Code Of Ethics For Blogger Outreach Programs

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by: Karl Long

In the last couple of years the idea of reaching out to bloggers as a PR/Marketing tactic has started to become a mainstay for companies looking to engage early adopters and technology leaders. I’ve personally been amazed at the sophistication and scale of programs that I have been privy to.

Way beyond schwag, bloggers have become an important, trusted, and generally independent voice in the media sphere. As more and more companies approach and interact with the O’Sphere questions of ethics, independence and transparency have come to the fore. Somewhat related I think the the Nikon Ambassador program was extremely well executed, Pop PR has an in depth case study of some Nokia blogger outreach and Greg Verdino has got a bit of a blogger outreach roundup here.

Anyway, the reason I started writing this post was I recently read about Ogilvy PR’s Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics from Rohit Bhargava’s Blog and I think it’s a great start and an important reference for any companies engaged in blogger outreach programs.

Here’s the list including some some emphasis to things I think are important.

Ogilvy PR’s Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics

  • We reach out to bloggers because we respect your influence and feel that we might have something that is “remarkable” which could be of interest to you and/or your audience.
  • We will only propose blogger outreach as a tactic if it complements our overall strategy. We will not recommend it as a panacea> for every social media campaign.
  • We will always be transparent and clearly disclose who we are and who we work for in our outreach email.
  • Before we email you, we will check out your blog’s About, Contact and Advertising page in an effort to see if you have blatantly said you would not like to be contacted by PR/Marketing companies. If so, we’ll leave you alone.
  • If you tell us there is a specific way you want to be reached, we’ll adhere to those guidelines.
  • We won’t pretend to have read your blog if we haven’t.
  • In our email we will convey why we think you, in particular, might be interested in our client’s product, issue, event or message.
  • We won’t leave you hanging. If your contact at Ogilvy PR is going out of town or will be unreachable, we will provide you with an alternate point of contact.
  • We encourage you to disclose our relationship with you to your readers, and will never ask you to do otherwise.
  • You are entitled to blog on information or products we give you in any way you see fit. (Yes, you can even say you hate it.)
  • If you don’t want to hear from us again, we will place you on our Do Not Contact list – which we will share with the rest of the Ogilvy PR agency.
  • If you are initially interested in the campaign, but don’t respond to one of our emails, we will follow up with you no more than once. If you don’t respond to us at all, we’ll leave you alone.
  • Our initial outreach email will always include a link to Ogilvy PR’s Blog Outreach Code of Ethics.

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