Thursday, 4 January 2018

What's Next for Grey Fox Blog in 2018? Blogging and Brands

Today's my 63rd birthday and, with the year still new, I've been thinking about the future of the blog. I've really enjoyed the past year: the blog passed its sixth birthday in December and several productive collaborations have helped me to manage costs. I've been very touched by all those followers, retailers and manufacturers who've supported Grey Fox and thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

With Harry at the last Grey Fox Photoshoot. Image Polskey

Not all has gone smoothly. I want to expand on this because the story I now tell has encouraged a change of approach for 2018 on this blog; if you're not interested you can skip the next two paragraphs to read my planned changes to the blog. 

Earlier in 2017 I invited three favourite British brands to take part in a collaboration with Investec Bank which saw them receiving considerable coverage on social media and before thousands at The Derby in early June. Despite this free publicity, one of the brands, Lock Hatters, who were apparently happy to take part in the collaboration, cut off all contact and refused to lend me a hat for a photoshoot. I've had no explanation for this and my disappointment at what I interpreted as an ungracious response may seem like a petty gripe on my part but it has led to a  rethink of the blog's approach to working with brands.

It's very rare for unthinking brands to take bloggers for granted and I'd only experienced one other similarly uncivil brand before, but it has meant that I will now expect something in return for the blog's collaboration. This could be anything from a simple acknowledgment of the blog by the brand on social media through to payment for my time and following. Small brands, start-ups and those with no budget will always have my support, but I feel the those who can pay, or positively benefit from the blog in some other way, should do so. I explain how I work in more detail in my Media Pack (contact below).

Changes to the Blog in 2018

The costs of maintaining the blog are considerable, but I don't want to undermine its authentic voice by becoming too commercial. Accordingly my aims for 2018 are as follows:

1. To expect something (just a 'thank you' shout out on social media is often enough) from brands wanting a mention here or on social media. See my Media Pack.

2. To return to the basic issues of the blog. My search for style as an older man and supporting British manufacture are important (but not exclusive) themes and I want to return to them in a more focused way. I will also continue to remind brands that they ignore the 50 plus demographic at their financial peril.

3. To pass on some of my learning from 6 years of blogging. My search for style continues but I have many tips to pass on to followers. While not as expert as many, they are forged in the heat of personal experience.

4. To explore the concept of style in a context wider than just clothes, accessories and appearance. How do our lifestyle choices (cars, eating, fitness, reading, holidays) affect our personal style?

4. To organise more Grey Fox Photoshoots to raise funds for the blog and also to allow brands to access an older market through the blog's followers.

I continue to focus on the blog and Instagram, but am always considering other media. As ever, please keep in touch and email or message me with your thoughts and suggestions. Media Packs are available on request. Contact me here.


Rob said...

The new approach sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Beeman said...

I’ve been following your blog for several years, and am very happy with the direction you’re taking it. Please don’t be too Londoncentric in the dining reviews and remember, when reviewing clothes, that we’re not all fortunate to be as slim as you, nor as tall.
And thanks for all the help and advice over the last few years.

Martin said...

Happy birthday!

Adam Spink said...

I’ve just contributed via PayPal again, I really value your content and also your integrity, sir.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, Happy Birthday!

After years in financial services, I have far too many experiences where my generosity was simply not reciprocated. Deflating as it is depressing. The opposite side of that coin is say, divorce attorneys *expecting* to be compensated upfront "to be placed on their platform of recommended services". Or basically; Pay-4-Play.

The good news is ( at least now one knows whom to AVOID! ) It's a culling process really, and it doesn't pay dividends to ponder longer than it takes to order a pint. At the end of the day, I outlasted nearly all of them. People talk. In your case though GF, while close, it's not a perfect analogy. Any mfr. worth their salt would simply write it off as advertising? Or perhaps they can't afford a CFO to explain that to them..?

Looking forward to see where the blog takes us this year!

Matt D

Marvin said...

A belated Happy Birthday and I very much look forward to your posts in 2018.

StayAtHomeDad said...

Belated Happy Birthday. I'm looking forward to the new style blog, but not too much on lifestyle please, I just love the clothes.

Anonymous said...

Hello and Happy New Year! I wanted to wish you the v best for 2018 and your plans for the blog. I’m sure I speak for many: we appreciate and value your insights. My only advice: just go with your instincts! Best wishes Dimitrios

grey fox said...

Thank you all and particularly Adam for your contribution. I dont have your email to thank you in person.

Fascinating thoughts Matt - they are very helpful, thank you.

Thank you also Beeman - I do from time to time cover things outside London. Sadly much happens here and I'm based here, but I am hoping to cover some provincial shops this year.

Thank you all.


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