Recently, the running blog world has exploded with folks who are excited to have been picked for a certain relay team sponsored by a certain electrolyte tablet brand, and with folks who are upset that they didn’t get picked for said team.
While I can understand the disappointment of the latter group, I can’t help but put on my Marketing & PR hat for a little public service announcement.
Just to be upfront, I do know what I’m talking about, I’ve been working in marketing & public relations for the past eight years.
It’s no secret that a lot of bloggers partner with brands. Not just running bloggers, but mommy bloggers, fashion bloggers, etc. You have a blog, eventually (and usually this happens when you realize that you spend a lot of time working on your blog, and also realize that other bloggers are doing this), you look into ways to benefit from your blog, in more ways than just meeting other bloggers and reading comments on your posts. You want something in return – money, free products, sponsored trips, etc.
And companies have realized the potential in partnering with bloggers, from a marketing and PR perspective – they get brand exposure, people talking about their products, etc.
It’s a win win, as long as all parties involved are up front about these relationships. And it’s not a new idea. Just look at professional sports, actors, musicians, etc. (Yes, I am totally comparing us to actual celebrities.)
Anyway, to get to the point of this post.
Be careful what you put on your blog. You’re upset. And your blog is your blog, so if something is on your mind, it’s natural to want to post about it.
But know that everything you post on your blog (and your Facebook page, Twitter, Google+, etc – anything else linked from or related to your blog) is a reflection of you. It’s your brand. The brand of you.
Say in the future you apply for another type of brand partnership – to be a brand ambassador, or an affiliate referral source, or to review a product (and thus receive free products), or to have a company sponsor your relay team (usually through more free products), whatever.
Those future brands that you want to partner with? They will review your blog before they approve or deny you.
And, as a marketing & PR professional, if I were reviewing a blog for a potential partnership, and I saw a post where you bad-mouthed another company, I would reject you. Regardless of the rest of your content, or how awesome I thought you were, or whether or not your angry/negative blog post was valid.
The point is, if you so easily posted negative things about another brand (a brand that at one point in time you wanted to partner with), I would consider you as a risk to do the same to my company. Any marketing & PR person worth their salt is going to do a little investigating before they approve a partnership with a blogger. If they don’t, that’s just sloppy and they aren’t doing their job properly.
So, be careful. Think twice about what you post. Now, if you never want to do brand partnerships in the future, then post whatever you want on your blog. But if you do, think about what you’re really putting out there. Maybe save some of your rants for your (in real life) friends. Keep it on the trail.
What do you think?