A little while ago I received the following question…
I was wondering if you could explore the intricacies of blogging about charity….While blogging for charities can be seen as a way of giving back, where do we draw the line? Will asking for payment mean that we are too greedy? What about the fact that some do have allocated advertising budgets for traditional media? Where does that leave bloggers? Should we even dare ask for payment?
I decided to ask a few bloggers who regularly deal with PR requests to share their thoughts with me. This is what they had to say…
What’s your approach to blogging for charity?
If the charity is something close to my heart and one that fits with my blog, then I’m happy to post about it. If I’m unable to relate to it personally, then I find it difficult to write about. Instead, in this instance, I’ve offered to tweet and Facebook about the cause to help spread the word. I have never and would never ask for payment from a charity organisation, as it just doesn’t sit right with me. That’s just me though.
Nikki, Styling You
How do you respond to PR requests?
I read what the charity is about and consider whether it’s something that “speaks” to me and my readers. Typically these are charities related – but not exclusive to – women’s health. There are some charities that are personally very close to my heart and it’s a no brainer whether I support them with blog space. Sometimes there is a fashion and beauty tie-in (like Liptember, White Shirt Day, Jeans for Genes Day, Loud Shirt Day and Pink Ribbon month for October). For me that’s a double win – charities that mean something to me personally as well as giving me direct ways which my readers can contribute and meaningful ways I can create a blog post. Given that readers come to me for fashion and beauty advice the link makes sense.
I personally have never asked for payment for these posts – because I believe in giving back in every part of my business. Offline and online.
That’s not to say that if any of these charities approached me in a brand ambassador type role that I wouldn’t jump at the chance. That’s when I would look at negotiating a fee.
Typically this would occur long before a press release is sent and would be incorporated into the marketing of the campaign. Often this is up to 12 months out. I think a blogger would have to have an incredible reach and influence for a charity to spend its precious dollars that way but, hey, you never know. Also consider approaching a particular charity 12 months in advance with a proposal to be a part of the campaign. This would have more chance of opening up a discussion around payment at a time when budgets were actually being worked out.
Where do you draw the line?
I think it’s important to set yourself some guidelines for which charities you will support in a given year – and how much support you will give. This will help you to make quick decisions when the press release for the next campaign lands in your inbox. You will be clear in your mind whether it’s a yes or no and be able to answer the PR representative by saying you allocate x amount of space each year on your blog to x number of charities. You can say that allocation has already been made, please contact me in advance next year. Or you can say, yes I’ll support you.
With any PR pitch it really comes back to whether its of relevance to you and your readers. And remember you have to give to receive – it’s a great principle for business as well as blogging.
Nikki recently wrote a blog post about this very topic: Blogging For A Cause
Mrs Woog, Woogsworld
How do you feel about blogging for charities?
I support the Shepherd Centre who helped me for 5 years to get my deaf son talking. This particular charity charged me no fees for World Class therapy every week. I will do and have done, anything I can to help them as they run off the smell of an oily rag and what they did was life changing for my son. I find the notion of bloggers asking for payment from a charity really stomach churning. But that is just me.
Choose a charity that resonates with you and work with them to spread their message. If I was offered payment, I would ask them to donate that payment to the cause. But I would never in a million years ask for compensation.
Thanks ladies for sharing your views.
Would love to hear what you think in the comments…