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Dateline NBC Courts Blogs for Links – So What?

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According to Nathan Weinberg, Dateline NBC is courting certain tech bloggers to link to a special live blog they are hosting in conjunction with their series on sexual predators.

Nathan smells trouble because Dateline is already advertising this same episode on his blog via a BlogAds campaign.

Nathan writes….

“I don’t fault NBC for doing this. I think every advertiser on my blog should send me a pitch when (or better, before) they buy an ad, with no expectation of payback. I hope that if someone were to write about that pitch, they be transparent and point out the ad in their sidebar. I think NBC should have went the Marquis route, financing the discussion, so it was clear that the content is sponsored.”

(For blog newbies, the Marqui program Nathan mentions refers to a campaign about 18 months ago where a telecommunications company paid bloggers it sponsored with ads to reference them.)

Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is here. So Dateline pitched Nathan on blogging about a subject and they also just happen to advertise on his site. How is this any different than if Wiley pitched a Naked Conversations review to Fortune – a magazine which they are advertising in? It’s silly to always assume that marketers need to uphold to a higher standard of transparency when dealing with bloggers. Sometimes they do, but not in this case.

Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.

Dateline NBC Courts Blogs for Links – So What?
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