The Edelman Survey (disclaimer--which i reviewed and suggested some refinements) results are out.
More than 70 percent of bloggers say, send us product samples to try. We are not afraid of bling.
More than 60 percent of us trust what your employees say while we only sort of trust what your corporate blog says.
Richard Edelman has some, err, more detailed thoughts about the survey.
You can't buy us, spin us, or manipulate us, but you can sure show us your stuff, make us feel good, and let us see for ourselves what your stuff is like. That is how you ENGAGE us. If we like it, YOU GET GOOD MOJO! If we don't, YOU GET HARD TRUTH.
As one respondent explains (not me, I paid for my sidekick):
I am a sucker for free books, particularly when they come in softcover as uncorrected proofs. I am also a sucker for gadgets and physical objects, particularly when they are youth branded. In both of these cases, PR folks can totally get me to talk about their items because, honestly, i like gifts and it makes me feel all special when someone goes out of their way to give me a physical item. I don't guarantee that i'll blog about it but this little Mauss in me always does. I only blog about software when i'm playing with it for my own reasons. Not only do i ignore all email from software/web vendors trying to get me to use their system, requests to blog about it tend to turn me off immensely. Nothing pisses me off more than a PR release that i'm supposed to blog. This actually has anthropological sense. It doesn't take any effort for a PR rep to mass mail me and other bloggers to go to their website or blog about their product. Thus, i feel spammed - it's super lame. It takes a little more effort to write me a personal letter, but often these ask me to effectively QA their product - no thanks. It takes a lot of effort to write to me individually asking for my address and whether or not i'd like to try something out and having no obligation. That also costs money for the PR person. But when the mailperson rings the doorbell, i feel super special and if the product is cool, i am totally able to get addicted. I'm totally into cult brands and when i'm into something i gush obsessively. Two of my obsessions began with PR people sending me something - Malcolm Gladwell's publisher sent me Blink and i blogged about it a few times but then i went to every conference and told everyone that they must read it (and still am); Danger saw me blog about the Sidekick and how sad i was not to have the $ to get the new one and they sent me one for free, further magnifying my obsession with their device and making me make certain that they are included in lots of mobile phone events - plus, i've dragged at least 8 people to the store to get one (aside from those who i've encouraged through gushing). You can totally addict me to a product but you do need to make me feel loved and special.
Okay, yah, sorta like that.