Blog Post Content – No Secrets Are Hid

"…all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid…"
 From
The Book of Common Prayer

Tell the truth.

That is Handshake 2.0's policy on blog content.

Handshake 2.0 is a business news site and a public relations site.  The business news posts, we write as journalists.  The public relations posts, we write for our clients.  When we're writing for our clients, we say so.

In a March 2009 report from Forrester, Add Sponsored Conversations To Your Toolbox: Why You Should Pay Bloggers To Talk About Your Brand, Sean Corcoran termed the hybrid of blogging plus public relations "sponsored conversation."

Josh Bernoff, also with Forrester and co-author with Charlene Li of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, refers to the report in Why sponsored conversation – aka paid blog posts – can make sense

Bernoff writes, "In PR, you try to get a blogger to talk about you, but your chances of success are hit or miss. In advertising, you can be sure to get a placement, but it's not in the blogger's voice. Sponsored conversation – paying a blogger to write about your product – fits in the middle – it guarantees a post, and it's in the blogger's voice."

On Handshake 2.0, "the blogger's voice" is myriad.  With so many writers, so many commenters, so many individuals quoted, so many sources cited, we reach out from the many to the many with a virtual handshake – a Handshake 2.0 – of greeting.  Some of those handshakes result in deals.

Bernoff includes a meaningful and important chart comparing public relations, advertising, and sponsored conversation in blogs.

And he offers these simple rules for how sponsored conversations can work.

  1. They [bloggers] must disclose that they are being paid.
  2. They [bloggers] must be able to write whatever they want, positive or negative.

In other words?  Hide no secrets.  Tell the truth.

Good.  That's our policy.

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Thanks to Z. Kelly Queijo for the link to Josh Bernoff's post.