One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

BLOGGING THOUGHTS

Blogs are a Business Too, Damn it!

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Between this post and my resent colorful response to scrapers you are going to start thinking I’m some potty mouth complainer.

Recently, I had an exchange with a company who shall remain nameless. I recieved a classic PR pitch for a product that I thought would be a good match for my audience an even the FitBloggin’ conference. I replied to the pitch and attempted to open a dialogue. Immediately I realized this company had no interest in my business or forming any kind of relationship with me. All they wanted was a post that mentioned their product.

They followed up to see if I received said product and again I replied attempting to chat about some ideas I had. I received no response.

A few weeks later they reached out a third time to give me pointers on how to blog about the product. Again, I attempted to communicate and again received no response.

Then I got a call asking why I haven’t posted. I was taken back and felt very pressured. I asked the caller to send me an email as I was in the middle of my sons karate class at 7:30 PM. A bit late for a business call, if you ask me.

The email I received was more of the same–strategies and tips on how to post about the product. I finally had enough and replied with this…

Thanks {{rep name here}},

I actually don’t have any concerns about the relevancy to my audience. I just do not post company produced content or pre-written tweets. My blog(s) are a very transparent journal style and I have a strong relationship with my readers. Frankly, I find it insulting to be offered cut and paste tweets and strategies on weaving in a product mention.

I’m not sure what to make of the {{brand name here}} campaign. I’ve heard from 3 different reps regarding the samples and attempted to start a dialogue with each of them. I mentioned my Fitness Blogger conference which I felt would be of great value to {{brand name here}}. I believe I received one response simply stating something about forwarding the request.

I’m not sure about other bloggers your company works with but I don’t make it a habit to post about product/brands that have reached out to me who are not at least willing to hold discussions about a mutually beneficial relationship. I am a business too. Spending way more than your average work week on my blogs while forming relationships with fellow bloggers, brands, and readers.

I understand that you are actually not the the brand itself but that they are a client of yours. I’m assuming said client is actually paying you to identify bloggers and send out samples for this campaign. Can you imagine if the brand simply called you up and asked you do all that work simply in exchange for a few bottles of {{brand name here}}? I’m pretty sure you would laugh them out of your office.

Bloggers sift through countless product review offers and PR pitches. You have to make it worth their while to participate in a campaign. Unfortunately dropping products on their doorstep and expecting a post in return doesn’t cut it.

Please don’t misinterpret my intention here. I’m not attempting to get paid or bargain sponsorship with you in return for posting about the product. In fact, I do mostly unpaid reviews for brands all the time with absolutely nothing in return but those brands treat me with respect and acknowledge me and my blogs as a viable business. We have an open dialogue and form a relationship.

I appreciated your call and that you were willing to open a dialogue at this point. I’m sorry to dump a bit of my frustration on you. As a professional blogger I feel the need to stand up for my profession.

-Roni

Veronica Noone
http://RoniNoone.com
@RoniNoone

Other sites:
http://GreenLiteBites.com
http://RonisWeigh.com
http://FitBloggin.com
http://BlogToLose.com
http://SkinnyMinnyMedia.com

I’m sure from his perspective this all came out of left field but I’m really getting tired of feeling used and abused by companies. I’d love opinions from fellow bloggers and brands alike. Do bloggers warrant the same respect as traditional media companies or do we just continue to work for free without the courtesy of at least a conversation?



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I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 10 comments so far.

    Ryan @NoMoreBacon

    January 21, 2011

    This is something that I think about every day Roni. There are obviously brands that “Get It” and others that simply see bloggers as another SEO tool of sorts. “The more places we can our keywords the better. Especially if it’s on high ranking sites!” They completely miss out on the fact that your endorsement is the best weapon they have from a marketing standpoint. They’re the same brands that focus on “optimizing sales pages” instead of creating an awesome product and giving people the opportunity to voice their opinion on it. Sure they have to have long term strategies, but talking to people like they’re an SEO tool deserves a kick in the ass and a wakeup call. I feel bad for the brand that’s paying that PR company who clearly has no idea how to engage bloggers.

    Morgan @ Life After Bagels

    January 21, 2011

    Thank you for not disregarding their sins and moving on. Thank you for for not replying in a sarcastic or snarky tone.

    Attention all bloggers – we need more of THIS! Don’t hate on the PR companies, educate them! We’ll eventually meet in the middle if we can all communicate respectfully.

    Katy

    January 21, 2011

    Hallelujah.

    I’ve been approached a LOT recently, and I’ve been disappointed…mostly by some PR representatives who are approaching me on behalf of companies.

    I typically don’t do reviews, but I make exceptions for brands that I believe in, or that approach me in the spirit of partnership. I know I’m not the biggest blogger in the world, but I think it’s important to protect my brand and stand behind my words.

    It’s such a pet peeve to get blown off, so I appreciate the post! (BTW, I recently did a post of my own on the proper way to pitch, which turned out to be a bit controversial!)

    kia

    January 21, 2011

    It is all a matter of integrity. Some bloggers seem like they will sell their first born for a free t-shirt while some think a little harder that their names are then tied to a company. I like to be hopeful that bloggers earlier in their game are quick to be another SEO tool as Ryan states it. In theory as bloggers we are involved in an online marketing industry whose tactics are evolving so rapidly that we cannot get a full grasp on the picture at any given moment to know exactly where we stand. It is for that reason alone I think each blogger needs to check themselves and find where their values line up because you have to answer to yourself in the proverbial mirror each day.

    I have taken the chicken way out with my little blog and have not worked with brands yet. I just say no to PR pitches. This will be an interesting year as I am looking to work with a few companies to attend conferences and decide who I want my name tied to. Above all I know I get to choose who I want to sell my bloggy soul to.

    Dawn Dishes it Out

    January 21, 2011

    Great post! It’s an unfortunate experience but I’m glad it did happen because you were able to write about it and help other bloggers. You handled the situation with lots of grace and as a fellow blogger I thank you for posting it.

    Angie All The Way

    January 21, 2011

    Well done, Roni – very well said!

    NYCPatty

    January 21, 2011

    BRAVO RONI!!!!
    It’s something that needed to be said!

    Andrea

    January 23, 2011

    Good for you! That’s great that you did that, I would have been ticked off, too. Definitely. Hooray! (Coming by from Patty’s place to check you out!)

    maria @ Chasing the Now

    January 24, 2011

    Fantastic. I bet they don’t respond.

    Companies have to learn that it can be a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Caitlin

    January 25, 2011

    I would love to know if they respond!