By: Richmond Sajini

The other day I had a tweetversation (no, that’s not a real word) with super publicist Lorinda Voges of 4 Elements Media and she raised some concerns about what is acceptable when it comes to blogging. This prompted me to write a list of things that people who start a blog for the wrong reasons do, which in turn gives passionate bloggers a bad reputation.

1. Posting press releases

The relationship between bloggers and publicists could be very beneficial for a brand provided it is managed properly. I have seen many bloggers post releases exactly the way that it was sent to them and 1000 others. Some publicists like this – it means you are publishing the exact information that they want out there, but in the long run it benefits no one. Publicists have to have a genuine response from bloggers and if you do not at least write an original and honest post, using the release only as background information, you are not helping the publicist. Not only do they not get an honest opinion, they also do not know where to improve on their products/events because you did not tell them what they could have done better.

Tip: If a publicist wants you to publish their press release, tell them that you will only do so on condition that it is a sponsored post – meaning that you get money/products/tickets or an invite. Win-win situation.

2. Plagiarism

I have found many articles online that I share with my readers on my blog. This is great for whoever has published it if you include a link back to the original site. Claiming someone else’s work as your own is wrong and it is illegal.

Tip: Include a pingback/link to the original article or source of the images you use in your posts. Also, add colour to the article by including your own thoughts and opinions on someone else’s writing instead of just copying the whole text.

3. Dishonest reviews

Don’t be the blogger who goes on and on and on about how amazing product X is just because the publicist was nice enough to send you a few samples. Respect your readers enough to give them an honest write-up about how you found the product. Once more, you will also be helping the publicist with real solutions that could improve the product/event.

Tip: Tell your readers upfront when doing reviews if you are getting paid for it and ask yourself if your nice review is influenced by the fact that you are getting paid. I’m not saying be mean, but be honest.

About the author

Richmond Sajini is a Public Relations and Communication student at the University of Johannesburg. He is an entertainer and media entrepreneur who has been told to shut up many times by people who don’t understand that he is in love with the sound of his own voice. For this reason he decided to start his own blog where he would share his thoughts and experiences without inhibition.

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