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May 09, 2006

New Title: Director of Blogger Relations

Here's an excerpt from an interesting post from BeyondBlogging2006 on the issue of bloggers at events. How to Handle Bloggers - aka “Blogger Relations”:

"So next time you are planning an event or a project, take a few moments and come up with a strategy for handling Bloggers in a way that respects them as people who publish - regardless of their reach. You need not give away the farm to them, but at least figure out a way to embrace them as someone who cares enough about what you do to invest time into telling others about it."
I've actually thought about requesting a press pass for some conferences based on my blogger status. Haven't done it yet.

I think associations need to be more proactive about engaging bloggers in the industries or professions or causes they represent. Here at my association, we've kicked around the idea of waiving the registration fee for an influential blogger or two to attend a new conference we'll launch this summer. ASAE & The Center have done a good job of integrating bloggers into their annual meeting. And remember the heat NAR took for disallowing a blogger in their annual meeting press room last year.

Church of the Customer opines frequently on the opportunity to generate positive word of mouth by embracing bloggers at events (two posts). Specifically, they write:
Event bloggers provide commentary on ideas, meetings, or information they find valuable. They evangelize people or products they love and report problems or issues that raise their ire. Their honesty makes them credible to fellow customer prospects. You could also consider hiring bloggers — ideally, existing customers — to cover your event. They attend the keynotes and other key sessions and record their posts on an event blog. Be sure to fully disclose the terms of bloggers paid to cover your event.
Bottom line? At the bare miniumum, associations need a strategy for dealing with bloggers. I would suggest that "ignore" or "dismiss" are not good ones.

By the way, BeyondBlogging2006 looks like a cool event. I have a conflict, but would like to hear how it goes.

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