The 6 biggest briefs on blogger relations. Or: Agencies, please learn to finally blog your bloggers properly!
E s is probably not an advertising and PR agency, which is not itself several times in the tricky briefing case with their customers: The customer apparently describes clearly a task, you work highly motivated, goes to great lengths, presents the great results at the customer - and reaps only long faces and harsh words. The customer expected something different, is not satisfied or even disappointed. You drive home and start again from the beginning. The mood is bad, the agency is annoyed about the missed working hours (time is money, too) and the clouded customer relationship. Enjoyable and effective processes are clearly different.
The problem lies here - again - in communication. The ability to define clear goals and express ones own expectations so clearly that others clearly understand them is a prerequisite for a good briefing and good work. In other words:
If you march into a fruit shop and ask for two kilograms of mixed fruits, you can not complain afterwards that bananas are also in the bag.
Equipped with a wealth of experience in customer briefing traps, agencies really need to know exactly what makes a good briefing. Surprisingly, the opposite is the case. When working with bloggers, agencies often forget exactly what they themselves would like to have: well thought-out, clear goals and clear work instructions.
For bloggers, working with agencies is often like a grab bag. And at the latest when agency side then the fatal sentence falls "But we had somehow everything presented differently", we know that it can only be unpleasant and unprofitable. Often the following endless discussions and demands for improvement, which lead to all sorts of possible, but not to be involved, exciting and authentic results.
But what exactly goes wrong? What should agencies avoid in any case, if they are interested in successful cooperation and satisfied customers? And which pitfalls make the blogger refuse to cooperate during the briefing process, or possibly terminate an ongoing cooperation at the end?
The 6 biggest briefing pitfalls at Blogger Relations
first The Naive Briefing
When agencies with blogger relations are just beginning, they often fall into this trap. One has looked at many great bloggers on the net, is thrilled by the contributions and wants exactly as something for their own customers. Unfortunately, one has no experience with the right approach, relevant topics and tasks, the budget to be planned or with the professional processes that many bloggers expect. The resulting briefing is often touching - like a mix of groupie fan mail and poetry album entry combined with a wish list for Santa Claus. However, under no circumstances is it relevant for cooperation. Agencies that write naively should not be surprised if no blogger responds to their request.
2. The Zero Briefing
agencies have learned to give bloggers as much creative freedom as possible so they can write entertaining and engaging posts in their style. That's right! But "creative freedom" is not synonymous with "no requirements". If the blogger is really (?!) Totally open to a topic approach, you should at least agree on the formal aspects. How much text or photos should be created? Should certain topics be integrated or absolutely avoided? Do certain spellings of products or brands have to be considered?Is an accompaniment of the post expected on the social media channels of the blogger? If so, how often and with what hashtags? Those who do not clearly agree on these things in advance need to be disappointed.
only after the publication of the blogger article states that all the photos were created in portrait format, but the customer absolutely needed for the secondary utilization everything in landscape format, that's downright tragic. With the question "Could you quickly create all photos in landscape format tomorrow? We need them at 8:30 am, "is certainly not a long-term friend among bloggers.
3. The Mosaic Briefing
An agency that communicates in bits and pieces over days or weeks always new briefings, hints, customer requests or formal requirements for Blogger, not only quickly loses track of itself. She can also safely assume that in the overall picture behind some of the relevant mosaic stones will be missing. Retrieving the whole process afterwards, screening dozens of e-mail progressions and finding the crucial point is anything but expedient. The note "I had you forwarded but on Monday 3 weeks ago in my 4th E-Mail of the day with the subject Re: Re: Ant: Fw: Re: Re: Fw: Noch_ein_kleiner_Hinweis in the 5th Answer level forwarded" then also not exactly helpful. On the other hand, it is very helpful to record all discussed and defined cooperation content in a document that can be used by the agency, customer and blogger as a basis.
4. The self-respecting briefing
agencies like to guarantee absolute freedom of content. "Of course we will not influence the content of your contribution", one often reads in briefings. Bloggers value such a thing and many simply reject cooperation without this assurance. But if an agency explicitly promises freedom of content, it should check very carefully in advance whether it can actually keep that promise. Often, the customer and the agency then realize that the freedom of the content is becoming too free. It had hoped in the text for certain statements or simply provided that certain marketing messages would appear in the article. Or that certain products would definitely be shown in the photos. After all, you also give money for it. The customer makes the agency hell of a hot and this must then spoon out the soup on the blogger.
The whole device then a disaster if the blogger is to be subsequently brought to integrate certain content in text and image. "Of course we do not want to dictate what you should do, but could you still put the following five statements in your text? Maybe within the first three lines of text? And then it would be great, you could at least three times call the product, link to our homepage and shop and install the company logo. "This is an absolute deal-breaker. Anyone who acts like this must expect that the blogger sang the cooperation and broke off without a hitch. And in the future it will not be open for cooperation.
5. The Schwurbel briefing
Blogger's briefings often contain flowery and inflated phrases that are in no way suitable for conveying a picture of specific expectations or tasks.Other bloggers want to describe the product in great detail, test it several times in different situations, and share positive and negative aspects with their readers. Still other bloggers may have the spontaneous desire to have the product logo tattooed on their bottoms and to inspire their readers with photos of them (just kidding.)
Agencies should therefore be as specific as possible in their briefing on what to do exactly you want to receive as a result and what services for them eg associated with identification, creativity and personal style. Once the blogger post is published, discussions rarely lead to a fruitful outcome. "That's what we meant with this passage but very different. At Identification, we thought that you would tell in detail about your enthusiasm and also photograph the product 12 times from all sides ", will rarely lead to a relaxed agency-blogger relationship.
6. The Salami Tactics Briefing
Is it just a very unfortunate process or a deliberate, perfidious tactic to save as much budget as possible? Agencies are increasingly acting on the principle of first addressing a cooperation via e-mail in a relatively uncomplicated manner, clarifying details in detail and negotiating the price. If one has then agreed and the blogger has promised, comes suddenly and unexpectedly a so-called "briefing" afterwards. This contains, in addition to the terms of cooperation already discussed, numerous other benefits and clauses that were not previously mentioned in any way. It increasingly creates the impression that agencies deliberately bring bloggers into this situation in order to dust off higher services at the same price. For some bloggers it is too uncomfortable or they are too unnerved at this point, in order to put the agency in its place and start the negotiation from scratch. Some also believe that they may have misunderstood something in advance and agree to the new terms.
Such a deal is not only off the beaten path of communication, it is quite unfair and certainly one of the agencies front places on the black blogger list.