PR Events, Blog Advertising & Internet Marketing Course at AIM

Note: This is a discussion about Bloggers and Blog Marketing and what Marketing/PR Executives can expect from bloggers.

Bloggers seated from Left to right:
Jonel, Azrael, me, Peter, Juned and Markku
while Regnard Raquedan is standing.

I thought I was just supposed to be an observer/participant of the Bloggers’ round table discussion on Blogging & Blog Marketing: Conversations that can lead to Conversions at the Internet Marketing Course specifically called Winning Internet Marketing Strategies & Tactics at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) . The course is a three and a half-day course designed to demystify Internet Marketing for executives, consultants, and entrepreneurs. It gives participants a practical understanding of how websites, blogs, and social networks are changing the old rules of marketing. I was pretty much surprised when Regnard Raquedan told us to sit in the front and talk about blogging, blog advertising and blog events.

I believe this was my chance to state my opinion in an academic setting where I won’t be accused of being a blogging police of sorts. (Edit: Take note that this discussion is not meant to criticize bloggers) I felt that not a lot of media/advertising managers are aware on what blogging is all about. I also think that a lot of misunderstanding is caused by lack of knowledge on bloggers per se. After one and a half hours of discussion, the key points are summarized below by Regnard as follows: (The details are mine)


1. Bloggers are diverse: We come in all shapes & sizes, and different backgrounds, interests & motivations

I believe this is clear enough. There are blogs that talk of travel, food, lifestyle, business, entertainment. Each blogger has a reason for starting their own blog. (Edit Carlo Ople writes more on this at 4 Types of Bloggers: Value, Hobby, Journal, and Google where the 4 categories can overlap, and in fact some of the best bloggers have stricken a balance on how to be all 4. Juned expands the definition of blogger in form and goal.)

2. Despite the diversity, bloggers have one big thing in common: passion

Passion drives bloggers to blog regularly. Their topics interest them and it motivates them to search for unique content for their blog.


3. Bloggers follow a personal code of ethics (e.g. advertising, blogger events, etc.)

Each blogger sets their own standards. Some blogger refuse to add any sort of advertising in their blog. Others place google adsense, third party ads from the local blog ad networks and other advertising options. Others get paid to do reviews through hosted pages or pay per post opportunities. Others choose third party ads but don’t participate in pay per post or events. The choice is set by the bloggers.

4. For most bloggers, online reputation matters

Credibility is important for a blogger. I already discussed it in my entry on The Bloggers’ Credibility and Credentials in Filipino Voices. You are essentially what you write and will be judged accordingly by your readers, the blog’s community.

5. When working with bloggers, authenticity of the advocacy & commitment of the company/proponent is important (i.e. “one shot advocacy events,” hard sell to bloggers)

I shared the FilipinaImages.com advocacy to the participants and illustrated that an appealing advocacy is easily picked up by bloggers without much prodding.

6. Money is generally looked down upon as a reward/incentive

Some local companies have approached bloggers in the past to post positive reviews of their product/service for a fee. This is generally not acceptable to most bloggers as it ruins their credibility. A corporate blogger is not the same though because the blogger is paid a fixed salary and disclosure of that fact is stated in the “About Page”.

7. When working with bloggers, companies should strive to make an impression and make sure the blogger has a story to tell after the event

I shared my view that in the recent months, I am not happy with the way PR events are handled by the newcomers. I think that some PR companies are just lazy to do their own research and just invite warm bodies for the sake of buzz. Some PR events do not deliver a clear message to the bloggers. I admire this PR company, a pioneer in blog events because they do their homework. The people behind the PR company actually subscribe to our blogs and feel the pulse of the blogosphere. A close relationship with the bloggers forge friendships and social networking. They know which bloggers are relevant to their clients. They actually do research.

Lastly, PR companies should be clear on their goal for the blog event : is it Quantity (shotgun approach and invite as many bloggers for the buzz ) or Highly Niched (Maximum of 20 bloggers who are seeking content for their blog and suit the clients’ niche)

Know whom to invite: Not all bloggers can influence your target market, and not all of them can have the same level of interaction with their readers.

I believe I said more like “let’s not stress too much on the freebies in blog events or else a rise in freebie culture will take place. Tell a story so we can bring home the content”.

So yes, this is an academic discussion on the state of the blog advertising, PR events and other blog marketing practices in the recent months. It is meant to improve the blog marketing practices among the media practioners of the Philippines and a greater understanding of the bloggers in Metro Manila. I was pleased that Professor Ricky Lim personally thanked the bloggers for “sharing and helping create a vibrant blogging movement here in the Philippines. ” On behalf of AIM, he thanked us and hoped
we could come again to talk to their students.

Glad to know that our contributions added to the intellectual capital of the management community.

Do you have anything more to add?


Photos courtesy of Regnard Raquedan

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1346 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

The comments posted on my blog are moderated. I reserve the right to remove comments, words or phrases that are defamatory, abusive, incite hatred and advertise an email address or commercial services or just plain spammy. I also reserve the right to remove posts that to my opinion are off-topic, irrelevant, ad-hominem, personal attacks and or just plain rude.
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  • http://newmedia.com.ph New Media Philippines

    Hi Noemi. Let me just add to the discussion and the topic. Thanks to our little chat last Saturday (together with Sonnie), I was able to come up with 4 types of Bloggers: Value-driven, Google/SEO, Hobby, and Journal. These types can overlap, but the best types would definitely have Value-driven in the mix.

    Marketers should not just throw an open invite if their goal is to have a good hit rate. They should tell their agencies and consultants to come up with a list of bloggers with their respective statistics and reason on why they want to invite him/her.

    However, if they’re after general awareness, then an open invite would be okay – but you’re still not sure with the quality of content and bloggers that you can get for the event.

