May 23, 2011 Blogging
I’ve never been 100% sure of what being an “ambassador” for a product meant, despite having been one about a dozen times. The Blogging Angels (Rebecca, Nancy, Heidi, and yours truly) discussed this on our last podcast, Blog Ambassadors Do Not Have Diplomatic Immunity – what it seems to mean, and what it should mean.
My own feeling is that it should include compensation – ideally in cash, but if it’s in product it’s got to be a spectacular product well worth my time – and should include some kind of special access to the company, exclusive opportunities, something…at the very minimum.
Additionally, to me ambassador means someone who isn’t writing about a product or participating in a program just because they’re being paid, but because they’re genuinely enthusiastic about the product. This is not their first exposure to the product, they already use it and like it. Kind-of a combo employee/fan. A fanployee, if you will. When I get those opportunities it feels like I’ve won the lottery.
But more and more I see posts about being an ambassador for this or that product, with disclosures that the ambassador received the product for free. And that’s it. And I’m not talking about appliances or computers, I’m talking things that cost under $20. And the sum total of the ambassadorship seems to be that one post. I’m trying to figure out what differentiates these posts from reviews, except that the ambassadorship posts have zero chance of anything bad being said about the product.
Let me be clear: I have absolutely no problem with signing a contract, receiving payment (or worthwhile products) and promoting the products – call them ambassadors, spokesbloggers, whatever. But to call a one-off guaranteed good review an “ambassadorship” confuses me, because I can’t figure out what’s in it for the blogger. It’s clear what’s in it for the company, but why do bloggers say yes? Is it a hope of bigger things to come? The cachet of the word “ambassador?” Or is it just that the word has lost all meaning and is slapped on any situation where a blogger is writing about a product? A way for a pr person to try to cut through the noise of other free product offers?
Someone please enlighten me.
Originally posted on Behind the Screen. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.