I've been hearing a LOT (let me repeat – a LOT) of stories this week that large global companies in the brand / tech / retail sectors have been soliciting professional women writers and managers (but they seek out people they feel are "mom bloggers" with huge self-made communities) with propositions to moderate online communities.
If a company approaches a person with the expectation that they give (freely) of their time and expertise to help grow the company – then compensation NEEDS to be exchanged. Let me make that a bit more simple. If you make money, so should the people who work with you.
For example, Google PAYS their community managers. If they need more community managers, they must PAY them. Go ask all the Googler CM's if they will do exactly what they do all day (and night) but without any pay. I thought not.
So why is it considered acceptable for a company, like say Google or McDonalds or wherever, to approach other professionals and ask them not only to do a similar job, but bring their own communities with them for the free ride? I have many friends that are community managers and have some of the most difficult jobs that I've seen. They above almost all others NEED to get paid well to handle the crazy pants that is the Internet.
Time is not free. Expertise is not free. Asking a professional to work for free is insulting, disrespectful, and unprofessional. Don't do it.
I highly doubt the people approached to work for free feel 'flattered', 'blessed', 'fortunate' or 'lucky' to be associated with a large brand. As a self-employed business owner I can tell you there is much more glory in being paid than there is in having a big company's name on my resume.
(I'm crazy busy with work/travel this week so I can't really dive into this like I want to.)