He’s been in the food business for 30 years, working for large food manufacturers, a worldwide commodity board, and a dried fruit company. Now he’s a consultant to six food companies, supplying post-ready recipes to bloggers, and inviting them on tours and to attend trade shows as media.
He might take 80 bloggers on a four-day tour on behalf of a company or board, for example. In addition to their expenses, he pays bloggers a retainer ranging from $500 to $1100 per day. He hopes they will blog about the event and products under the “goodwill and consumer awareness” philosophy. (He can’t prove that bloggers drive sales, compared to, say, putting a coupon in a magazine.)
But working with bloggers is trying, he said. Here’s a list of his complaints:
1. They screw up perfectly good recipes. Every recipe published by a food company has to be tested by professional testers. Some bloggers change recipes we’ve given them, and then they’re wrong and don’t work.
2. They steal recipes. Some bloggers take recipes from company websites and use them word-for-word on their own sites without giving credit. One blogger did it so often we had to issue a cease and desist order.
3. They post our photos without permission. Food company websites are aimed at consumers. Sometimes the company works with photographers who limit the rights to use a photo only on the site. When bloggers steal those photos, they don’t have the right to use them, and the photographer can go after them.
4. When we invite them on a tour, bloggers don’t care about the company’s story. Some bloggers don’t care about the history of the company and its growth, or the growth of a particular product. They don’t care about the story behind the product. As a result, some food companies don’t want to work with bloggers, which makes my job harder.
5. Agents drive up our expenses. The big bloggers have agents, and we have to go through them. Agents are driving up the fees 20 to 30 percent. Sought-after bloggers have become too expensive and have eliminated themselves from the competition.
What do you think of this list? Do bloggers need a better understanding of how to work with companies and their brands? Or are his complaints unjustified?
* * *
You might also like:
- Q&A: Recipe Girl’s Lori Lange on Working with Brands
- 5 Dumb Reasons to Write About Products
- Are Food Bloggers Pushovers?
(Photo courtesy of FreePhotos.net.)