[twitter]DadCAMP is a different kind of PR Friendly blog.
I have often discussed the difference between PR (free publicity) and marketing (paid relationships).
Bloggers usually find themselves on the PR end of things, and it’s a shame. Many have influence, have real audiences and should be getting a piece of the marketing pie.
If you can cultivate your crowd and become an honest-to-goodness spokesperson, get your Tiger on and sell Rolexes, and Nikes. Go right ahead.
I appreciate that press releases are just for information, a “Hey, I thought you should know this..” sort of thing but, lately, the press release people have gotten a little more aggressive in their content requests. It’s not just an FYI, but rather an explicit request and expectation for free publicity and brand coverage.
I most always reply with a letter indicating the DadCAMP advertising policy. Simply put, this website does not place content for nothing.
That’s not to say sponsored content will not appear on this site, because it will, but only for charity. If advertorial content is to appear on DadCAMP it will be done in exchange for a donation to Team Diabetes.
To appreciate the level at which authors are being played, you just have to look at the email I received this week, brand redacted.
We would be thrilled for you to be a part of promoting this special offer from xxxx debuting on xxxx, on Thursday at 10pm and throughout the day on Friday.
xxxx will be debuting its bright and fun spring colors including Raspberry, Cranberry, Lime, Blueberry, Grape & Classic.
Here is what should be included:
1. Please share the opportunity to win a free colored xxxx (or purchase exclusively on xxxx) on your blog with your readers. This must be posted Tuesday or Wednesday!
2. Include this link (xxx) so your readers are directed to the xxxx Facebook page where they will be able to enter to win.
3. The contest will begin May 8th at 10pm and will close on May 9th at 10pm. Only 24 hours to participate!
4. Please advise your readers they must vote for their favorite color in order to win.
We would love for you to vote for the opportunity to win a free machine of your own.
That was the pitch. Specific copy points, publication deadlines, and linking instructions. These are the sorts of detailed emails I get from my editors at Babble. The people who pay me to write.
So how is it that random brand gets away with this?
Spam exists because it works. A percentage of people actually believe they won the lottery, or need the cheap viagra. By the same logic, this sort of PR pitch exists because bloggers are biting on it and serving it up to their readers.
I’ll stop short of calling myself ‘a journalist,’ but I do have some pride in the content I create and I will not hand over the keys to that content to someone who bulk emails thousands of bloggers (I received one addressed to Ms Buzz Bishop yesterday) asking us to share their message and directing us how to share it.
Value your content. Value your readers. Value the time you spend creating community. You deserve to be paid for what you put into it, so stop giving it away for free.
If you read a lot of Mommy blogs who offer reviews, giveaways, and other brand ambassador type things where personal posts used to be, you’ll probably see this press release following directions to a T.
Image via Gaping Void