Arrgh, I must be grumpy today!
Seriously, I got an email that was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Y’all know I love my PR folks and my Company contacts – without them, I wouldn’t have a Product Review and Giveaway site! However, I got my big girl panties in a wad over this!
If you send me a press release and ask me to post about something and I come back with my prices as well as my free options, do NOT come back with this: (names removed for privacy):
Am I just crazy? To me this is such an ad that it isn’t even funny. How can anyone try to pass that off as a guest post? As I said on Twitter, “For shame! Don’t want to pay for ad, but wants to pass ad off as guest post. Try harder! Guests posts entertain, teach, or educate!
Some companies and PR folks get it… they understand that as bloggers we have influence, they understand that we love our readers and they trust us. If we are posting an ad it says “sponsored” if we received a product to review the post says it! If we bought it ourselves, we typically say that too. So, if I were to write about this event for fun I would say that I did it for fun or that I received an item as compensation, or that I received other forms of compensation, right? So, my readers know exactly what they are getting from me… how do the PR folks (again this is only the select few) not understand this?
I charge for promotions such as the above. Don’t get me wrong! I totally see the other side of the coin. PR folks are getting upset with bloggers because bloggers are not just posting stuff for free… we feel that our sites are worth more than that. Yes, we have bent the rules of journalism in that we don’t just post your whims and press releases, we don’t usually build a free story out of what you have to say. I understand that many marketing reps say, “Bloggers should be running ads, not getting paid at our expense.”
Well, this is where I think the difference lies! I have some (as I keep saying) that totally get it. The ones that realize our value are doing it more this way!
To me, anything I do to help promote your company is an ad! If you try to pass it off as human interest that is your bad, not mine! It is my blog, I will decide if I want to promote it, don’t mind promoting it, or refuse to promote it.
Instead of charging xyz for a campaign with a company and then keeping it all within the company, they decide they want to pull in a certain number of bloggers and charge enough to the company to pay the bloggers! The Marketing company is not paying that, the client is.
As I told a company that I have worked with soooo many times (that I just absolutely LOVE!! Who’s PR folks I consider my friends) and that seemed to go backwards a few weeks ago and wanted to offer me a short video preview in exchange for offering a giveaway on my blog:
(NAME REMOVED FOR PRIVACY), it costs me about 40 dollars per giveaway to link it up in all of the different locations (around 4 hours for my assistant to do it) to try to get the most traffic possible not only for me, but for the sponsoring company.
That doesn’t even come close to counting the review and/or writing process, the numerous tweets and Facebook posts, etc.
Then, when the giveaway is over, I have to choose a winner, contact the winner to get their info and then send that on to the company. THEN, monitor the giveaway to be sure it is received in a timely manner and begin hounding the company if it isn’t.
A few minutes of a video is not worth that to me. Yes, I get some traffic for the giveaway, but not enough for it to be worth my time and money. For the most part, the traffic is already mine with only a few drop ins by people that are only here to win something. Once they enter, they leave, never to return again. Unless, I can lure them in for a few seconds with another giveaway. I don’t consider those people my readers – we call them “drive-bys.” My readers are here reading a good portion of what I say (not JUST seeing the giveaway linked somewhere and coming in), interacting with me on facebook, etc.
Besides, I get around 1,000 emails every single weekday from people wanting me to watch their short exclusive video, try out their new thingamajig, review their awesome website, or read their press release and put my opinions on my blog. Content is not something your average blogger is hurting for, especially not one that has begin making a new for themselves – like the one you found because others told you about them or they popped up pretty high in your Google Search.
Many people charge a TON of money for giveaways whether you send them something or not – like 2 and 3 hundred dollars. I don’t. However, I do typically charge for a giveaway if I don’t get a comparable item and that is only a whopping 25 bucks. I seriously get both sides of the marketing coin, but I have rules and I am not compromising them anymore just because I consider you a friend.
No, we want money for our time and the link juice from our sites, the effort we put into advertising for you, etc. Whether that money comes in cash form, gift card form, or tangible item form… for many of us, it is the same concept.
I understand budgets… but, sometimes it is about quality not quantity. So, if you can’t afford to advertise on ABC, Fox, and NBC you choose the 1 or 2 that you can. If you can’t afford to offer 50 prizes out on 50 different blogs AND pay the bloggers what they are worth (whether through cash or prize), then only choose 25 to work with.
Look, here is the problem many bloggers have… we always hear “the budget won’t allow it” but, as the PR rep for (COMPANY REMOVED FOR PRIVACY), would you work for them if they weren’t paying you? If they said, “Hey we will let you watch this episode 1 week before anyone else if you will spend 6-8 hours working to advertise our company!” NO!! You wouldn’t! So, why should you expect us to? As the rep, you help them realize this is what they can get with that budget and be sure that includes paying (again, paying is pretty loose) for our services!
I was so disappointed! Guess I ticked them off though because I haven’t heard a peep out of them since then. Darn it!
I really want to hear all sides of the coin on this. I have covered this before, but like any study or research it is only as strong as the number of responses. I really love to hear others’ opinions!
TOTALLY RANDOM THOUGHT ALERT!
And guess what, I use many many brands in my daily life and I am not always brand consistent. You will see both in my site!
For example: I drink Coke not Pepsi. I drink Barq’s not Mug. However! I am totally a Mountain Dew person, I love me some Lipton, we only drink Tropicana, we LOVE Ocean Spray, and we are 100% Gatorade!
Just call me Dr. Pepper – I am sitting the fence on that debate!