How Not To Treat Bloggers

How not to treat bloggers? Treating bloggers should not be any different than treating a reporter. You want them to help you spread the word about your product or service, so you need to do anything you can to make that blogger or reporter happy and provide them with relevant information.

Let me share a little story about the upcoming Philadelphia Marathon…

I received an email from a woman from LaneTerralever, a PR firm that represent Gor-tex. Gor-Tex is the headline sponsor of the Philadelphia Marathon.  The note asked if I would like to have three admissions to any of the three races Gor-Tex was hosting during the weekend of November 21 in Philly. I was excited. Wouldn’t it make a great story to run the 8K race with my daughter and my niece and write about the experience? Both have never done a race longer than a 5K.

So I coordinated back and forth with her.  Here’s my correspondence:

My name is Megan Breinig, and I’m reaching out on behalf of the GORE-TEX® brand. I saw that it was your 1 year anniversary in triathlons congrats and keep up the good work! (Good lead!  She captures my attention right away.)

A lot of us at the GORE-TEX® brand are runners, too. In fact, we’re the title sponsor of this year’s Philadelphia Marathon. We get a few free registrations with our sponsorship and we want to get them in the hands of people who would be interested in running.

 So I write her back and say:

If I can get 2 for the 8K or the half I’m in…

She offers me three codes instead of two and now I’m really a happy camper!  I think I’ll give these out to my neice and my daughter.  I rented a room in a hotel in Philly for two nights. I figured it would be a great weekend to bond.

I tried to register the three of us. But the codes didn’t work.  I wrote to the rep again.  She provided me with different codes.  When I tried one more time to use them, they still didn’t work.

I reached out to her again.  She wrote back and said:

After checking and testing the codes are only valid for the half marathon and full. I apologize for the confusion.

APOLOGIZE for the confusion??? Seriously?  I wrote her back and told her I was very frustrated and upset. It was more than $100 for the half and the full and only $45 for the 8K.  I spent around $150.  But she told me she couldn’t do anything about it.

If it were me and my firm, I would have reimbursed the blogger because it was my fault for not checking to begin with and we would have provided the blogger with swag.  If Megan had told me that the reimbursement was for the half or the full only, I would not have done this.

Lesson learned:  If you are targeting bloggers, follow through with your word.