The purpose of this paper is to explore how a change to a US policy about product testimonials affected bloggers and to understand bloggers’ perceptions of the organization-blogger relationship (OBR).
This study utilizes a survey (n=173) with closed and open-ended questions, and both quantitative and qualitative data are analyzed.
Bloggers’ decisions to accept compensation for a review may influence how much control they feel they have over the OBR. Qualitative data indicate that even as bloggers seek access to products to review, they prefer to maintain editorial control over the review process.
The study extends the transparency literature in public relations and relationship management theory by exploring the relationship between bloggers and public relations professionals through the lens of a disclosure policy.
Recommendations are offered for public relations professionals in how to maintain transparent relationships with bloggers.
Qualitative data reveal concern among bloggers about efforts to persuade them and what they should disclose; this may impact the trust that consumers have in reviews at blogs.
The study demonstrates the effects of review behaviors on the OBR and offers an organic explanation of how this relationship evolves. This is important as consumers are increasingly consulting blogs for product information. This issue also has relevance to public relations professionals, who are encouraged to broach the issue of transparency with bloggers.
Walden thanks the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Communications for internal funding to support the development of this study in the summer of 2012. Aside from the editorial contributions of the two Penn State faculty members, the university did not review the study.
Walden, J., Bortree, D. and DiStaso, M. (2015), "This blog brought to you by … exploring blogger perceptions of a product endorsement policy and reviews", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 254-269. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-08-2013-0065Download as .RIS
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