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Soapbox Rant - Professionalism

Tuesday, January 05, 2010 Posted by Rita A

Professionalism - A big word with an even bigger meaning. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary broadly defines professionalism as "the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person."

Professionalism is an important aspect in today's society. The one quality which drives a person's appearance, personal and professional interactions, and which provides others with a first impression.

As a blogger I have strived to project a professional appearance at all times. It is important to me to reflect this goal in all my contacts, my writings and my everyday life.

In my dealings with writing this blog I have seen mostly good, some bad and one very ugly. As a blogger I maintain a personal integrity with every sponsor, commentor or review I post. All bloggers have a choice of who they contact, who they work with and their own reasons why. My attitude towards blogging and my sponsors has always been "What can I do for you?" and not what can you give me. There is a difference. My goal is to be a marketing voice. In a sense I am marketing myself with my writing and my persona in interactions. I take pride in being professional and that is how I want to be reflected on my blog. I have had many comments from the sponsors about my professional reviews. That is one reason why I blog! I appreciate all the support from my sponsors, and my readers.

That being said, it can rock you to your blogging core when a sponsor bends the level you feel you are at. I personally was involved in a sponsor issue in early December. The sponsor (which I will not name) was difficult to deal with from the very beginning contact in September. I never received the samples and after 3 emails all being replied with a condescending attitude towards me, I finally received the sample. I posted what I thought was a thorough review. To my shock I received an email from the sponsor - blasting my blog and me personally. I had never run into that situation before. It does make you think why am I blogging? Being professional, instead of blasting back, I asked if there were anything I could do to improve the review or something extra they would like to see added? The sponsor never replied. After spending a sleepless night filled with self doubt about my blog, I woke up the next morning and removed the post. I contacted the sponsor to explain my decision. Blasted again. UGLY. She sure needed some people skills. I chalked it up as a learning experience and moved on. After that I went back to my blog and wrote my best post ever (they are all my best posts to me).

My reason for mentioning all this is professionalism on both sides. Bloggers may think the blogoverse is pretty huge when actually it is pretty small. We may contact the same companies, we may review the same items, we may even share friendships with each other or our sponsors. Sponsors - please realize there is a person behind the emails and the blog. I appreciate the review opportunites that come in my direction and I will do my professional best to honestly represent your company.

Professionalism is putting your best foot forward. It reflects who you are and affects your dealings. Professionalism a big word - an even bigger meaning.