How To Treat Creatives In 2018

So I'm back with another honest post.  
Again, this one isn't aimed at anyone in particular, but I've seen far too many tweets and insta-stories of creatives being taken for granted and being pissed off by things that just shouldn't be happening. 

I've been on both sides of the fence which I've mentioned a number of times on this site. But for you newbies, heres the lowdown: Before becoming an artist I studied PR for three years and worked in the industry for four. 
The majority of my 'career' was spent in the fashion industry so I have a pretty good insight into influencer outreach. 

I think it should be made clear that most PR's know what they're doing but sadly they're answering to a higher power. 

When you're working for a brand, you kind of lose all sense of your etiquette and your standards. As a blogger or a creative, I would never ask someone to work for free or do any of the things I'm going to mention in this post. But as a PR, I was answering to the brand and my boss, and when you're answering to a brand, you have to put their ideas before yours. 
There were times when I had to ask friends (who create insanely good content and work their asses off) to work for free, for 'the exposure' or 'in return for some amazing products', which in reality only cost about 2 quid. 

So, with that being said: This blog post is aimed more at brands rather than the people who are speaking on behalf of those brands, but some of the points are relevant and aimed at PRs when it comes down to email etiquette and general sloppiness.


1. Names

The first point is genuinely just down to people being lazy and trying to get things done as quickly as possible (which says to me you don't care). 
For me, there is quite literally nothing more irritating than someone getting my name wrong. I recently said on Twitter, that if I had a £1 for every time someone called me Laura, I would be a millionaire. 
Laura isn't too bad since it's quite close to Lauren, but there has actually been times where I've been called Linda. LINDA. And at that point, you're not even going to get a reply from me. 
PRs and anyone sending an email: Please double check before sending said email and make sure you've got the name right. I think we're all guilty of this. To you, it looks like you're ticking everything off your to-do list so quickly, but to the person on the receiving end, you just look like a prick. 

2. No Budget

Can we all just agree to not get in contact with a creative if we don't have a budget? 
It's the equivalent of asking a plumber to do his job for free because you'll tell your mates. Exposure means shit in this day and age. If I get credited on Instagram I gain about 2 followers max. And not even engaging followers!
Equally, if you're approaching a creative, then I feel like it's much more time-saving to just open honestly with your budget and what you're looking for. 
There have been far too many times where I've been in a never-ending email chain discussing budget with a brand only for them to say they don't have enough at this moment.
Waste. Of. My. Time. 

3. Comparisons

Some people were actually shocked when I mentioned this on Instagram, but it's true and I'm not the only one it's happened to. 
A few times I have been asked for quotes, have provided, and then received an email from the brand claiming another illustrator or blogger charges half of what I do. 
Ok. Well, if you've already got quotes from that person and you're in contact with me, then you don't value that persons work very much do you.
Further to that, creatives don't just pick these numbers out of the sky. These are quotes that have been customised to your needs, the time it's going to take, the materials, and more to the point: Past experience. 
The majority of my prices are based on past clients. When I first started, I used to ask clients how much they thought I was worth and how much they were willing to be paid.
This provided the basis for my current pricing structure. 
Just don't be a douche and compare creatives prices, following or content. Not cool.

4. Jump on a call

Just no. Honestly, most creatives are full on introverts. We built online businesses because we literally don't want to speak to anyone. For me, I love seeing everything written in-front of me so I can refer to it at any time. And at the end of the day, we all put the contents of the phone call into an email afterwards anyway!
Emails were invented to avoid the time-consuming 'niceties' of a phone call, the 'how're you', the 'what have you been up-to' conversations, so why are we always proposing to 'jump on a call?'
No thanks :) 

For me, they are just four of the biggest annoyances I've come across when dealing with brands.
What's your pet-peeve? 

Lauren JohnstoneComment