On the tech front, FON, the Spanish startup firm that envisions to provide free, wide-area wireless Internet access through mesh-type WiFi networks (starting in Spain and also the USA), has been hit with its latest marketing tactics. Several high-profile bloggers have recently written rave reviews on their personal blogs about the service, with disclaimers that they are involved with FON as advisors to the board, and that there is possibility of compensation for their service.
Blogs, or “web logs” are known to be good below-the-line marketing mechanisms, especially for starting companies. Several businesses are known to actively interact with the Internet-reading public through blogs. However, the way the bloggers wrote about the service was questioned, and they were viewed as being paid off by FON to write good reviews. Hence, while the disclaimer of involvement was present, the way the writers made what were seemingly biased reviews was criticized.
This is one lesson in doing public relations thru blogs. First and foremost requirement to be a credible blogger is the honesty and trust. And companies stand to gain with getting trustworthy and honest bloggers on board.