Mum’s been involved in a couple of online conversations recently on the topic of what bloggers should get paid. So while our little blog here isn’t commercial, instead it is just our little place to capture our stories, thoughts and learnings, but it’s not to say one day it won’t be and mum has a pretty clear view on what commercial looks like.
Most bloggers are contacted by the PR (Public Relations) people. The role of PR people has traditionally been to manage a business or person’s (or dog for that matter) reputation with a selected audience or in the broader community…. Hence the name Public Relations. This is usually with journalists (think TV, newspapers and magazines… Ok when I’m not shredding the newspaper for fun). Now the key thing to remember here is journalists are paid by the media company they are employed by (even of their a freelancer). They get paid for the time they spend writing…. Like I get treats for doing tricks.
Now let’s talk media channel. A media channel can be these same things… TV, newspaper, magazine… And a heap of others…. And in the case of a media channel an advertiser buys media space from the media channel (for big companies this usually goes through a media agency who negotiate and manage on the companies behalf).
Let’s put this in practice now….think if mum was to put a coat on me and a dog food company said I’ll give you 5 packets of treats if you let us put our logo on your coat…. Hmmm fair enough. I’m clearly being used as a media channel…. But if I want treats that works (think mum may have preferred money though)….
Now let’s picture a PR / Journalist relationship version… We are approached by dog food company and they say we will give you 5 packets of treats for you to give away to your 1st World Dog Readers… Woohoo… Lucky you guys…. Hmmm except mum now spends time writing a piece for the giveaway, promoting it and I’m where are my treats for the time I have just spent doing all this work?
In this 2nd scenario the dog food company gets their name out there it not too dissimilar way to the 1st scenario (I would argue probably better as it is coming more like word of mouth and more likely to be shared) but the company think it is ok to just give some product and I don’t get anything apart from giving something away… Great for you guys but it isn’t buying me more bones.
So what to do??? This world of blogging is pretty new and we see now as the time to set the norm. A company wants to make their budget stretch as far as possible so here are our 5 thoughts:
1. Ask… Nothing is going to happen unless you ask.
2. Sell Yourself As More Than Traditional Media… Blogs are not like a newspaper or mag that these giveaways were traditionally run through. Blogs offer a far more engaged audience with quality 2 way communication.
3. Package Deals… The mags often do it too…. ‘Free’ editorial space (ie competitions) will often be given to those who take out ad space. No reason why a blog can’t work with the same concept.
OK maybe not exactly what mum meant by packaging up…
And now our Dog Blog for this week… Well actually 2 if you include the Thank You to Jo at Creature Clinic for setting up the Australian Pet Bloggers Facebook page (so if you are an Aussie Pet Blogger go join in and introduce yourself). There are only a few of us there so far but it has been highly interactive which is awesome. One of the new blogs we have found thanks to the page is Kevin That Dog Dancing Guy. Kevin was lucky enough to go to Blog Paws, the US Pet Blogging Conference, recently. While we are finding plenty of cool reads on his blog one we want to highlight here is one he wrote on his learnings from Blog Paws. Worth jumping on over for a read.