I've been blogging since before they even called it a "web log." (Did you know that the phrase "web log" is where the word "blog" comes from? True story!) What I'm trying to say is that I was blogging before blogging was cool. (Blogging is cool, right?) But what was once a small niche of the internet has transformed into an expansive and effective form of digital marketing. No PR or digital agency can possibly stay afloat for much longer without at least a small list of bloggers that they consider to be in their stable. These are the guys that they can usually count on for coverage.
Blogging is a diluted form of celebrity -- perhaps that's the appeal. Like a celebrity's love-hate relationship with the paparazzi, a blogger depends upon the press to supply him with some, or in many cases, nearly all of the news stories and content (photos, videos, press releases) that appear on his blog. But in order to get to the good stories, a blogger must wade through an endless pile of worthless baloney that comes from these same PR contacts. Boring press releases ("Bobby's on Main is now open!"), PDF attachments, full collections of hi-res photos, etc. It's this pile of nonsense that separates the marketers who understand bloggers from those who just don't get it.
Many brands know they need a blogger outreach program, but too few of them give advance thought to the ways that these programs can backfire. Bloggers are a diverse and often particular bunch. Here are the sometimes-not-obvious ways that brands can piss them off.