Lifestyle Firm Offers Finder’s Fee to Bloggers for New Accounts

Katherine Rothman, CEO of KMR Communications extended an offer to bloggers who cover her firm’s specialties to help her reel in new accounts in exchange for a fee, according to a story today by media critic Jeff Bercovici

It’s not known how many bloggers she contacted:

“I would like to make an offer to you that could be mutually beneficial in the event that this is of interest…My offer is this: if you recommend a prospective client to our firm and they sign a contract with us, I would in turn provide you with a generous finder’s fee.”

There have been many cases of firms currying favor with bloggers for coverage using gifts, trips and even cash, this is an unusual case where influence could color the direction and tone of a blog on a more ongoing basis. Bercovici quotes Poynter’s Kelly McBride to make the point: “It really blurs the lines of duty, if you will…It puts your loyalty with the finder’s fee and the PR firm in front of where your primary loyalty should be, and that’s your audience.”

Rothman smoothly defended the strategy: “Quite honestly, these bloggers and Web editors don’t make a heck of a lot of money, so it’s an attractive offer for them and a win-win situation for both parties…I certainly don’t see it as a bribe in any sense of the word.”