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      That’s an enlightening post. It gives clarity on the type of blogging that is being done in the Philippines.

      The Open Invite is an event that is not so unique. Imagine, hundreds of bloggers writing about it. if it is just awareness but the quality is not really there

      Thanks for your insights Very valuable.

  • http://newmedia.com.ph New Media Philippines

    Hi Noemi. Let me just add to the discussion and the topic. Thanks to our little chat last Saturday (together with Sonnie), I was able to come up with 4 types of Bloggers: Value-driven, Google/SEO, Hobby, and Journal. These types can overlap, but the best types would definitely have Value-driven in the mix.

    Marketers should not just throw an open invite if their goal is to have a good hit rate. They should tell their agencies and consultants to come up with a list of bloggers with their respective statistics and reason on why they want to invite him/her.

    However, if they’re after general awareness, then an open invite would be okay – but you’re still not sure with the quality of content and bloggers that you can get for the event.

    New Media Philippiness last blog post..4 Types of Bloggers: Value, Hobby, Journal, and Google

  • http://maccomplainer.com BrianB

    so why not invite those pyramid scheme bloggers? They seem to make a lot of money 🙂

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      that would mean the event would be “Pyramid Schemes”

  • http://www.arpeelazaro.com arpee lazaro

    this would have been nice to attend. too bad i found out rather late and slots were limited. hope you don’t forget me for the next one!

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      definitely. I am sure AIM will make this a regular course. I heard it qill be quarterly

  • http://www.technobiography.com ka edong

    I would have loved to be at that forum and listen to insights from the panel and the students. 😉

    Thanks for sharing it here, Noemi.

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      The students and even the organizers appreciated the inputs. I hope we can have another one even if it is not in AIM.

  • Meg

    I saw a plurk saying she is “sad to read how newbie aggressive bloggers being looked down upon by some. Is this a trend?”

    Is this the same discussion?

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      If that person is pertaining to the roundtable discussion. Peter Rahon who was one of the participants admitted he was a newbie blogger and appreciates that he is learning from the discussion.

      Certain aggressive behaviors are definitely frowned upon but that is the blogger’s choice. Let me cite examples:

      1. Getting mad at the PR for not being invited.
      2. Bringing uninvited guests to a PR event.
      3. Getting peeved that their freebie was not what she wanted.
      4. what about namedropping bloggers?

      Aggressive meaning wanting to improve their blog is NOT wrong. ALl these discussions are not meant to criticize but to improve or reassess motives and intentions of PR and events as well as bloggers attending these events.

      BTW, I read that plurk. And no, domain, PR , branding and traffic has nothing to do with my views. The aggressiveness is being talked about already and neither came from me.

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      I’d like to point out that this discussion is not a talk on bloggers and motives. This is about Blogging & Blog Marketing: Conversations that can lead to Conversions.

      Types of bloggers were just mentioned to give an overview and then this was correlated to blog marketing strategies to be used by companies or PR firms

  • http://www.technobiography.com ka edong

    Re: newbies and long-timer bloggers.
    I think there is *always* a natural gap between long-timers and newbies.

    long-timers giving a perception that there are rules established.
    and newbies not recognizing/accepting the rules and making their own.

    I think it’s a classic case of “new kid in the playground”.

    Bottom-line for me:
    Let’s help each other in developing the community.
    Help the community (both long-timers and newbies) be better aware of the implications of certain behaviours / actions.
    Then let each determine how they want to behave.

    The game is changing and so are the rules.
    Let’s play fair 😉 .
    Fair based on universal rules of kindness.

    ka edong

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      You hit it right. These discussions are meant to help each other and in the end, it is the blogger’s choice on how they should blog and motives for blogging.

  • http://styleandrelax.net Lace Llanora

    I would like to reiterate the point made that marketing professionals and PR firms should try to research and do their homework also. Maybe they should also experiment by creating a blog of their own and observing how everything works – submerge themselves in a certain community, social networks, etc.

    As with e-commerce, blogging is also dynamic and the best way to learn is by experiencing the medium itself.

    We also tackled how there is no definite measure of how a blog is ranked higher than another. However, there are statistics that they can look at such as subscribers, traffic, and more importantly – the quality of the content.

    Oh I really missed academic discourse 🙂

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      You know what, this same PR company I have high respect for encourages its staff to own blogs and join social networking sites. Next time, you we should have another round of talks and your experience will surely help bloggers and the PR companies.

  • http://LetsGoSago.net LetsGoSago.net

    Great list Noemi.

    Having a seat aside, I find the panel balanced such that many blogger niche were represented from travel to pop culture and parenting to photo blogs. Even the age ‘maturity’ 🙂 of the bloggers, from some newbies to the more established ones.

    In the end, the companies were able to hear different viewpoints from the blogosphere’s different segments, at the least.

    Cheers!

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      that was a pretty interesting mix and it wasn’t even planned.

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  • http://www.donaldserrano.com Donald Serrano

    kayo po ba yung nakita ko kanina sa net25??? hehe

  • http:[email protected] Doodler

    Hi, Noemi,

    I agree that some pr agencies sometimes do not take the time to research on the bloggers they invite to their events. From the client’s side, it’s a waste of money. From the blogger’s side, it’s a waste of time.

  • http://www.unlawyer.net Paul

    That would have been an interesting course to attend, except that the tuition was rather expensive.

    Pauls last blog post..Lenovo Ideapad S10 Netbook Review

  • Rocky

    this is a good post.

  • karen apostol

    hi, i’m planning to do a thesis on blog advertising and its effect on bloggers. may i ask if you may give some insights on this? thank you.

  • http://www.targetseo.com/ targetseo

    Hello, I plan to do a thesis on advertising on blogs and their effect on bloggers. ¿I can ask if you can give some ideas? Thank you.