Teapots are shaking as America and the United Kingdom tremble over a blogging controversy
Ok, it’s a little more serious than that. I haven’t seen a mini-tempest like this for a while, and I’m happy to have helped stir the pot!
Big discussion in a blogger group on Facebook and over on HR Fishbowl about the blogger-vendor relationship at HR conferences, revolving around the 2012 SHRM Conference in Atlanta where I will be blogging .
You really should go check out these two posts by Charlie Judy “SHRM Blogger Beware” and a rebuttal post from Jackie Abramian, a guest blogger the vendor side which is titled “Vendors and Bloggers: Locked in Love and Hate.”
Here some of what I had to say on the topic.
I’ve shared some of this with Jackie privately via email but here are some general suggestions and observations:
Agencies would be better served by HR bloggers by working to develop on-going relationships, rather than random once a year blasts through SHRM. Do stuff like working with us to involve us on an on-going basis with your clients and their products throughout the year via facilitated chats on Twitter, Google Hangouts, and other forms of new media. Many do that now, but there is more market.
Support our blogs. Comment there. Join our dialogues, and have your client/partners do the same. We’re a community of professionals, not a marketing channel. Approach us from that viewpoint.
In the HR blogosphere, many of us are practitioners and we do this for love and to help advance the profession. I rarely get paid directly. for anything I do on the blog. SHRM is comping me a press pass to the conference, and I am paying my own travel expenses which will be well over $1000. Just my POV as a practitioner with a day job and a lot of passion for my profession.
I echo Charlie’s viewpoint to a certain extent. We are there to share the SHRM conference with our readers, and while the vendors are important, the products they sell and the briefings are really that interesting to readers on my blog anyway.
The other part of it is, as bloggers we get asked to give a lot of free promo, and don’t get much back in return for our time. You and your agency get paid for the time you spend, but we don’t.. Not suggesting you should pay us, but somehow the quid pro quo of the investment needs to be a more even deal. Possibly working with a group of bloggers in your customer product “whelelhouse” and treating them as insiders would be a better idea.
One blogger from the UK, @BillBoorman suggested speed briefings today (15 minutes for a group during a certain set period) – that;s not a bad idea either.
That’s my two cents.