What NOT to do with Bloggers!

Having worked closely with brands, agencies and bloggers in the past 3 years, I can say that each day comes packed with as much fun as it has challenges to take up. With Bloggers (esp. tech/ mobile bloggers) now being on the center stage, along with the journalists – the power of web publishers can not be ignored. I like calling it community journalism!

Brands have started to understand it. Thanks to agencies and their compelling pitches for blogger related campaigns!

The idea is to throw up the product/ service to bloggers, allow them to soak their hands in it and come up with an *honest* review. Bloggers aren’t paid for this. There are exceptions though! (It reminds me of an excellent story on ‘Bribing Bloggers‘ at JoelonSoftware, published 5 years ago. )

That isn’t as simple as it looks to be in 4 lines of text! Why? Each one has his own agenda to propagate, and I guess fairly so. Brands needs reach, engagement, sales & support. Agencies need money, clientele, experience. Bloggers need content exclusive content, first hand information, opportunity to interact with the product team, traffic on the blog, etc.

Did I miss something? – Credibility & Authority. Everyone needs it – Brands, Agencies and Individuals.

In the whole process of coming up with an interesting, engaging concept around bloggers and cool products/ services, we as human beings (read – Brands, Agencies and Individuals) tend to overkill or over-tune some dynamics. The dynamics of creating an ROI on the Internet. I guess we as human beings should identify the bars and encourage healthy reach/ engagement programs, much before brands and more importantly consumers begin to consider this exercise a fake practice.

This post is *inspired* by a discussion started on facebook by a known tech blogger in the Indian blogosphere. It’s against some Blogger Campaign and involves bloggers who participated & those who chose not to. Interesting conversations are what I will leave you with. While I wrote this post, I see it has attracted more than 34 comments and 21 Likes, within an hour.

Some screenshots (includes a comment from, yours truly);

 

You may view the entire discussion thread.

Disclaimer: I am the cofounder at Media Redefined, a social media and web technology agency and have been a blogger. For those asking me of our involvement with the brand or this campaign, I would like to clarify that we are NOT associated with it. Moreover, this case isn’t just about a particular brand, agency or individual – instead it’s a story on how we need to fine tune our initiatives to ensure a healthy communication and know our responsibilities as whosoever we are.

Feel free to share your thought as comments/ tweets! Cheers. 🙂

UPDATE: Within 24 hours, this post has got more than 500 views from twitter & facebook alone. Today I noticed, there is a huge rage amongst the Indian blogger community as well with the twitter #hashtag #IndiSammyScam. Here are some screenshots of the conversations;

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

There is another post by a blogger highlighting some details. I am not sure about the authenticity of the story but here it is.

Personally, I use an iPad2, but have used Galaxy TAB 10.1. I liked the product and I feel the bloggers could have been reached and communicated in a better way to avoid this crisis. From what was positioned to ensure reach, this is a classic example of how the bloggers can get offended in absence of proper communication & lack of clarity in expectations.

 

Praval

 

8 thoughts on “What NOT to do with Bloggers!

  1. Half of the winners didn’t even what a Galaxy Tab is they are selected as the winners, if you allow me i need to use the F*** word.. This is really a WTF moment?

  2. well that’s quite funny and that’s the reason why i hate tech blogging. Without having any knowledge you publish anything and that too without any proof…
    For an example, if a popular tech blog publishes it, then the same story churned into another format and repubishes on other blogs in no time.
    Now the question is there, whether we blame the company or the bloggers? Everyone has their point, company needs sale and bloggers like giveaways, review units, etc..

  3. Although I’m a newbie, and could have fallen for the prize, I’m glad I didn’t. I know several Brand-exclusive blogs, not related to the company in question here, blogging about it. Such a sad world, this one.

    And by the way, good post.

  4. The folks at Indiblogger and Samsung have screwed up big time no doubt. Hope they learn some lessons from this debacle. And this wasn’t the only one; the contest prior to this, which was about the Intel PC App tool, was also misjudged and I have vented my anger about it on Twitter and Facebook. The Indiblogger guys seriously need to get their act together. The funny thing is that there has been absolutely no communication yet from both the parties on this matter. Really weird.

    Bloggers too should keep in mind that jumping on every opportunity and participating in contests which demand things to be done just for the sake of getting links and posts (like here, the review units were not distributed to the participants beforehand) damages their own credibility and they should stay away from such contests and promotion drives. 

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