The article includes some excellent quotes from some in the PR profession. Two examples:
Sarah Bresee, account executive, OutCast Communications: "I think that a lot of people are afraid of blogs in probably the same way that they were afraid of the internet. You can't ignore it and hope that they're going away. You have to interact with them. You have to work with them. That transparency can be scary, but it can really work out well for your clients."
Lynann Bradbury, SVP, Waggener Edstrom: "It's critical to read relevant blogs daily - and, whenever possible, on an hourly basis - to understand their slant, tone, and point of view and learn whether there's anything unique that you might be able to add to the discussion. It's not that much different than how you would engage the mainstream media in terms of the homework that you need to do up-front. Being well educated about that blog and what that blogger cares about is critical and is a necessary foundation to lay down before you have a conversation with them."
The only criticism I have of the PR Week article is its headline: "Working with the top echelon of bloggers." This is not about an 'echelon' or an elite grouping, it's about working with an effective channel. It's about influence (read the Technorati/Edelman Trust "MEdia" report for more on that).
In any event, if you're in the PR profession and want to gain some insight into what some of your peers believe about blogs and PR, you should read this article. It concludes with some smart advice:
- Do include bloggers in your media strategy
- Do remember that blogs are open forums
- Do treat bloggers with the same respect as journalists
- Don't try to mislead or manipulate with a posting
- Don't pitch or send press releases
- Don't forget to explain the terms of an embargo
Grab this article while you can, though - if you're not a PR Week subscriber, free access to their websites expires at midnight tonight. I imagine that's US Eastern time, so those of you in Europe will still be able to get in some night-time reading.
(Via Media Guerrilla)