BAD, BAD, REALLY BAD Blogger: On Professionalism

 A few weeks ago, I posted about how companies can and should recognize bloggers for good work by considering them for paid opportunities, whether blogger ambassadorships, content-writing gigs, consulting projects, or fulltime employment. The post made the point that after a blogger has established her street cred by blogging well about your products, for no charge, it’s time to look for ways to validate and expand that relationship.

Now I’d like to talk about what bloggers can and should do to position themselves for those opportunities. In fact, that was the topic of a panel presentation I participated in at last week’s BlogHer, called  “Minding Your Own Business: Bad Blogger Pitches (The Other Side of the PR-Blogger Relationship).”

The most important thing a blogger must do to be taken seriously by a brand is: be professional.

In an effort to best illustrate what agencies and brands consider professional, I’d like to share 5 examples of what is NOT:

  1. Complaining in social media about PR people. I mean, REALLY. Fact is, you never know where we may wind up — one day a lowly publicist at an agency, the next head of PR at a company you’d kill to work with. We’re your gateway to opportunities. Don’t slam the door.
  2.  Grousing about 1) not being asked to review a specific product 2) not being invited to an event 3) everything. Do the math. There are thousands of mom bloggers out there. We can’t send you all products and we can’t invite you to every event, unless they all take place at Madison Square Garden.
  3. Opting in to review a product and then not reviewing it. And not bothering to tell us you’re not going to review it. Or why. Or not returning our email or call when we ask, politely, for feedback. Or reviewing it in March when it was sent to you for Christmas. And is no longer on the market. Making your post worthless.
  4. Posting a review and getting all the facts wrong. Minor points such as the spelling of the client’s name, the price or the link.
  5. RSVPing to an event and then not showing up, with no notice beforehand or apology afterward. Which is even worse than cancelling the night before, after all the arrangements have been made, and all those extra meals, products, massages, etc., have already been paid for, in advance, as you would for a wedding. Dropping out is not only unprofessional, but just plain rude.

To the professionals out there — you know who you are.  Keep it up–we love you and will bend over backward to find great opportunities for you. To the rest, my best advice is: Follow their lead.

Moms, why do you think so many bloggers behave this way? Marketers, what have been your bad-blogger experiences?