19% of bloggers say PRs put them under pressure not criticise their clients

Having seen how PRs see bloggers in my previous survey, I was interested to look at things on the other side of the fence. So this time, I surveyed 116 bloggers to get an insight into their relationships with UK PR people.

My preconception was that PRs have got a lot to learn and may end up falling for the same mistakes in blogger relations as many do in journalist relations. Looking at the results, however, there’s reason for optimism… despite my attention grabbing headline.

So, here goes…

First the good news: there are lots of PRs out there providing bloggers with what they need. In fact bloggers say that 37% of PRs have an understanding of their needs as a blogger and work in the right way with them.

Looking at second diagram below, PRs do well when it comes to responsiveness to calls/emails, keeping promises and getting hold of free products. They’re less accomplished when it comes down to the details though, including reading the blog beforehand and providing relevant opportunities.

Do PRs understand bloggers?

Do PRs understand bloggers? - Click to enlarge

How do PRs fare?

How do PRs fare, according to bloggers? - Click to enlarge

Now the bad news: 19% of bloggers say that a PR had put them under pressure not to write a negative review or amend a review favourably towards their client. Unfortunately I didn’t get an insight about how often this happens or whether it’s a small number of PRs being evil a lot or lots of PRs doing it a little bit. Either way, it shouldn’t happen at all.

Also, on the negative side, 14% of bloggers said that PRs had asked them not to disclose that a blog was sponsored by a company. I think that, like the death (well, compared to a few years ago) of astroturfing, this practice will become even less common.

19% of bloggers put under pressure by PRs

How many PRs put bloggers under pressure? - Click to enlarge

non disclosure of sponsored blog posts

PRs on the sly - Click to enlarge

Otherwise, there were more interesting insights into blogger behaviour. The average amount of time bloggers spend blogging per week is 12.4 hours. But if you take a closer look at the data, around 19% of bloggers spend more than 20 hours a week doing it. When I looked at the raw data, I noticed that the more committed bloggers tended to be those who wrote about “parenting”, which is consistent to mummy bloggers I know who quite commonly write a post every day (personally, I write two blogs and am lucky to find the time to write a post a week for each of them!).

Hours bloggers spend blogging

How many hours do bloggers blog? - Click to enlarge

In terms of opportunities that bloggers are given, it pretty much mirrors the last survey researching PRs, although the number of bloggers saying that PRs approach them to deal with complaints was even lower, at 8%.

Approaches from PRs

What do PRs approach bloggers for? - Click to enlarge

In the last survey, 53% of PRs said they sent press releases to bloggers, whereas here 83% of bloggers said they received them, suggesting that a smaller number of agencies are sending lots of bloggers mass-mailed press releases. The general consensus amongst most people I speak to is that bloggers don’t really see the point of them.

Bloggers receiving press releases?

Do bloggers get releeases from PRs - Click to enlarge

The chart below is really to show where my respondents comes from (I acknowledge that it’s not representative of the whole blogosphere), but it also shows that you can’t pigeon-hole bloggers. For example, parenting bloggers often write about food, technology or keeping fit. It’s a reminder that  building stronger relationships with a small number of bloggers is more beneficial for PRs than mass mailing hundreds of them press releases.

blogggers survey sample

What do bloggers write about? - Click to enlarge

Finally, thanks again to the bloggers and PRs who took part in my survey. I will be sending the results to all participants today.

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