Hidden Gems In Comments: Blogger Relations


I was skipping Girl_computer_2 around the internet looking for inspiration and found this wonderful quote - "To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity."  Douglas Adams

Then I received an eMail from Qui Diaz, 360° Digital Influence - Ogilvy Public Relations. I met Qui at the Success In The City's Social Media Conference this June. She is smart and kind and likes Diva Marketing and Max .. so of course we hit it off right away.

Seems Ogilvy has developed A Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics. So I clicked over to see what they were doing and dropped a comment. Sometimes the best "posts" are the comments that I leave on other people's posts. Do you feel that way too? Here's what I said -

Nice to see a large agency thinking through and putting together "ethics" on how to work with bloggers. My thanks to Qui Diaz for the email about your guidelines.

Taking into consideration that the title of your post is "Creating A Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics" there is an element that is not mentioned and although it might not  fall into a 'code of ethics' is one of the most significant reasons  bloggers will even begin to consider reading your emails and then posting.  It is the reason I clicked on Qui's link. Relationship. Qui and I have developed a relationship over the past several months and I trust her ideas will be of interest to me and to my community.

MK's #9 and #10 address how you might begin to build relationships with bloggers. In my post, 12 Blogger Relations Secrets For PR, Advertising and Brand Marketers, I offer a few tips that run similar to MK's list. 

10. Remember what your Mama taught you. A follow-up thank you for mentions would really be over the top.
11. Join me in the conversations. Drop a comment on a post. Send me an email note about a post I wrote.

One note of caution, be careful who you offer payment to and/or freebies. Some bloggers are dead set against accepting anything because they feel it compromises their integrity with their community. They would prefer a way to give back to their community. Be creative. Keep in mind bloggers are not journalists.

MK Milker's, The Not Quite Crunch Parent, comment should be a post. Here are #9 and #10 that I referenced. Her comment alone is worth a click to the post.

9. Respond to or engage me. You can comment on my blog – you can. Jump in any conversation that seems to fit with your client’s marketing message. Unlike in the mainstream media where you play a background role, you can respond to my commenters’ questions or ones I raise myself. Come on, Mattel, get out there and tell us what you’re doing about the recall. Don’t you have a crisis plan in place for the blogosphere?

10.Follow up. Not with me. Don’t ask me to send you the link to my article when it runs. Run a search for it. Send me a gushy thank you note thanking me for my time.

There are as many beliefs about what is ethical when it comes to blogging as there are bloggers. Each bloggy village e.g., Mommy bloggers, Real Estate bloggers, Golf bloggers, Business bloggers, Baseball bloggers has its own culture and acceptable norms. A few weeks ago, in the biz blogosphere, there was a lively debate on the ethics of accepting an expensive camera to test. Some bloggers felt it was cool  while others had very different views and concerns.

MK's #4 is a reminder that some bloggers do accept and encourage samples.  "Don’t expect something for nothing. In the early days of blogging, bloggers were so thrilled to receive an email from a large company to that they were happy to write a review. Now, as blogs gain more influence, bloggers are bombarded with requests. Send me the product you wish me to review. At least I receive a free sample."

Recently Alison Bryan Fields, Ogilvy, conducted an interview with Chris Jordan - Notes From The Trenches. I hope Chris will forgive me for posting my 2 favorite lines out of context but they bring home two very important concepts.

I think a lot of PR people haven’t realized that — and I think a lot of bloggers haven’t realized it. It is valuable real estate that you’re asking me to give up for free.

Even if a blog doesn't have thousands of RSS subscribers or thousands of visitors there is significant value in a niched, loyal community, as well as, value in visitors coming in through the search engines. A post about a product/service/ offers one more customer touch point. One more viral pass along. One more opportunity to create a sale. Valuable real estate.

On the other hand, most bloggers understand my second favorite line from Chris' interview -   

If you don’t value what you are putting out there, you lose your voice. Your readers are not going to come back.

My but it's been interesting to watch as the PR/AD/Brand Marketers circle round trying to figure out how to tap into the buzz from bloggers. Assuming that bloggers are, as MK  put it, " .. thrilled to receive an email from a large company .." Or anyone who ass-u-me-s that bloggers are waiting to tap their keyboards about anything that comes into their in-box.

Which leads me full circle divas and divos to what inspired this post, Douglas Adams' quote, "To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity."

Now if our PR/AD/Brand Marketing friends can understand that we'll have a triple win for the bloggers, for their communities and for marketer's clients.

Thanks to PR Couture for the use of the graphic.


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Tracked on Sep 8, 2007 4:11:22 PM


And value, too. I think you have to be a blogger to understand how to pitch a blogger. The rules are nice for engagement purposes, but the key is to give substance...

Otherwise the rules are all for naught. Don't waste my time with what you think is important, read the blog. Know what's important.

Posted by: Geoff Livingston on Sep 6, 2007 11:47:18 PM

Yes Geoff. Value has to be at the core of any blogger relations program. Do you really think that only a blogger can pitch a blogger? I'm not so sure about that one.

Diving off that idea .. do you think that a "pitch" from a blogger adds credibility? For example, you are a PR guy who blogs. Are you seen as more credible than a PR person who does not blog?

Posted by: Toby on Sep 7, 2007 12:00:23 AM

Yes, I do. I think it's invaluable to have a decent blog in your signature when reaching out to other bloggers.

Posted by: Geoff Livingston on Sep 7, 2007 12:03:54 AM

Thanks, Toby and Geoff for affirming some of our thinking and extending it further than we could go alone.

Geoff, your thoughts on the value of actually BEING a blogger make me wonder: what defines a blogger as a true blogger? (can there ever be a criteria? should there be a criteria?)

On behalf of the Ogilvy team, I look forward to continuing to learn from you both and others.

Viva La Revolution :)

Posted by: Qui Diaz on Sep 7, 2007 9:44:50 AM

Qui - Geoff does bring up a very interesting question and yours dovetails into his. Never thought of what defines a blogger. My thinking is that consistent posting (that may be defined) = a blogger.

How do others define what defines a blogger?

Posted by: Toby on Sep 7, 2007 9:55:42 AM

I absolutely needed this article! I will give more thought into the comments I post on others' sites as well as my own. I'm relatively new to blogging, so this type of information is good besides the fact that I also LOVE your name. You go, Diva!

Posted by: Ebony on Sep 7, 2007 11:39:28 AM

Absolutely Toby- I was very low for 2 days recently, when we lost some 200 comments on the blog. Some very powerful thoughts lost there. Similarly sometimes I have found myself leaving comments on blogs thinking they were full posts :).

Haven't left a comment here for the last few weeks but doing that and just linked to this marvelous post and a couple of others with a post that I partly borrow from you.



Posted by: Rajesh Lalwani on Sep 8, 2007 3:34:54 PM

On the Q: What is a blogger? I would say that merits a blog post in its own right. Short answer: If you have the glasses, you know what it looks like. It is an experience.

Posted by: Geoff Livingston on Sep 9, 2007 6:24:35 PM


This is an interesting question -- what defines a blogger? Would it perchance be someone who writes from a place and POV of passion and listens from a stance of service? I think that after my one year anniversary I should now be able to synthesize what *conversation* is about for me ;-) Thank you for broaching the topic.

Posted by: Valeria Maltoni on Sep 9, 2007 9:54:13 PM

Mutfak Önlüğü

Posted by: T-Shirt on Apr 6, 2008 10:43:41 AM

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