- Posted by I'esha Hornes
- On October 22, 2012
I believe that this topic has been long overdue. I’ve been blogging since 2007, and most of the content on this site is related to an event that I went to or have promoted for my audience. Through all the years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never encountered some of the ratchet and craziness that I’ve dealt with lately. I thought since my goal is to motivate and inspire, my current objective should be to provide constructive criticism and support to those that just don’t know. This particular subject will be aimed at event planners and promoters who should and want to work with bloggers, in an effort to bring more attention and publicity to their events. Bloggers provide an opportunity to get your event and business in front of a diverse and unique audience, through social media post, articles, and videos on the internet. The work put into creating articles and post deliver substantial benefits similar to having your event featured in magazines and newspapers, except its all online. Through SEO (search engine optimization) and a large audience, bloggers have the power to influence their following to check out links and websites, just by mentioning a business’s name and information. Some Event Planners and Promoters have yet to comprehend the overall payback of utilizing this technique to get their name out there through the efforts of popular bloggers. My goal is to provide some tips and advice on how to make the collaboration between and Event Planner/Promoter and Blogger, a smooth and non-stressful situation.
Recently, I had the displeasure of working with an Event Planner/Promoter who lacked a general understanding of how our relationship would work. The individual was very new to their chosen business field and may have been a little touched mentally, but I digress. What was supposed to be yet another motivating and enlightened post on my website, turned into a twenty-minute shouting match over the phone, a situation I refuse to find myself in again. I blame a lack of communication and a dose of pure arrogance for what transpired, and I would like to ensure that every Event Planner and Promoter understands the dynamic between their event and what bloggers can offer. Because I can be somewhat of an “a**hole” LOL, I will use this current situation as an example of how to make the relationship with bloggers a successful one.
Dear Event Planners and Promoters,
- Make sure you are marketing your event to the right demographic. It’s easy to send Facebook invites to everyone your following. It’s even easier to shove a flyer in everyone’s hands, in hopes that people show up. However, if you don’t pay attention to the people who are actually interested in your business/event, you’re wasting paper and time.
- Be sure to stipulate (Accurately) what your event is about. Don’t promote your event as a social gathering where people can shop, network, socialize, and have drinks; when it’s actually a class or seminar that requires people to sit down and be quiet for over an hour. Be clear on your promotional materials what will occur if people attend. Folks hate going to events that sound like one thing, but turn out to be something completely different. We like to dress for the occasion.
- Consider having popular bloggers cover your event. With a Blogger on the roster of attendees, you not only have an extra person promoting your event to the public, but when the event is over, you also have media coverage reporting how it turned out, who was there, and footage of the fun and excitement. This will increase your ranking online, make you “Google-able” and give people an idea of the types of events that you plan. The links and photos are great for online portfolios and media kits.
- If you request to have, a Blogger cover your event, be prepared to compensate them. Some Bloggers do it for fun. Some Bloggers are actually running businesses and do it full time. This is information that you should know before agreeing to work with one. Very popular bloggers generate hundreds and thousands of hits on their website daily, which means they are more inclined to request some form of compensation, whether it be a flat fee or free tickets for their readers. A gift bag that everyone receives for coming to your event is NOT compensation. It would be in your best interest to sort that out before hand.
- If a Blogger did not request compensation and has offered to cover your event for free, you are not entitled to edit their post/article to present your event/business in a positive light. Since the Blogger isn’t being compensated for their time and efforts (covering your event “for free”), then that Blogger has the right to document their experience at your event just like it happened. To ensure that the things that you want to highlight and share are presented in the article/post, you may need to consider providing that Blogger with compensation. This is often referred to as an advertorial, where the Blogger promotes the aspects of the event that are agreed upon by the Event Planner/Promoter (brand). Through this method, the Promoter can list task they would like the Blogger to complete such as video, take photos of certain people in attendance, highlight certain businesses, and stay through out the duration of the event (no matter how long).
- If a Promoter/Event Planner has indicated the time of the event on the invitation or flyer, unless the Blogger is being paid to cover the event, they are not required to show up on time or stay the entire time in order to write an adequate article. The Blogger is writing on their experience at your event, not what you wanted them to experience.
- If you have Bloggers to report the details of your event, keep in mind the issue of seating. Like any media representative, a Blogger should have access to all aspects of the event (this may or may not include backstage). If a Blogger is being seated farthest away, they will not be able to provide quality photos and video. Have a separate section for those who need to take photos and video. By not paying attention to this minute detail, you run the risk of having a poor review from someone who has a large audience of readers.
- Event Planners/Promoters should make some time to greet and socialize with everyone, including bloggers. A Blogger may have questions or concerns during the event that may need to be answered to help them write a great article. Provide a liaison or assistant that can help you deal with bloggers during the event, because as a host/hostess you may not have time. Just as with any media representative, if a Blogger is unhappy it will reflect in the tone of the article, jeopardizing the reputation of the business and the event. It’s just plain customer service.
- The Blogger isn’t just covering the event, but also your behavior as well. If you are rude to guest and spend the majority of your time isolated from the crowd, this may be something that will be highlighted in their review. The most sociable individual should be the one that threw the party. So be prepared, if your appearance and attitude are off, anyone writing about your event can translate that in their review.
