Yes I’m a blogger, but no thank you…

I recently received an email from an agency that I will not name asking me if I could give them the visibility over my blog stats to assess whether or not engaging a relation with me and my blog would be interestinf for their clients!

Actually this subject about relationships between brands and bloggers has been making some buzz lately. These relationships can be both exciting and ambiguous and sometimes difficult. But the main issue here is that brands (and therefore their agencies) are not getting the fact that a blogger is a person who writes about a specific subject by passion and deep interest. Therefore, they should respect their privacy and their opinions by acknowledging the fact that bloggers can do whatever they want whenever they want. Also, their level of influence (and of course their visibility) is not always linked to their blog stats and doesn’t depend on the number of actual readers they have on regular posts.

I’ve been reading so much nonsense about bloggers waiting for brands to offer them gifts and money in order to write about their brands on their blogs, but no, it doesn’t always work like this. So I think this deserves some clarification.

How brands must manage relationships with bloggers?
As a blogger, I am often approached by companies, agencies or brands that want me to talk about their product or service.
In most cases, this first approach is materialized in the form of an email, usually non-personalized, which contains a press release or an invitation. Some of them, very clumsy, might also send an email by copying several bloggers, or they might also put the wrong name or wrong address of the blog. No Comment!

So… Here are some recommendations if you guys (companies, brands and agencies) hope to have a chance with bloggers.

Practice the direct approach: Avoid mail for initial contact. Instead, send a short tweet with a link… The blogger will then remember who you are more easily

– Then follow up on the mail, once the initial contact is established, send the blogger an email with the most personal information. Do not copy and paste the press release (again!!) but explain succinctly and clearly your service (or the things you want to talk about) in your own words.

Stay within the themes and topics; target bloggers that match your theme: If you want to announce something related to what’s new in your restaurant, do not waste your time trying to convince a tech blogger to write about your news, because even if he is a client, he won’t talk about it on his blog.

Do not force hand: bloggers feeling compelled to write an article will never do it or worse, they might be “evil” and tell their bloggers friends about their experience with you, and then BAM : bad buzz. So try to establish a real relationship with them, without expecting something in return. Ask them for their opinions, offer them your test, invite them to meet you. Be cool, frank, honest and transparent. Do not over-play, do not try too seduce or mislead about anything you are talking about.

Let go: if you see that the feeling is not there, it’s not worth insisting. Check back regularly to them when you have an update or a news you want to share with them but do nothing more.

– Actually, the real thing, and what brands should start doing ABOVE ALL is to propose an experience, a real project in which the bloggers will be proud to participate. This way you can be practically be sure that they will be talking about their experience with your brand, sharing with their readers something they actually liked doing. This way you are sure you would have created the best brand’s ambassadors.


8 responses to “Yes I’m a blogger, but no thank you…

  1. I’d also add that the brand’s initial approach should be personalized, and not look like spam. A tweet with a mention and a link that look like spam are likely to be ignored. I’d say it’s important to interact with the blogger and engage them (well, “us”).

    Twitter is all about interaction, you would expect a brand that wants to have a strong presence online (through blogs for instance) to understand how to use twitter to start the conversation before asking for “the favor”, be it a renumerated favor or a benevolent one.

    Cheers !

    • Thx Fadi for your comment! you’re absolutly right. It’s all about sharing, interacting, participating, commenting, posting, following, listening and READING what bloggers are saying. Another thing that makes me laugh is when they tell you they have been reading your blog since forever and you know it’s note true 🙂

  2. I absolutely love and subscribe to every word! Lets hope agencies will read it, when they contact us they do not even bother reading our other posts and understanding what we are all about.

  3. I know what you mean.. See ever since I did This, marketers have been giving me a lot less headache, and I’m getting relatively more “quality” interaction.
    Cheers !

  4. Well said!
    I don’t really mind the mass e-mails (I love to get news from the marketing world)… but I really am not likely to respond :p

    The best I’ve seen? An agency that got someone who actually knows me to make the first move.

  5. the best quality of bloggers is their authenticity, never sponsor your opinions!

    • Thank you Hilda for your comment. The main problem here is not about sponsoring one’s opinion but more about having PR agencies mainly understand that a blogger is rather different than a journalist. Sadly, this post was written almost 3 years ago, and some agencies are still doing these mistakes 🙂

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