I have accepted my first paid influencer assignment2016-02-21
Paid influencer assignments aren’t something I plan to do often, mainly because I want my content—on my blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, LinkedIn, and elsewhere—to be mine alone, focused on things I want to say and untainted by any doubt about why I’ve said it. It’s the same reason I don’t accept guest posts. After all, the purpose for nearly all of my content is to share what I know in the hopes that it will have an impact on the communications industry and bring paying work my way. (The exception is Facebook, where I share a lot of personal shit in addition to communication-related content.)
For some time, however, I have been interested in taking on one of these assignments so I can have the first-hand experience of what it’s like to participate from the influencer perspective. It should enable me to talk more knowledgeably about influencer campaigns with clients and understand the challenges of regulatory compliance and other aspects of the work.
I have been waiting for an assignment that fits with the kind of work I do and what I write and talk about, as well as a client I would feel good about. That came along when I was pitched by Ogilvy & Mather to take on a short-term influencer project on behalf of IBM Mobile, which is one of the brands visible at the Mobile World Congress, taking place in Barcelona (as usual) this week. (Thanks to Olivier Blanchard, who referred me for the project.)
The “paid” part of the assignment is a small stipend—$500. In exchange, I’ll share tweets designed to drive traffic to an IBM Mobile landing page, retweet @IBMMobile tweets, promote a TweetChat set for this Wednesday, and participate in the TweetChat (which may be a challenge, since it starts about 15 minutes after my flight to D.C. takes off from San Francisco International, but I’ll log in as soon as we reach altitude and the WiFi is turned on—assuming there’s WiFi on the United flight).
My Ogilvy contact has provided the influencers with some well-prepared documentation to guide us in our efforts. It’s also interesting to see the tools they’re using, such as Socialix, an influencer marketing platform that allows IBM to measure the reach of influencer messaging. (We are required to send our tweets through Socialix.) The TweetChat will be managed through CrowdChat, which doesn’t look much different that TWUBS or TweetChat.
It’s also instructive to see how Ogilvy and IBM are handling compliance with FCC rules with explicit instructions about hashtags to use (during the TweetChat) the disclosure tweet to send.
All of this will happen starting tomorrow, Monday, and continue through the MWC. I’ll report what the experience was like when it’s over.