Are Brands Taking Liberties with Bloggers?
As traditional media outlets struggle with less and less eyeballs on their print content, brands are replying heavily on bloggers to get their message out.
Of course, this isn't a secret because this has been the way of things for about three or four years now — if not longer.
As brands become more comfortable with reaching out to and working with bloggers, there are a couple of trends growing around content expectations that never would fly with traditional media.
For example, I have had executives and brand representatives ask to see the copy before I publish it. Typically I won't as I feel there is still such a thing as journalistic integrity and it shouldn't matter whether you are a traditional media-type or a new media creator. Previewing stories isn't a common practice. It does happen on occasion, but it is rare.
At the end of the day, bloggers are reporting on a story. They are gathering facts, putting them together in a coherent manner, while adding it all to a larger context — resulting in a comprehensive news item for the reader.
Now, back in the days, if there was an error or something factually incorrect, the brand had the right to call for a correction.
Sometimes papers would run them. Sometimes not — depending on who made the error.
This practice happens in the blogosphere, only it's assumed that the correction will be made without acknowledgment of it.
Then there's the occasion where a company doesn't like the tone of a post and requests changes be made because it's not "on message."
Now, if the content is sponsored content, that is one thing (a practice that the FTC has cracked down on and is watching very closely). However, if the blogger developed the story in a traditional manner — fact finding and reporting — then there is absolutely no reason why a correction should be made unless there was a misquote or incorrect fact.Continued on the next page