What Next

I’ve noticed of late that the self-proclaimed purveyor of “what’s next” has been touting in her blog a new book, and specifically a social media contest to generate some viral buzz for the book. How nice, I thought. B.L. Ochman (pictured at right) is giving some social media help to this author for her second novel.

In fact, over the last month, B.L. has promoted the book and the contest no fewer than six times on her blog. Now I know why. The book is a client project of B.L.’s, a fact about which B.L. has not been shy (in her favored first-person kind of way):

“I’m in the process of launching [this author’s contest], inspired by her new novel…” or “I am the creator and producer of the contest and blogad campaign.”

Now I’m not one to judge, and all of us PR bloggers — from the A to the Z list — have used our syndicated pulpits to promote a client here and there (with full disclosure, naturally). But I found it noteworthy, if not a bit unusual, that a PR/marketing pro is using her blog as a regular vehicle to promote a client’s social media contest…that she was paid to create.

Moreover, the business association is not disclosed in all the postings. Now I wouldn’t make much of this except for the fact that, of all the marketing/PR bloggers, B.L. is perhaps the most vocal in exposing ethical transgressions in the digital marketing realm. Our candid and constructive exchange on the issue can be found in the comments below.