I am troubled

I’ve had a company approach me and ask if I will promote them on my blog. I’m troubled by this and need advice. Here’s a list of thoughts I’m having about it…

– I never thought I’d use the blog in this way. I have no issue promoting a company because of my own opinions. But to actively promote them?
– The company seems to be a company I wouldn’t mind being associated with. So morally, I’m in tune with the company, so that sits fine with me
– How would my audience react to this? My readership is important to me, so do you a) care? and b) mind when you see it on other blogs?
– If I choose to go ahead with this, is it wrong of me to ask for something in return? I don’t make money off the blog anyway, so this may be a smaller consideration than I originally think. As a side point, I remember TheHRD promoted companies on his blog, but he was very clear the money produced from doing this went to a charity event he was supporting. I’d be quite comfortable asking something like this.


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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

10 thoughts on “I am troubled”

  1. Provided it doesn’t interfere with my reading experience and disclosure is full and clear, I have no issue at all. You put time and effort into a great blog, you should feel free to monitise if you wish!

  2. My advice: don’t ‘promote’ on your blog, explain the product/company and your reaction honestly. Explain you’ve been paid to consider the product/company. Make it clear that you’re paid for your reaction, and because you have an audience and that you haven’t been paid to promote.

    Be honest, treat your audience as adults and don’t allow the vendor to veto anything.

  3. My fundamental point would be WHY are they asking you to do this?

    Are they offering collaborative, value-added services that they believe will genuinely add value to, and support your, readers?

    Or are they simply tapping into a popular, ready-made ‘L&D’ market purely in order to ‘advertise’ something?

    I think that once you define WHY they want to feature on your blog, then you should be able to establish whether YOU want to grant them your audience or not.

  4. I agree with both James and Donald. This is PR 2011 and bloggers are very important to social media campaigns – I absolutely agree with Donald’s bit about letting the company veto your words; no editor dedicated to his readers would let that happen. At the end of the day, Sukh, you need to be comfy with it. Do it if it feels right and if it ties into a message you’re already trying to get across, but if it feels like a sales campaign, I know I’d feel very wary.

  5. Thanks folks for various comments, you are helping me to think better about this. I guess the key thing from their approach is that it really isn’t sales led. They’ve had a very collaborative approach to me and not insisted on anything, and been very open to answering my very direct questions to them.

    I guess what I’ve been troubled with really is, will my readership be ok with it? And as you’ve mentioned above, as long as I’m open and clear about why I allow it to happen, then I can leave my readership to decide what they make of it.

    Thank you.

  6. I’m late to the party but it sounds like the company, it’s products/services and approach are not troubling to you Sukh. In fact these might even be attractive! So that leaves your consideration for your audience and the value you receive for promoting this company…

    Your readers follow you and what you have to say to support, learn, share, discuss…. you’ve created the space and dialogue that gets the result you currently get. This will change as you and your readership develops and this is also part of the deal – the quid pro quo if you like.

    So on the theme of change and quid pro quo, what does this promotion now say about you Sukh? Does it signal a new direction you are taking or reinforce what you currently represent? Either way you will be getting something from promoting this company. Just make sure you know your value!

    [P.S. The above questions are of course rhetorical as you see fit, but that’s just part of the quid pro quo with your readership isn’t it?]

  7. Also late to the party, (Sukh where’s your email subscription box???)

    I would go for it and take whatever money/gift/thank you they offer and choose to you use how you wish.

    If the company itself is ok to you then why not tell us? After all we read your blog to hear your thoughts and that in essence is a thought….!

    Be brutally honest it is a plug and mould it how you wish. I have in the past reviewed one product for my blog, it was total PR targeted stuff. I did because I hadn’t done it before and well I got something free. It so happens I haven’t had a request since………. (and I gave a good review)!

    Go with your gut!

  8. @ James, that is something I’m quite keen to understand myself, and is one of the reasons I wrote this post!

    @ David, some good questions there. So will this be a new direction for me? I really don’t know yet. I guess my curiosity has been peaked that’s for sure. I’m keen to see how this pans out and what it ends up meaning for me. It is supportive of what I currently represent (I think), so it shouldn’t detract from anything on my blog. an dI agree about the quid pro quo. After all, as much as I enjoy writing, it’s the interaction with my readers that keeps on going, and I relish that.

    @ Oli, thanks for the support there mister, it helps to encourage my thinking on this. It’ll happen, just need to decide what it looks like, when, and for how long.

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