How Companies Can Engage Bloggers Without Pissing Them Off

I’ve been invited to speak at a social media lunch and it’s only the second time I’m publicly sharing about social media (and blogging in particular). I don’t want to cover popular topics that everyone else has covered before. So I thought it’d be appropriate to share about the mistakes some companies have been making when they hire or engage bloggers for their campaigns, and hopefully other companies which chance upon this blogpost will find it useful for them too.

My Sharing Session Content – In Brief

Shocked

#1) Always define WIIFM [What’s In It For Me?] – Bloggers won’t attend your event or write about you until you clearly define WHY they should do it. Some people have this notion that whatever they plan for, bloggers will want to attend – whether it is a talk, sharing session, blogging fest, event, review, whatever. Truth is, no, we actually have lives to lead and unless your pitch is interesting, I’d rather stay home and chat with people on Facebook than attend your event. Truth hurts, sorry.

#2) Hire Bloggers, not treat them as beggars – if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, doesn’t matter which industry. Sure, I can share about your company to my 5,000 Facebook fans or craft an advertorial blogpost for you, but what are you paying me for the time and effort? Would you accept the remuneration if we swapped roles?

#3) Don’t make them jump through hoops to get the deal – most of the time, they CAN do without what you are offering. They can likely afford better too. Contrary to popular belief, bloggers can (and prefer to) pay for their own food – it’s less work this way, no need to write a review.

#4) Don’t spam bloggers – ‘no reply’ IS a reply. I’ve gotten 3 emails and 2 blog comments from the agency for the Singapore Memory Project. On their 5th spam message, I couldn’t resist telling them I am not interested. Seriously, I ignored their invite 4 times and they didn’t get it???

#5) Without attendance, press releases are spam! I don’t want to know about your event AFTER the event. Either send me an invite beforehand or don’t ask me to blog about an event I did not attend.

#6) Don’t bug bloggers after the event for the blogpost – if it’s cool, we’d already be raving about it. If it’s not, it can wait.

#7) If your event is uninteresting, don’t expect a review (unless you don’t mind a really HONEST opinion).

#8) Treat bloggers well. Allow a plus one when possible. And serve decent food, maybe? A restaurant organized a blogger’s party and served us only appetizers for dinner. We left hungry. And it was a restaurant. ‘Nuff said.

#9) Bloggers do expect “good” freebies – no leftover goodies from last year, please. And hopefully, it’s something practical, useful and of some value? I don’t need more of your company’s brochures, thank you very much.

#10) Always remember #1 – What’s In It For Me?

There are some companies whose executives act as if they are doing us bloggers a favor by giving us something to blog about. They can’t be more wrong, and I do hope they wise up or get fired.

Someone even approached me once and asked me to write about his MLM product, which will supposedly benefit all of mankind. I asked him how much he was going to pay me and he replied saying he thought I did “social blogging” and it should be free of charge. And I’m thinking… social blogging? What’s that? And no, bloggers MUST be adequately compensated for their time and effort in blogging. How many times must I repeat that? *sigh*

Of course, having said all that, there are so many PR agencies I love as they have been absolute darlings and are super sweet to bloggers. 🙂 You know who you are! 🙂

Hopefully, more people read this blogpost and put a little effort into understanding the people they are trying to engage. Then all our lives will be easier, yes?

3 thoughts on “How Companies Can Engage Bloggers Without Pissing Them Off

  1. HI Grace! Nice meeting u at the Navy Open House! Heard so many good things about your blog, and great to have finally met u. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  2. Hi Grace! It was nice meeting you at the Navy Open House. Heard so many good things about your blog. Keep up the great work! 🙂

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