I think Nikon and their agency MWW Group are doing an extraordinary job engaging with the blogosphere and have just heard about their blog ambassador program through Mack Collier of the Viral Garden, and BL Ochman of the What Next Blog. With this program i think Nikon provide a very good example of how to get extremely valuable devices in the hands of bloggers without a hint of the cronyism or accusations of undue influence that have often come along with $1000+ giveaways to bloggers.
Essentially Nikon has sent their D80 10 megapixal SLR (with the 18-135 lens) to about 50 bloggers with the understanding that the bloggers have the camera on a long term loan of about 6 months. The genius part is that after 6 months the blogger then has three options:
- send it back to Nikon
- apply to extend for another 6 months
- purchase the camera at an editorial discount with the funds going toward photographic education programs
Simple, not rocket science but brilliant. What’s better than a PR campaign with a bit of heart, and everyone comes out smelling like roses. Although I do agree with BL on her point about Nikon not focusing enough on building an ongoing community around these programs, like the “Stunning Gallery” program they did previously with the heavy Flickr users, sure they got a lot of pretty pictures and a cool web site, but where was the ongoing conversation?
Anyway Nikon, don’t worry about me, i’ve been a happy D80 Owner for about 3 months and I absolutely love the camera, all I need is a D200 and a 400mm 2.8 lens