Etiquette between businesses and bloggers

Photo: @missfrenchnavy
Photo: @missfrenchnavy

Congratulations!  Your company has decided to finally embark on that blogger outreach program.  The research has been done, you’ve negotiated payment and are ready to start reading the posts.  Here are some finer points that may assist you in dealing with your team of bloggers.

Provide some notice

Your blogging team has a schedule that they work off.  In the contract be as specific as possible as to what days they should post and what topics should be covered on those days.

If you send your bloggers a request to have a post the next day you’ll get bad writing and resentful bloggers.

Write it down

The concept of a blogger hanging out in their basement while wearing pajamas is incorrect.  If you’re asking a blogger to be a brand ambassador for you then they need a contract, write it down.  The contract will help you keep the blogger understand exactly what you expect from them and hold them accountable if they don’t.

Give thanks

These bloggers that you’ve hired are your brand ambassadors.  If the campaign is big enough to merit a dedicated website include a page that will let your readers know about the relationship with these bloggers.   Find some way through your channels, be it on your blog, Facebook page or other avenue to thank and acknowledge them.

Yes, you are paying or offering goods for these blog posts.  However, offering up an additional ‘thanks’ to the bloggers will be appreciated and show results.

Gird your loins

These bloggers are your contract employees.  However, they are also writing their opinions in their voice on their site.  You’ve done your research on the bloggers and read numerous posts from them, haven’t you?

Just because they’re your contract employees doesn’t mean that 100% of their writings will be positive on your company or product.  That is especially true if you’re asking them to visit a retail location or do a secret shopper style review.

You’re working with bloggers because they have some influence with an audience.    Bloggers aren’t copywriters.  Their posts will have personality, a distinct voice and will ‘pop’ more that advertising copy, but that’s why you  hired them, isn’t it?

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Katie is the President of KWSM. Before opening the agency, she spent more than 15 years as a journalist, working for CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN and National Public Radio. Katie works with clients across the country and is a popular public speaker.