That feature evangelizes blogs, exploring the business perspective in quite a different way to other recent mainstream media reporting, and in a far more relevant way for the business reader.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that CooperKatz, the PR firm Steve works for, has begun a project with Vespa USA to develop two blogs that will be written by US owners of the Italian motor scooters:
[...] Its blog site, VespaBlogs.com, could launch by early June, says Steve Rubel, a vice president at New York public-relations firm CooperKatz, which will manage the program. Four bloggers will be selected to regularly contribute content about the products and broader lifestyle topics. The company will give the bloggers guidance as well as a code of ethics. Comments may be removed if they are deemed inappropriate.
This is great news to hear of a major success for Steve and his firm's new media services that leverages Steve's Micro Persuasion brand, for which I offer my warm congratulations. It emphasizes the success of Steve's role as a key evangelist in the PR profession and pushing that envelop ever further (for more on that, see the interview transcript or listen to the conversation (MP3, 30.8Mb) Shel and I had with Steve in March for the Hobson & Holtz Report).
But, this isn't the really significant news. That news is related to a comment Steve makes in his post today about the new relationship:
[...] Vespa USA has contracted CooperKatz and Company, my employer, not only for blogging but for its comprehensive US public relations effort as well.
And there you have the key - the blogs form an integral part of an overall communication strategy.
The FAQ on the new VespaBlogs site - a model of transparency - describe how the blogs program will work and what it's intended to achieve, including this explanation on building buzz and driving traffic to the blogs:
Piaggio USA plans to execute a small ad buy on both blogs and search engines to support the launch. In addition, since the online marketing and PR programs are tightly integrated, the blogs will integrate into the broader PR strategy as well. In addition, the VespaUSA.com site will link to the blogs once launched.
Amongst all the generic info out there about the benefits of blogs for business, and how they can work as integral elements of broader public relations, marketing and other communication activity, it's very good indeed to learn of a real, live example of that integration and how it's planned to be executed.
One to watch in the coming months as the plans develop.