This is something I’ve been thinking about but didn’t really think it wise to blog about, but what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t write what you want to write about, wise or not?
I’ll just throw this out there. A few weeks before BlogWorld I received an email from a company that makes a product similar to one I’d blogged about. They expressed interest in my point of view and wanted to chat. I was flattered and a bit perplexed–why would they want to talk to me? But whatever–I was curious so I said ok. They set a phone meeting with me and a VP. Literally two minutes before that meeting, the person emailed me and said sorry, they had a big deadline and the VP couldn’t make the call. I could have done with the courtesy of a bit more notice, but whatever. Then a few days later the person emailed me again, asking again to set a time to chat. I knew they’d be at BlogWorld the following week and said maybe I’d run into them there and we decided to do that.
Several times during the time I was in Vegas this person emailed me, but as with most of the people I wanted to meet at BlogWorld, schedules were crazy and time was tight and we never were able to find time to meet. Not for lack of trying–we exchanged multiple emails, trying and re-trying to meet up, but we managed to miss each other anyway. No big deal. I didn’t give it a second thought…until a week later when I read a blog post by the person who had been wanting to chat with me and saw that they had proudly hosted an event with a small group of “influencers” during BlogWorld. The post goes on to describe the hand-picked list of “A-listers” who were invited to chat and hang out. Lists each “A-lister” by name. Because everybody knows that hanging around with the popular kids makes you look cooler by association.
Here’s my thing: I know I’m not an A-lister. Am not one and don’t aspire to be one. However, I am person. As are all other influencers, present and future. If your strategy as a brand is to engage influencers–and which brand does NOT have that as a strategy these days?–don’t treat people like they only matter if they have X-thousand followers on Twitter or X-million page views per day on their blogs. You approach me and want to chat about your product? And you’re hosting an informal gathering at a conference we’re both attending, to chat about your product? What a coincidence. But don’t make me feel like I’m the kid you only want to be friends with if your popular friends are busy.
Ok, I’m done whining now. I think.