If you desperately want to get in front of a blogger's audience and that blog offers advertising or sponsorship opportunities, give serious consideration to those opportunities. And if you're working with a PR team, empower that team to suggest sponsorship and other opportunities that your brand might want to consider. Of course, not all opportunities are a fit, so if there's a reason you can't or don't want to pursue these opportunities, be honest with the blogger.
Most reputable blogs are not pay-to-play. But don't insult bloggers by telling them that their audiences aren't worth reaching with real dollars. After all, that's how these people make a living (or are trying to make a living).
Extra embarrassing: Putting a blogger in a position where he will be forced to spend his own money. If you have invited a blogger to an event and you expect there to be costs associated with the visit (parking, cover charge, drink minimums, etc.), do everything you can to pre-imburse them. At a minimum, warn them and tell them exactly what to expect. Don't forget that bloggers can have loud and powerful voices, and hell hath no fury like a pissed off blogger.
None of these examples is an excuse for any blogger to be a jerk. We're all human people, so let's act like it. Good bloggers follow the rules of polite business etiquette. And good PR and digital agencies learn to identify these professionally composed bloggers. As long as there is a mutual respect, bloggers can continue to enjoy their diluted celebrity with the help of responsible agencies.
Drew Hubbard is a social media strategist and owner of LA Foodie.
On Twitter? Follow Hubbard at @LAFoodie. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
"Furious frustrated businessman" image via Shutterstock.
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" Following up with a blogger to tell him how much you disliked the review -- because your complaint is probably going to end up on the blog."Although they do make great reading for the rest of us! Nothing is truly private communication, so be careful to watch every word in every email or message you send--you never know where it might end up.
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