Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Do Bloggers Need a Code of Conduct?

Following on from my post asking whether there were rules to blogging, and after another discussion at Blogger.ed, do we need a Bloggers Code of Conduct, a Mission statement for all bloggers?

In recent weeks, we've seen some stories of how Bloggers either individually, or as a group, have been, in their opinion, poorly treated by a PR company, or due to a brand being difficult.

More and more bloggers are being invited to take part in more and more events. But things differ between event.

Some Bloggers complain that all events seem to take place in London, and its true, I don't think I've ever been invited to an event anywhere else, apart from a site visit in Hatfield.

Some complain about the short notice that Bloggers, either Northern or Southern, get about events. This is annoying being that we are all Mums and Dads, either who must take a day off work or organise childcare.

Plus theres travel- do you ask for your travel to be covered, or will that make the PR or brand think you're being to graspy?  If the PR or Brand involved offers to pay travel, do you ask for only part in case they feel its too expensive?

In light of what has humorously come to be known as GravyGate, is it ever exceptable to mail shot as many Bloggers as you can find contact details for, only to cherry pick who comes at the last minute, when more than you have the budget for say they can come?

So, what do businesses do in a situation to ensure they treat their customers the right way, and what they expect in return? 

They have a Mission Statement, or a Customer Charter.

Whilst it would get highly confusing for all bloggers and PRs and Brands to go off merrily and write their own list of dos, don't and expectations, it would become a diverse minefield. 

What we need is to get a group together, and pitch what each sector would like to do and how they'd ideally like to be treated in return. 

Such as timescales- if a brand sends out a product for review, should they be allowed a reasonable time in which they can expect a review to be posted or an event to be mentioned? 

Do Bloggers want more say on how late is too late to be invited to an event?

Should there be a universal travel expenses amount, say 50% for PRs or brads to reimburse Bloggers?

Social Media, in the form we use it, is still relatively new, so maybe rather than Bloggers becoming angry with or disillusioned with PRs and Brands, and these then alienating themselves from Bloggers who can mutually help one another, a charter needs to exist, agreed for and made up by all sides, to make everything run just that little bit smoother.

Then we need never have a gravygate scenario ever again!


  1. Love the term 'gravygate'. I have just written a post about PRs approaching bloggers, as more and more catch on to the impact of using bloggers to help their campaigns the more rude the emails seem to be getting.

    Would love your comments too

  2. I think getting everyone together and generating a list of ideas is fab

  3. Ah the PR v Blogger debate. We take a few steps forward then a 10 steps back. Like you said, its all still very new. I think it will take a good while and something like "gravygate" to happen so that PRs will learn to strategise better. I work in PR and being a blogger has been a saving grace. We need to educate and be educated.

    Maria xx


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