It’s a Misunderstanding!
The major misunderstanding about media and blogger will be resolved once you read this article carefully:
Brands Treating Bloggers as Media
Brands think that blogs are media too! Well, the time has come to slap you with the reality! Bloggers are not media people they are not authorized to publish content and they own no publishing license! They are free spirits and true personal voices using their own vision and perception to speak their minds about you!
Media agencies on the other hand, are established entities responsible for content publishing in a systematic and legalizes approach; content may be delivered via any medium such as the internet, television, print, and audio CDs… Publishing in definition is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information — the activity of making information available to the general public. Blogs however, is a form of publishing but is defined as a personal journal published on the World Wide Web. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject, the web self-empowered publishing tools such as “wordpress” has enabled individuals to get into publishing their journals. As a blogger you are not required to be a writer or a certified journalist, you are just someone with good writing skills writing in your own daily diary! (Definition by Wikipedia)
Now the first major misunderstanding is that brands think bloggers are Media! First and foremost if the media sends press release to blogger and the blogger published them this means end of “Blogging”! It’s no longer the personal voice reader is thriving to hear, it’s the media influence! This unfortunately leads to the dilution of “Blogging” as a concept! And not only that it also endangers media content to be misused, putting your content in the hands of an individual who may misuse it in any sense is your responsibility, the blogger in that case is not liable!
Bloggers are confused
Second misunderstanding is the blogger themselves acting as media, I personally do not blame them as they are young enthusiasts who got the attention of the brands and extremely thrilled about it! Brands themselves have confused blogger, brands must be responsible in directing bloggers and empowering them with tools and inspirations to blog naturally about them.
I personally am a blogger as you can see, and I appreciate everyone who voices out his thoughts and opinions in a blog format! However, the concept here is not being deployed properly. Brands must understand how to employ bloggers to their benefit, and differentiate between mediums as mentioned in my previous article.
Blogger Evaluation Criteria
The most important thing is that brands must know the criteria of evaluating a serious blogger who can be of benefit to their brands, there are too many of them and differentiating the influential bloggers is a task on its own. Remember that the number of “site hits” doesn’t say much about the blog performance, simply because in Web Analytics a“hit” is not a measurement value a “Hit” on your website is the retrieval of any file, like a page or graphic and other resources such as scripts like .js and .css files etc…from the web server (“Read my article about “hits definitions – HIT OF MISS”). The real measurement is to understand about the visitor page views; meaning the single impression made by a site visitor, which is something usually not announced by the blogger, also you need to look at the bounce back rate (the rate of site visitors dropouts).
Evaluation can be through looking at the quality of blog’s content, number of engagement, number followers, comments, and what type of comments is important, ask them for analysis of their blog visitors look further into the bounce back rate and page views, and most important google their names and see what is their reputation in the blogshpere. I would add to that interview the blogger getting closer to him/her before you decide to hand him/her your brand reputation.
Media must understand that bloggers are supportive channels to other major medias, there are smart ways to use them. Blogs influence the mass in the sense that its people talking to people, so communities can relate to their content in a much personal level than official media. Simple ways of using them is to call on them to speak about your brands in their own voice give them the freedom, don’t expect them to write about you leave it to them! All you need to do is to make them like you. Remember very well if the blogger starts writing about you only to show off then it’s no longer valid it’s fake and no one like that! This message is for bloggers too, if you are true to your blog then embrace the freedom of your opinion and be courageous!