- Interview -

(Vero) With more than 24 million internet users in Vietnam today, a number of bloggers have developed a strong following for their web log entries about business, life, technology, travel, fashion, sports and a lot of other subjects.
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For businesses seeking to grow brand awareness and deliver messages about new products and services, reaching out to Vietnam’s leading bloggers has become a “must have” activity. In addition to global social networks and blogging tools such as Twitter or WordPress, there is also immense development of Vietnamese social weblogs targeting young people, primarily 18-34 year olds. A few examples include Clip.vn, 360plus, Zing, Vietspace, and Yume.
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In this context, some people have become famous by sharing their entries on blogs. These highly popular bloggers — known as “hot bloggers” — attract thousands, and in some cases, even millions of viewers. They become well-known in many different ways. Some post sensational news from the world of entertainment or society, while some just share their experiences and feelings about every aspect in life.
Despite many different opinions about “hot bloggers” and their effects on society, there is no doubt that they show the readers various aspects and issues in daily life which can not be published on other mass media. Thanks to trust from the readers, “hot bloggers”, in general, have had a strong influence on many people who view their blogs. With just some words and pictures, the information from their blogs can be spread widely and rapidly. That is the reason why many companies have cooperated with hot bloggers as a marketing strategy to popularize their products or services.
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With the aim of having deep understanding of the relationship between blogs and the business, we carried out interviews with the two famous bloggers, Robbey and MeoAc.
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MeoAc becomes famous in Vietnam’s online community by her sharing insights about her daily life, especially about food and good restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. As a freelance journalist working in the entertainment field, she has good relationships with celebrities. She also shares her experiences and feelings about the entertainment business, and musical shows or events in which she took part. MeoAc is now studying the second diploma about Marketing Management in Kent College. She also can speak English, Japanese and Chinese.
MeoAc personal blog: 
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1. How do you become famous on online community? What do you write about?
It is quite hard to answer. Actually, I just write about my daily life but try to put more pictures for each entry on my blogs. ‘MeoAc’ (Cruel Cat) is famous because I share my own thoughts about common concerns; my entries are short but expressive. Maybe, eye-catching pictures of food and good recommended restaurant addresses on my blog seize the readers :D. Moreover, my life is colorful so people love it because I am a real person with a real interesting life, no exaggeration, no bad words, no ‘hot picture’ to increase page views as others. Also, I often update news about entertainment because I am a journalist working in ‘entertainment’ field.
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2. Who are your main blog readers? What do they think about your entries?
Teenagers, officers, entertainers, journalists, artists also Vietnamese people working in foreign countries. They are interested in food, entertainment, technology, parties, new products … The majority of my readers are in the ages of 15-40, and 70% are female.
They think that my blog has private but useful information for daily life.
3. What are advantages and disadvantages of becoming a hot blogger?
I have extended my relationships, cooperated with many companies and gained interesting experiences with them.
In terms of difficulties, my blog becomes less personal. I can not write about anybody frankly as I used to because it may have influence on their lives.
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4. How does your life change after becoming famous online?
I have to face slander. Many people like my blogs and many people dislike it, also. Moreover, I must balance my work and blogging. Sometimes, I am really busy but still have to spend time updating my blog not only to maintain the number of readers but also to share my living information with friends who are busy and work far away.
5. Bloggers become famous by sharing their own thoughts with public, why would they be valuable to PR strategy?
When an interesting individual shares their thoughts and feelings people become trust them, this person will have big influence. When the readers believe in bloggers, what bloggers say on their blogs will be widespread. It is the power of blogging, online social networking as well as word-of-mouth which help to spread information faster. And that is how blogging becomes value to PR industry.
6. What kinds of projects do businesses offer you to work on?
So many, I can not remember all.
Mostly, I introduce their new events, products or services on my entries. Or I become an image for a short-term campaign, create testimonal, or simply experience their product/service and write about my feelings.
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7. There are many famous bloggers now in Vietnam, why do you think they chose you to cooperate?
There are many bloggers but not many HOT bloggers. Many bloggers focus their content and writing style on just one topic, same individuals, or become too professional and unfamiliar, which limit the number of readers. For instance, they focus on films, poetry, photography, music … not diverse contents as MeoAc. Furthermore, it is also possible that my regular viewers are the target customers of their products. Or, MeoAc already becomes well-known to many people.
8. What are difficulties when working with PR specialist?
Writing style & KPI. Many companies provide information insufficiently while I want to mention them naturally in my entries for the best effectiveness. So, sometimes they send me the request KPI from like & comment. But, they didnt understand that in Vietnam, you can buy all, and display very high number means nothing. So, you can easily find some fake-hot facebook profiles. Many likes and comments. But, their network are very small. When they walk out on the street, no one knows who they are. Also similar to the trouble with customers behavior. In the north, they click LIKE without read, as a reflection. But in the south, they dont do like that, they read and think before clicking like button.
Ofcos, I can not satisfy clients 100% every time but I always try my best to provide essential information.
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9. How do you satisfy your clients but still keep your own opinion?
It depends on the deal. Moreover, the content must be well-prepared before being public, I do not post an entry with some random careless information. In some cases, the content must be sent to the client for their checking and approval.
10. Will you change your content of your blog or any plan to attract more people to your blog?
Honestly, blogging is not my main job. Currently, I am studying Marketing Management and Chinese simultaneously. Therefore, I do not have a plan to updade my blog. However, I will update information that I feel people want based on their comments on my blogs, for examples, fashion, weekend entertainment, new procducts, services, hightech item, new trend…
11. What do you think about future trend of blogging in vietnam?
According to every marketing material I read, blogging is the fifth most powerful tool in public relations, so, blogging in Vietnam undoubtedly has a bright future. With the increasing so fast of social network marketing now aday.