Anyone can have a blog; that is both the beauty and the curse of blogging. On the one hand it is easy to self-publish and grow a decent readership but on the other there are some sites that are a touch too gung-ho with their publishing style, making some PR companies wary of treating bloggers with the same respect as journalists.
At TheatreBloggers, we have worked hard to establish a trusted connection with many West End PR and marketing agencies and have done so by being consistently professional and reliable. We want all of the TheatreBloggers we work with to be treated with the respect they deserve as informed “citizen journalists.” In order to gain that respect we all deserve, we kindly ask bloggers who work with us and/ or bloggers who use our #LDNtheatrebloggers hashtag to stick to some basic guidelines
Note that if you cancel on an event with less than 48 hours’ notice, if you are a no-show or fail to produce a blog in a reasonable amount of time or disregard these guidelines you may jeopardise future invitations from us.
- When you agree to cover a show or event (be it a review, a text preview or an interview etc) it is important that you show up. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, you are no longer able to fulfill your blogging duties, it is important that you speak to your original contact to let them know.
- Your own voice is crucial, so express yourself in a way in which you feel comfortable. That said, we encourage all bloggers to approach their blogs from a balanced and unbiased point of view.
- All posts must be over 300 words. You’ll be thankful for sticking to this when your posts rank higher in Google!
- We encourage all bloggers to use at least one picture in their post. If you don’t have anything you have taken from the event, then do ask us for some official images.
- If there is any video content in relation to the show or event, your page will look fuller if you include this.
- Consider who you might like to link to in your post; there are SEO benefits to linking out from your page, plus it is nice to mention a few bloggers you attended an event with as well as the show itself and the organisers.
- If you have been invited to review an event/show, it is polite to turn your post around as quickly as possible, unless there is a set embargo (see below.) Specific deadlines may be mentioned on invite, but if they are not, it is good practice to publish your post within two or three days of the event/show.
- If a press release or review comes with an embargo date, make sure you do not publish the news/review until after this date/time unless you have been given exclusive permission to be the first one to share this. Of course this is exceptionally hard to enforce in the blogosphere but if you want the industry to take you seriously and treat you with respect, then it is advisable to treat its rules with respect too.
- When you publish a press release, interview or review for a show, send an email with a link to the article to your original correspondent (this is likely be one of the TheatreBloggers team.) This will save your correspondent chasing you and is generally good practice.
- When sharing your work on social media, take note of official hashtags and twitter accounts as this helps the right people find your work. The more people who see your writing, the better!
- If there is a specific reason why you cannot complete your post in a timely fashion then please let your correspondent know, along with a valid reason and an estimated completion date, failure to do this will constitute a ‘strike’.
- Finally theatrebloggers should abide by theatre etiquette, for example by turning phones off and not using them throughout the duration of the performance and also being mindful of other theatre go-ers thereby not disturbing their enjoyment of the show.
If you have any questions then do not hesitate to get in touch. Even if we are not running an outing to a show, we may be able to help put you in touch with some of the people who work on the piece.