There are easy ways to get blogs and bloggers to create custom content for your brand. Hire the right folks (that’d be us, by the way) who know your company’s voice, and blogging for business success is a snap. But try to change the way the blogging journalism game is played and you’re surely in for a headline-making global hot mess. Just ask Samsung.
You’d think Samsung would be keeping its head down after get spanked in the courtroom for swiping Apple’s smartphone technology. You would be wrong. Samsung again wound up in the middle of an unscrupulous scandal over the weekend involving two Indian bloggers. According to the Guardian, technology blogger Clinton Jeff and a colleague thought they had scored the blogging gig of a lifetime. After negotiating that the pair would also be able to cover other brands at the IFA trade fair in Berlin, Samsung picked up the travel and hotel tab for the two writers. The fair is where some of the biggest international tech stories are broken, so for Jeff and his friend having their expenses covered was a dream come true.
So imagine their surprise when, upon their arrival, they were handed Samsung uniforms and told they would be working the convention booth! And when the pair refused, Samsung left them stranded in Berlin with no way to cover their hotel fees. Samsung claims there was no misunderstanding and that Jeff and his companion, who wishes to remain anonymous, knew they were there to serve as ambassadors for the brand. Nevertheless, Samsung issued an apology in hopes, no doubt, of sweeping this whole thing under the carpet.
But we haven’t seen the end of blogger/brand scandals by a long shot. Corporate arm-twisting of bloggers had been a huge problem in tech journalism for years. The same standards and ethics for traditional journalism need to be enforced among bloggers, which is a hard thing to do when most of the blogging workforce isn’t made up of professional writers.
So readers, what do you think? Is the relationship between bloggers and brands destined to be a shady one or can the pair exist without drama? Tell us your thoughts below!