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Posts Tagged ‘good advice’

No, Brands Shouldn’t Pay for Blog Mentions

This week PR Daily posed an important question: Should brands pay for blog mentions?

Before the requisite “this is a complicated issue that will affect different parties differently and we want to avoid making overgeneralizations” statement, we’ll give you the short answer: no.

Don’t get mad before you read the qualifiers: well over 50% of the public turns to editorial sites for info on products, so if a prominent blogger truly enjoys/approves of your client’s product, any related content is PR gold. But you already knew that.

Here’s the rub: As readers and writers of blogs, we can tell you that if you are a blogger who consumers turn to for “unbiased” insights, they will begin to question your credibility the minute they discover that you were paid to promote something even if you’ve made that relationship clear to everyone who visits your site (which you’re legally required to do anyway).

No, bloggers aren’t held to such strict standards of objectivity as traditional journalists. But paid endorsements can never be 100% “sincere,” so their value is limited. The conflict of interest between blogger and patron ensures this fact.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to get bloggers to promote your client, but there are some big caveats:

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Mediabistro Course

Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

Presentation Writing: Design and DeliveryLearn how to use storytelling techniques and visual content to create and deliver successful pitches and presentations! Starting August 6, Amanda Pacitti, the manager of learning at Time Inc., will teach you the best practices for presentations, from using software like Prezi and Powerpoint, to writing your script, and using images, audio, and video to drive your points. Register now! 

What A-Rod Should (But Probably Won’t) Do

Today in Ridiculously Overpaid Athletes Are People Too news, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is the latest beefed-up domino to fall in baseball’s ongoing steroid scandal. MLB commissioner Bud Selig decided to make an example of “Captain Rodriguez” with the longest suspension in the history of America’s Pastime.

The MLB Players Association appealed the decision on behalf of A-Rod, who is the only one of the 13 accused players to fight his suspension. Quite telling that the other 12 immediately ‘fessed up, isn’t it? The ensuing legal back-and-forth ensures that he will be able to wear a Yankees uniform for the rest of the season (which won’t last very long, considering the Bronx Bombers’ current 56-55 record).

PR to the rescue! According to The USA Today, Berk Communications President and “A-Fraud” publicist Ron Berkowitz posted a since-deleted tweet on Tuesday that read a little, shall we say, combative.

Hello Chicago!!! Lets do this!!! #fighting

—   Ron Berkowitz (@ronberk1) August 5, 2013

What was that all about? Well, in what one reporter called “an exceptional lack of self awareness,” A-Rod told the media “I’m fighting for my life,” strongly implying that Major League Baseball has it in for him. Poor guy.

So what will he do? And what should he do?

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Progressive in Trouble, Act 3: Godin Lays the Smack Down

We know you all spent the weekend wondering where marketing guru Seth Godin stands on the ongoing Progressive Insurance scandal, right? Look no further!

Despite the claims of semi-autonomous entity Mitt Romney*, Godin does not believe that corporations are people, and he uses the Progressive incident as the starting point for an extended riff on why that issue is significant. The rant is a bit wordy for the famously short-winded Godin; seems like this case really got under his skin like it did for so many other Americans.

He starts with the newer, longer response that Progressive posted on their blog on August 16th. Was this post a little more substantial than the first? Yes. Did Progressive still use evasive language to avoid addressing the fact that their lawyer sat with the defendant in order to help convince the jury that their own customer was at least partially to blame for the crash that took her life? Oh yeah. The Progressive post is painful to read, especially this sentence:  Read more