- If a Blogger decides to leave (because hopefully they have a life outside of your event), don’t get upset. Unless you have contracted that Blogger to cover your event (Paid them to cover the entire event), then it’s not a personal shot against you when they’ve decided they’ve had enough and choose to go home. The average person knows whether they are having a good time within 60 minutes of being somewhere. There is no reason to sit through any entire function, unless you’re being paid to do so. Remember, the Blogger is writing about their experience at your event, not clocking in and out of your event like a job.
- Most bloggers have several social media accounts, which they update frequently. Through these platforms, a Blogger has the ability to give minute-by-minute updates about your event. It’s important that Blogger have a good time, because this information can be conveyed immediately versus waiting for a full-length article on their website.
- After the event is over, Event Planners/Promoters should be cautious about trolling and/or stalking a Blogger’s Twitter or Facebook timeline for an idea of how they enjoyed the event. Some comments may be misinterpreted, causing mass confusion before an article is even posted. Other comments may be straightforward; in this case, you should still wait for an actual article/post before confronting the Blogger about it. Some bloggers don’t like to discuss their article until it has been created, and because an unpaid article cannot be edited by an Event Planner/Promoter, it’s really a lost cause to argue with them about their content.
- Event Planners/Promoters should not assume that a Blogger is their personal marketing team, especially if they have not paid the Blogger to cover their event. If an event receives a bad review, it’s tacky to contact the author of that review and curse them out over the phone. It’s extremely tacky!
- As an Event Planner/Promoter, if you are trying to avoid negative reviews, it doesn’t matter whether or not you enlist bloggers to cover your event or not. Some patrons may have websites, blogs, or other platforms that they share information on, but are not publicized or well known. If a Blogger does not contact you and you have not hired them, that person can still come to your event and report about their experience, and you will never have known. So to only work with bloggers that will say nice things about you free, eventually your events and business will be reflected as staged and inauthentic.
- When the review is posted, it’s best that the Event Planner/Promoter take the time to share the link and information for the article/post written about them. Although the Blogger may have a large audience, it shows the supporters of the event and Event Planner that they are being featured and shares details specific to the event, which may be useful to party-goers.
- The relationship between an Event Planner/Promoter and Blogger is not an automatic friendship. It is a business relationship. Laughing at a joke or introducing someone to a family member, does not equate to owning someone and his or her actions. Unless otherwise stated, the relationship starts at the beginning of the event and ends at the conclusion of it. Event Planners should not take it personally when a review is not worded the way they want it to be.
- A bad review is not a proverbial coffin for future events. It’s always in an Event Planners best interest to sway the audience of a bad review. If your event wasn’t so hot the first time around, due to some small details, throw another event! Make sure that the Blogger knows about it, so that they can check it out. Hopefully, the second time around, with all issues rectified, you can gain a positive review for your brand and business and a brand new audience of future patrons.
I’m always looking to support local businesses and events in my area, with the intention of showing my audience what’s out there and available to them. I’ve covered a wide range of events that catered to diverse demographics. I understand the amount of work and detail that goes into planning an event and function, as I have done so in the past myself. I have never walked into an event with the intention to slander or gossip about a promoter, because my site is dedicated to promoting and inspiring people through the actions of others. When my work is sought after, I assume it is because the person knows what I can bring to the table and is prepared to work together in a harmonious fashion. I never assume someone’s intentions are to abuse my hard work and reputation by providing no compensation for my time and efforts, and then disrespect me because they can’t get what they want. As a popular Blogger, I want my name to be synonymous with positive reporting and creative motivation, not disparaging reviews and local gossip.
It takes time to create articles and post, time that is filled with hours of dedication and a passion for what I do. I’m insulted by the amount of Promoters and Planners who assume that this work is not worthy enough for compensation, choosing to enlist hobbyist to do their guerilla marketing. Like any business, the goal is to provide a service and be paid. If a Blogger does not request payment for services, then you have just received a huge favor, especially when that Blogger is popular and generating a large number of traffic. With that said, don’t insult the Blogger, don’t make demands of the Blogger, and don’t assume they will fluff up their article to say what you want it to say just because you believe you’ve been very nice to them.
The internet is an ever-growing space and people are still learning the roles of those that utilize it. Businesses are just now learning the benefits of using online publishers to increase their visibility and search ranking. Through information and education on how to best market yourself locally using bloggers and online publishers, you can very well make a name for yourself in a rapidly growing industry and get assistance while doing so.
- I’m the SITS Girls Featured Blogger Today! (carloatyourservice.com)
- 10 Common Mistakes Event Planners Make (bioeventspr.com)
- Wanna Guarantee the Failure of Your Next Event? Don’t Follow This Advice… (theceriouslife.com)
- ‘Dear Blogger’ & Other Pitch Mistakes PR Pros Make (prnewswire.com)
- It’s okay for brands to pay bloggers for their time (mumbrella.com.au)
- How to Hand Out Flyers Online (Old School and New School Techniques) (smartpassiveincome.com)
- Online Reputation: Fostering Relationships With Influential Bloggers (successful-blog.com)