Here at SPM, we work with all kinds of media, including grassroots consumers who blog about their personal experiences. As we head further into the digital age, blogging is more important than ever according to Social Media Today. Brands of all sizes are now using blogs to increase their web presence and drive sales, and bloggers reap the benefits with sponsored posts, free stuff, increased exposure and fresh content.
But some bloggers are easy to work with and some, not so much. Those who aren’t can avoid off-the-mark pitches by including some kind of indication on the site, and if they don’t want to be contacted, great – go on with your bad self! But while some bloggers do a fantastic job of demonstrating that they are open to working with PR, some seem to be oblivious about how to attract brands and the opportunities they can bring. Here are a few things that drive us PR folks crazy and are sure to get a blog passed up by brands:
• No name/no contact information. Believe it or not, PR professionals like to interact with a real person, not a “Mrs. Blogsalot.” Including your name on your blog humanizes you, and not giving contact information tells a brand you’re not interested.
• Poor design. If your site is difficult to navigate or the layout is too busy, I won’t stay long and chances are readers won’t either.
• Bad spelling/grammar. Our brands trust us to choose writers who are polished and credible, and poor grammar, misspelled words and typos tell us you are neither. Besides, if you don’t have time to check spelling, chances are you won’t have time to create good content. We’ll pass.
• Brand bashing. This is a definite no-no. While we understand the value of honest opinions, being nasty just isn’t the way to say you didn’t enjoy something. Plus, how can we trust that you won’t bash us?
• Unreliability/dishonesty. Taking a product or service, promising a post and then disappearing is WRONG. Although informal, the agreement is still a business deal and should be treated as such. We won’t contact you again for any of our clients.
I’m sure that we as PR professionals also do some things that might drive bloggers up the wall, as that is just the nature of the beast, but we can all do a few things to get along better. They include being polite, being transparent about your business, needs and expectations, and understanding that we are all just people working toward a common goal. There’s no reason we can’t be friends.