Part 01 : please don’t equate print publication journalists to online / internet bloggers.
Part 02 : please tell us what you want. In terms of coverage.
Part 03 : going to events / covering them is WORK for a blogger. People get PAID for WORK.
Part 04 : yes, you can have the images to use in your marketing brochure for an additional price.
Part 05 : you don’t just sit on your hands when the blogger is delivering the goods. Amplify.
Part 06 : set expectations in advance, and
Part 07 : work with someone who has a decent overall presence
I’ve talked about compensating bloggers but I haven’t touched upon the forms of compensation and what works for bloggers. I’m going to do that here.
It doesn’t have to be cold hard cash. It can be a number of other things and combinations there of.
Tangibles that Bloggers Love
01. Money : Cash is always good because blogging involves at least one of the following if not all : time to write, working with a photographer, re-touching photographs ( not all bloggers do this though ), travel time and costs, running an office, a salaried intern, postage on invoices, etc. A minimum amount to cover expenses at least. ( If your client brand doesn’t have a budget, mention it to the blogger in the initial discussions. Don’t wait till the very end. Leaves a bad taste. If a blogger really wants to work with that client brand, they will be happy to re-negotiate. )
02. Barter : This works especially well if the blogger has been known to have “wishlists” full of the client’s brand’s products or services. Give a beautiful product to a blogger without outlining expectations and watch what they do ( but do this only if you’ve seen that they’ve done something similar on their blog earlier ). And don’t begrudge them if they don’t do anything ( which is unlikely – haven’t you seen how much I’ve been showing off my Chanel sunglasses? ) Bloggers love showing off. It’s what we do. ( Oh and “barter” means that the product / products are on a non-returnable basis. I know it’s a silly clarification but just recently I’ve received a few ‘clarification’ emails asking me if the barter products would be returned. Thankfully this was before they sent the products over to me. ) Ideally let the blogger pick the product / service – and do share with them the maximum value of the product they can pick before providing them with this option. Getting an expensive product I won’t ever use – hence won’t ever talk about – is worse than not getting anything. Same goes for experiences. I find it impossible to “review” a spa without using it.
03. Promotion / Publicity : This one is a kicker. If a blogger does a blog post about your brand, share that content with a link back to the blogger’s original story on the brand’s Facebook page, on the Twitter account and wherever else you can. We truly appreciate this no matter how well our blogs are doing. Links are great currency and cross-promotion is helpful for both the client brand and the blogger’s brand. It also helps the client brand amplify the results of their investment. Post those images on Instagram, share them on Facebook and Twitter and don’t forget to tag the blogger on all the platforms and link back to their original blog story. Get your print writers to include the names of the bloggers in your releases, etc. It ups our social currency as well.
04. Vouchers : Only if the voucher does not involve any sort of expense by the blogger otherwise it’s going straight into the trash or if it’s a professional blogger, they will clearly tell you that they do not accept vouchers. We do not accept vouchers on Naina.co ( If you’ve sent us any, we’ve torn and binned them. )
05. Pick up and Drop arrangement : No really. We love this especially if it’s a posh car with a clean driver ( believe me this is rare in India ) and there’s chocolates and flowers on our seats. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve turned down event invites because there was no pick up and drop arrangement. I do not want to be driving back on my own after a “wine party” and I certainly do not want to book stinky Meru cabs. Even if I have a driver, it’s an expense for me.
06. Exclusive content : Give us something you haven’t shared with ANY other media channel. Something no one knows about or is talking about. You can do this with your favorite blogger with whom you’ve developed a solid relationship. And it has to be something that’s good – not a flimsy excuse for using the word “exclusive”.
07. Professional photographs : I’m only writing about this in reference to bloggers who accept images from brands. Naina.co doesn’t, I produce the content myself i.e. all images you see on Naina.co are photographed by me, i.e. Naina Redhu. But if are working with a blogger on a story, ideally give them really good images to share on their blog story. There’s nothing worse than reading about this fantastic event but having either no photographs to show for it or having terrible ones. What is the point of spending crores of rupees on an event and not having one single great image to show for it? ( I photograph events for clients and you can hire me if you like my work. So many examples to choose from – not all of these are photography gigs, but this is all my work. ) Because of the images I use, the most common feedback I received from clients and readers alike is, “Looking through the images it felt like I was there!” Good images WORK. Don’t skimp.
Nice link with some numbers : Why Brands Should Turn To Bloggers Instead Of Celebrity Spokespeople They make a strong case for bloggers. But remember, like any advertising / marketing medium, everything needs to be part of a MIX. No one media channel is going to knock your socks off.
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.