PR and Bloggers Can Live Together
Last nights PR and Blogger meet up in Edelmans offices passed off with any physical harm to any of the attendees. Billed as collision course the atmosphere was pretty friendly and more curious than frictional. Overall some interesting points:
– most bloggers post on their own time and approaching them in a insolicited fashion is akin to stopping a random punter on the street and sticking a press release in their face.
– most bloggers are open to approaches that show you undertand their blog, what you are offering is relevant, is fairly informal and covering anything from attending events, angles on stories, reviews of new stuff, interesting videos. The approach by BTs to the Young Scientist and giving free tickets was pointed out as positive.
– Bloggers are constantly in touch with each other and will frequently IM each other when they get approaches from PR companies especially if offering exclusives.
– No bloggers reported making money from their blogs and are fuel/energised by passion for the topic.
– Blogger relations takes more time and the PR industry has a struggle to convince clients to allocate resources so it does not end up being a bloggers email address getting added to a media distribution list.
– Journalists who are also bloggers view mails and to their media email account very differently to their blogger email account.
– Twitter offers great potential for monitoring (ORM), possible relevant story seeding and early heads up on industry developments.
– Bloggers like to have previews of up and coming stuff so they can debate it before it hits main stream media.
– Bloggers spend vast amounts of time in preparing their posts and take personal pride in them. Poor blogs will just not get read.
– There is a general nervousness in approaching blogger as mistakes can become highly personal and visible.
– Links to stories/press releases/photos plus personal commentary are more welcome than cut and paste press releases.
– PR community doing a poor job with clients in convincing them of the merits of PR and blogger relations in general.
– PR people should blog more so that they can understand the medium and utilise the Irish press release service.
Overall is was a positive event and these type face to face encounters help to over the suspicion and mistrust between the two groups.
Interesting to see how the next one goes which is planned for February.
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Far more sensible than mine! Well done Eoin. I still have my concerns regards sny reliance on blogging long term. I think in a few years the best ones will just become like traditional media once PR gets involved.
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Insightful post. I didn’t make it unfortunately but hopefully I’ll get to a future one. Not sure what hat I’d be wearing – blogger or Client-behind-PR-firm hat. Looks like some interesting points came out of the session. From my perspective, I think you are correct that clients / advertisers are weary of bloggers. There is a somewhat distorted view that they are an angry anti-establishment crew. Pity, as it feels like blogging community and clients could both benefit if clients had a better understanding of blogging.
I know you said bloggers are not financially motivated and as a blogger, I agree with that. But as a client, I believe advertisers would like to find a way to get their products or messages to bloggers, and pay for it. They often just don’t know how to approach this. And they’d need some education on this – you know, honest dialogue, relevant messages and respect for the blogger and his or her view. And no reason why bloggers can’t earn a few quid doing the stuff they are already doing, as long as they don’t feel compromised.
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Thanks Paul. There was a real divergence of views of making money directly through Blogging. More felt that it would be a betrayal but some other took a more reasoned view that if there is any commercial aspect to a blog post that it is advertised well in advance. Fuelmyblog.com have an interesting approach to commercialising blogs.
Two issues which have become clear to me over the past 3 weeks are: a) there is a big different between ‘blogging for play’, where an over zealous ‘our space. we say’ attitude rules the blogisphere and
‘blogging for business’, where clear ethics in standards of practise must be established for the business to have the confidence to become involved in the first place.
Example: http://www.mulley.net/category/funny *- was not for the business concerned.
b) Negatively targeting Irish SME’s in the present economic climate is not only counter productive the economy as a whole but also to business building any future relationship of trust with ‘the bloggers’ for play group. Either we can expect a professional attitude or we will opt to take the ‘business’ aspect of blogging in another direction.
* 2 other SME’s with similiar experiences in this blog
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