Today, I sit in LAX Airport awaiting my flight to Houston. I, just recently, attended Hispanicize 2011, the premier social media conference focusing on Hispanics across a variety of genres like marketing, blogging, PR, and non-profit platforms. As a Texas girl, I had a really hard time adjusting to the time change and felt like I was going on fumes for most of the conference. I will, however, say it was an outstanding networking event, in which I was able to meet prominent Latino y Latina Bloggers and the PR agencies and Brands that dote on them.
In addition, I was honored to moderate the Mami Blogging 3.0 Session with Jocelyn from MamiofMultiples, Divina from DancingHotDogs, and Catalina from Catalina in LA and Greenery in Mommyhood. We discussed the power of the Mami Blogger, our circle of influence, and what makes us partner with brands. We talked content. We talked event etiquette. We talked money. Oh yes, we went there, but did we come across as greedy?
At the end of the second night, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a social media strategist I briefly talked to the night before. I won’t say his name or who he works for because, well, this post might get heated and why would I do that to the poor guy?
He discussed ways his company can work, directly, with bloggers and I shared best practices within the blogging community. We, immediately felt comfortable talking about everything under the sun. Well, it’s not hard. I’m a talker. He then told me, “I really want to talk to you about something that has to do with the bloggers directly and the compensation you guys speak of.”
Ok. Cool. Let me have it. I’m a big girl.
He stated that a LOT of PR professionals at the conference were taken aback at the message we were spreading of, “Pay me. Pay me. Pay me” even to the point of leaving the conference early stating, “Bloggers are NOT where it’s at. We’re not paying.“ I was appalled that this is the message we’re giving marketers and brands, but at the same time there really is no way around it. You want me to work with you? You want me to spread YOUR client’s company across MY social networks, the ones I worked hard to build? Well, what’s in it for me? My blog is not your free ad space and your company isn’t entitled to be on my site.. It’s earned.
In the Mami Blogging session, we discussed how we’d like to get compensated, what campaigns we feel NEED to be compensated, but I, solely, believe that we never came across as greedy. We’re business women just like the next. My blog is my business. I’m not going to boost your SEO and endorse your products to my readers because you simply said please. It doesn’t happen, BUT… here’s the kicker.
I HAVE worked for free. *gasp*
Other bloggers may frown on that stating, “If you work for free, PR agencies will want US to work for free. So stop!” I mentioned to fellow blogger, Jennifer Hutcheson from Mami2Mommy.com, that I wish the reps who were upset had come to me, had walked up to the mic during Q&A to bring their concerns to the table openly for all to hear.
I’ve worked for free.
I continue to work for free.
I do a lot of free posts and campaigns for non-profits I’m passionate about, such as Special Olympics. I also jump at the chance to do free work for companies that I have extensive relationships with. They do for me when I need it and I return the favor. It’s a win win, but a LOT of reps, especially those who don’t take the time and effort to help me build my brand, well why would I help you build yours?
So, back to the compensation. Yes, we do want to be compensated, but we also collaborate with companies on other ways to work together if that isn’t possible or in their budget. Don’t count us out quite yet Mister Close Minded PR professional.
Sometimes. It is about the money. Sometimes? It’s also about a working relationship that we can both benefit from. I once heard a blogger say, “Listen, I don’t necessarily have to be compensated to attend your event, but for the love that is all good in blogging, please don’t make me come out of pocket. Offer to help us with childcare options if children aren’t allowed at your event. Offer to cover our parking if you KNOW we’ll have to pay over 20 bucks for valet. Offer to pay for gas if you’re asking us to drive an hour away from home.” It really is that simple.
That’s all we ask. Do we want to get paid for our time, energy, and reach? Hell yes we do, but sometimes it’s simply letting us know you value our time, you value our position as a mom, and your company wants to benefit mutually through partnership.
On that note, Hispanicize was a rare jewel of a conference. I met with out-of-the-box marketing agencies. I led a panel of Latinas that will surely lead the march into a social media explosion on the Hispanic front. I also had the opportunity to announce my position as Director of Blogger Relations with a new company called Latina Mom Bloggers. More on that later next week, but if you’re a blogger, if you’re Latina, and if you’re a Mom………. We’re going to bring you amazing opportunities to build your brand by partnering you with national brands seeking Hispanic outreach in our community.
So tell me. Are you a blogger and do you think, when we ask for compensation, we’re coming off as greedy? To get even MORE in depth, do you know any bloggers (please don’t name names, because well… why would you?) that come across as a “Blogger Diva” turning down every opportunity unless it’s paid, thus, coming off as greedy?
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