Part 01 : please don’t equate print publication journalists to online / internet bloggers and
Part 02 : please tell us what you want. In terms of coverage.

Thirdly, going to events / covering them is WORK for a blogger. People get PAID for WORK.

It’s a marketing activity like any other. A blogger is not doing it because their photo will appear on Page 3 of their local newspaper ( I know all those press photographers and I know it doesn’t work like that ). Neither is blogging a “hobby”. Sure there are some bloggers who come from well to-do families or are married to well to-do husbands and claim they blog “because I’m bored” but that’s a very small percentage and I’m not talking about bloggers who don’t blog professionally.

As brands and PR agencies, please expect to invest real hard cash into getting bloggers to work for you. At least the good ones who mean business and actually get you relevant eyeballs. I say “relevant” because THAT is research you need to do as a client for your brand. Is it ok to have your story covered on a Bollywood blog? Or should it be a niche blog that caters to an audience that actually can buy your brand / aspire to it? How will it affect your brand’s image? Are you doing it only for a set of eyeballs and for “just getting the word out” or are you hoping to generate something more? What is the blogger’s credibility? How long has the blog been around? Is the blogger present on other social media so that your “awareness” campaign can be tied in across all platforms?

Think of it as the advertising model that print publications use. Happy to sell you some ad space on our blogs.

Too many times I’ve overheard, “Oh these bloggers. They only go to these events because they get stuff for free. Free food, free clothes, free shoes, free whatever. Shameless.” That’s true for everyone most people who works in media. Yes I love free stuff but if you believe anything is truly “free”, you’re stupid. Thanks.

Bloggers are given books, fragrances, shoes, clothes, a meal, ear phones, mobile phones, laptops, vacations to exotic destinations, spa dates, salon dates, a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce etc. I’ve always said thank you for what I got and shared the receivables publicly alongwith the story. The audience that reads my blog / views my work is important to me and I don’t want to mislead them. ( In the U.S., it is a legal requirement to disclose “what you got” and I prefer to work with international industry benchmarks anyway. )

It’s business and we bloggers love it when you treat us like business people. Don’t coddle us, we’re not kids who will run away with you because you gave us a lollipop. We love talking to strangers. ( Of course, not all bloggers are created equal – do your research – get reference. )

Please do add your comments / suggestions / ideas in the comments section – if you, as a PR Agency / Prospective client would like some specific questions answered or if you’re a blogger and have something you’d like PR Agencies / Prospective clients to know.

The entire “How To Work With Bloggers” series.

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