Corrupt Bloggers Kvetch – Where’s the Swag?

There’s a very revealing guest rant by professional ’lifestyle’ blogger Krizia in Pro Blogger: PR People Getting Pushier with Bloggers Since the Recession.

Krizia is perturbed that PRs are now asking questions about the value of all their free giveaways; the cash, the swag is drying up for product placement on Krizia’s EatSmartAgeSmart blog. Before bestowing gifts and favors PR people are asking pesky questions like: 

  • “How many unique users?”
  • “How many page views?”
  • “How fast can you get our review on your site?”
  • “Have you won any awards in the past?”
  • “Send us links to past reviews you’ve written.”
  • “What angle will you take with this feature?”

In other words, publicists were getting hip and demanding the same standards they apply to legitimate media. When we get a hit inthe Daily Newswe know the circulation, target readership, ad equivalent value – in print and on the web.  Why not with bloggers? 

EatSmartAgeSmart has all the markings of a commercial enterprise that treats ‘content’  like ad-filler. Where’s the PR value in editorial in an outlet that obviously crafts stories as thinly-disguised ads to pump individual blog traffic and ancillary business for a larger blog network? (see Glam Media description below).

I know this is beauty/fashion/lifestyle blah blah, and that’s the way it’s done in these industries. But these sprung-up-on-the-web media properties are competing with established, verified, legitimate media outlets that are converting their readers to the web.  If you’re a publicist you’ll choose mass media or Trade pubs before spending billable time on corrupt bloggers who publicly kvetch about the lack of swag coming from PRs. 

Blogger Relations – a credible pitch

A few days ago I got a perfect pitch. I hope Alex doesn’t mind if I reprint it verbatim here:

Hi Mark,

My name is Alex King and I’m the Director of Marketing at a small MIT startup called WebNotes. Thanks for your post on Mandy Stadtmiller- I just read her column and thought it was hysterical!

Anyways, my firm is building research tools for PR firms to help out with the daily news scan process and I was curious if you might be interested in writing about us. I’d love to show you a demo and even give you access to the software.

I hope all is well,

We did a Go-to-Meeting Demo. I asked questions and I signed up for the same two week free WebNotes Demo vailable to everybody. No free giveaway. No PR. No hustle. No quid pro quo. No money changing hands.

A couple of days after the Demo Alex followed up with email to see if I needed assistance.  Be professional, be personal, be persistent. In PR, media relations, blogger relations, bottomline, that’s all you can do. If you do that, you’re way ahead of the game.

EatSmartAgeSmart is in the Glam Media network.From the Glam Media site: Glam Media is the pioneer and global leader of Vertical Media—a revolutionary new media model that connects premium brand advertisers with millions of consumers with like-minded passions online through large and growing vertical content networks. With more than 1400 publishers worldwide, we cover the topics people are passionate about. We know how to find and engage these audiences with the right content at the right time—and brand advertisers are taking note. In the past year, 23 of the top 25 brand advertisers have engaged with passionate consumers on one of the Glam Media Networks. With a reach of 55 million unique monthly visitors in the US and more than 125 million uniques globally, it’s no wonder Glam Media is in the comScore Top 20 Web properties and a Top 10 AdWeek Display Ad Publisher.

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