg. “They are established, operate internationally and do several workshops that some of the bloggers have been to since we announced the awards.” Greg also pointed out that the award’s headline sponsors, TanOrganic also have a strong association with raising awareness for cancer worldwide so it was a good fit all around.
I know a few bloggers have raised concerns about where the money from the sponsors is going and when chatting to the organisers they were adamant that they are 100 percent transparent with their costs and have been working with Connect Fund Grow, an organisation that helps charities and brands connect, and provides transparency. According to Greg, all the funds coming in and going out, go through Connect Fund Grow. “Once the event is over, we will release the total costs and the amount given to Look Good. Feel Better,” said Greg. “Our process of providing transparency goes beyond what is normally seen for events of this nature and no organisation is profiting from the funds raised.”
Lastly, the organisers have been accused of avoiding the question when asked about where the money from the sponsors is going but when I asked they answered without hesitation and informed me that they estimate the total cost of the event at R112 000 and their goal is to raise over R200 000 with the event – sounds pretty transparent to me.
We’re not for sale
Besides all that money hoo-ha there were also concerns around bloggers details being sold and bloggers being ‘used’ as bait for sponsors but the organisers say that this is not the case. “We are not selling any information,” said Greg. “Our objective is to connect sponsors with bloggers and this is the only use of the entrants’ information.” Originally one of the conditions of entry online was agreeing to your details being added to a database but the organisers have explained that they have now revised the rules of entry and removed the database entry. In its place is a new opt-in system where bloggers will be allowed to choose whether they may share information with the sponsors of the event. “Naturally the list of blogs we have is what sponsors want”, as they are keen to build relationships with bloggers,” said Greg. “We see this as an opportunity for bloggers and brands to connect.”
So, this one I get. Everyone hates their information being sold off to goodness knows who but as a blogger the idea of making connections and building relationships is an important one. Maybe it’s just me, but how can it be a bad thing to get in touch with more brands and be offered more opportunities to work with them? Connecting with brands can lead to having more access to products for review, securing your own sponsorship deals with them down the line, or finding experts to interview and consult for upcoming blog posts. It’s called networking people.
Famous last words
At the end of the day, the organisers of the awards seem to have their hearts in the right place. When chatting to them they acknowledged that they had some teething problems in the beginning but are working towards ensuring that the awards run smoothly next year and for years to come.
“We know that the SA Beauty Blog Awards are the new kids on the block, and in the organisation of its first iteration we have inadvertently stepped on a few toes,’ said Greg. “Despite a few setbacks, we have not lost sight of our main aim, to acknowledge the many good beauty blogs in the country, and more importantly, raise proceeds to donate to a very worthy charity.” As for next year’s awards Greg said that they plan to “continue to encourage the growth of the blogging industry and to continuously partner with a charitable cause with these events.”
For more information on the awards visit the Beauty Blog Awards website.
For more information on Look Good Feel Better click here.