Last month I left a post on The Viral Garden about a promotion that T-Mobile was using in the UK where they sponsored free concerts for their customers....

I wrote that I thought that the promotion was a 'step in the right direction,' but that it could be a bit better, and offered some suggestions for how the idea could be improved upon.
I noticed that a few days later, I received a referral from a visitor who arrived at my blog by doing a Google-UK search for the name of the brand manager that I had referenced in my post about T-Mobile's promotion. The domain they were visiting from?, and their location was in the UK. I think it's a pretty safe bet that the person that did the search and found my post, was either this brand manager, or one of her co-workers.
But the bigger issue here, is that this was a missed opportunity for T-Mobile to promote themselves. All Ms. Harrison had to do was either leave a comment, or shoot me a quick email telling me T-Mobile's rationale for the move. I would have been delighted to turn the blog over to her and let her have the floor to promote T-Mobile and this promotion.
And to be fair to T-Mobile, they definitely aren't the only company that's turning away free promotion. On of my best blogging buds, Chris Thilk (who runs the incredible Movie Marketing Madness), has often posted that in checking his site stats, he will see that studios frequently visit his blog to read the stories that he has written about their movies, but that they never comment.
And like myself, Chris has posted that he sees this happening, and has even sent out an open post to Paramount to let them freely promote a movie after Chris noticed them checking out MMM to see what Chris was writing about them. Of course, they never took Chris up on his extremely generous offer.
So while companies are scrambling for ways that they can reach out to bloggers and involve them in their promotions, they don't realize that they are literally turning away bloggers that WANT to talk about them, and their products.
So maybe we haven't been clear enough, let me rectify that right now: If you work for a company that I reference in my posts either here at Daily Fix, or at The Viral Garden, and you want to tell 'your side of the story', then feel free to do so. I will be delighted to let you have your say. I may not completely agree with what you will say, but the key takeaway here for your company is, other bloggers will notice that you are attempting to communicate with them, in their space. What you will basically be saying is 'I respect you enough to talk to you'.
That's it. And if you want to be REALLY smart, the next time you see a blogger talking about your company, shoot them a quick email and tell them that the next time they see a story about your company that they want to blog about, to give you a heads up, and you'll give them whatever info they need for their post.
Hint: What you'll actually be doing is empowering bloggers to promote you from now on. Again, we aren't the bad guys here, and if you will take a few minutes to engage us in our space, I can PROMISE you that, from a promotional standpoint, it will be the most productive few minutes you will ever spend.
As Chris would say, we see you out there. The ball's in your court.

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image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier