I have been watching this Elle Darby debacle from afar and first thoughts were, yes the hotel owner is completely out of order, but having read the response from Elle I sadly now have a different opinion.
I want start by saying I’m not “trolling” or “Cyberbullying” I am simply giving my opinion as a 35 year old working woman.
Paul Stenson’s reaction was very unprofessional but as I do with all my potential clients, I did some research. It was apparent early on, just a few clicks, that this man has a reputation for calling people out and the approach made by Elle was like taking candy from a baby.
Paul took his chance and ran with it. He has since been featured over many platforms, both print and digital, all for sharing a controversial post he knew the young world of bloggers would jump on.
I use email marketing and social media for my business almost exclusively, I know I’m 35 how dare I!
Having done a bit of research I would have taken a different approach with this business and stayed at the hotel incognito and done an expose on the vile man who runs the place, or found out that it really is a wonderful place and ask him at the end if he would like some exposure. Come on, you’re a professional businesswoman surely you can afford a break away, surely you have a budget set aside for marketing and travelling?
I honestly thought the email came across as unprofessional with little thought put into it. Almost a copy and paste style email I used to send starting out. Asking for a freebie without a conversation over the phone or at least a few email exchanges. To be clear you did ask for asked for FREE accomodation with no mention of a discounted stay.
His reply, while absolutely awful, did have some valid points. I have lent my services to quite a number of bloggers on the understanding I would get fantastic coverage across social media and while I got the odd tweet any bookings came from my own self promotion. In fact the only “influencing” I experienced was bloggers asking for my services for free!! Their budget just can’t stretch that far but they promise long term benefits because their first event will go viral. More out of research and a nice night away, all paid for by me, I do the event.
When I do an event for free it can cost me anything between £100 -£250. In my line of work it is imperative I set aside a budget each year for marketing and offering freebies is a part of that strategy.
Interesting fact. I share my free events, around 6 per year, across two markets, the bloggers and charities and I get so much more interaction and future bookings from the charities I work with. They are so gracious and really understand the costs of me providing my services for free whereas, and I don’t mean to seem harsh here, the blogging community can’t seem to wait to see what is in their goody bag and taking selfies.
Every credit to Elle for having the ball’s to ask for a freebie outright. I personally would have expected a similar response albeit without the nastiness. A polite thanks but no thanks detailing the reasons why would have sufficed, but as I said Paul saw this as an opportunity to turn it into a positive for his hotel.
Regarding the Independent article I completely agree and I have often managed to get free spots at exhibitions and fayres because of my USP and the feature it provides at events, I just think she approached it all wrong without building up a working relationship first.
A media savvy person does their research and I think in this situation Elle unfortunately hasn’t come out on top. At the end of the day this can be put down to a bad day at the office, we all have them, look at the Zoella advent calendar scandal!
I was going to let it go and put it down to the fact that we all make mistakes and she is actually doing very well which I admire in any ambitious person, whatever they are doing.
A little way into her vlog she brings up the fact that any negative comment has come from the over 30’s and yes I have seen the follow up video, oh sorry Vlog, I went old school!!
She says she isn’t ageist but is literally despairing with her head in her hands at “older people” telling us that just because she can work from home at 22 anyone over 30 with a 9-5 job hasn’t aspired to their dreams. You did say that, you can’t deny it. Hey I’m not stupid and times have changed but I know people in their 50’s and 60’s who can run rings around me on Social Media. Never underestimate the older person, they have more life skills, knowledge and experience than any twenty-something or even thirty-something. Don’t get me wrong I did and said some outrageous things in my early twenties and I was always told, remember that in ten years time, your life can change in a day. How true.
I worked from the age of 14 in a bakery, hotels, corner shops saving hard for my dreams. Did I enjoy the 9-5 job, hell yes, it gave me life skills and experience with people from all walks of life and paid for me to live in America. I did this at 18 on my own and travelled the full West Coast and the full bredth of America ending up in New York were sadly I witnessed 9/11. A very sombre time for an 18 year old. Or anyone.
All I have to say is I paid for that whole experience myself and worked while I was there to pay for my experience. I wasn’t sat in my bedroom making Vlogs hoping to get enough hits for a free meal or stay in a hotel.
I have got nothing bad to say about bloggers and vloggers as they really have taken the world by storm, and are at a young age making good money. At least they are not scrounging of the state, but that’s a whole other issue. I know for a fact the hard work that goes into each post, a post that actually makes money anyway.
Without going on anymore, Elle, are you a 22 year old girl or a professional business woman?? Or, are you every time you get called out use anxiety and bullying as an excuse? You didn’t seem to be suffering from anxiety when you were calling out everyone over the age of 30.
Anxiety is not to be taken lightly but I think every time a blogger gets called out the word Anxiety is used several times in each post/vlog/instagram. If I put something out there I expect the comments back either positive or negative and I take them on the chin. Free speech, we all have our own opinion and if you put your opinion out there for the world to see expect a reaction. Personally for me, people suffering anxiety cannot cope with this, Zoella springs to mind in this particular thought. The phrase is used to easily. Accept you have mucked up, move on and stop blaming anyone over the age of 30. I saw some nasty comments don’t get me wrong but you have chosen your line of work and you have to accept the reaction when you have basically insulted over half the population. If this has upset you so much try working in a hotel or behind a shop counter and dealing with your anxiety when you encounter a difficult customer. You can’t hide behind a Vlog and turn of comments then.
I wish all the millenials well and hope you continue to make money but never underestimate the 35 year old events planner and 59 year old plumber. We work our arse off, maybe not to the dizzying heights of the Vloggers, Do we enjoy it? Yes we do (maybe Mario not so much, but who would unblock your toilet!) I’ve enjoyed every minute of my journey and it allows me to leave my bedroom on occasion.