Tom Murphy – Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy blogging about PR and other things since 2002…

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Why most PR bloggers are in the out-house

May 16th, 2007 · 7 Comments · Public Relations

The World’s Leading posed an interesting question last week:

 

Why is it that there are so few in-house PR people blogging?

 

It’s a good question. More than that, it’s an important question.

Balanced opinions are better opinions

The debate among PR bloggers on the shiny new new thing is interesting, but the really valuable discussion is the intersection of online and traditional PR. This is where the value is, because this is where the online world will impact our practice of Public Relations.

There is an equally valid argument to be made that the fact that the overwhelming majority of PR bloggers are on the agency side of the house, means that we are missing a valuable perspective on how the online world actually impacts Public Relations.

Maybe this is why I’m so grumpy all the time…

As someone who has played the poacher and the gamekeeper, there are as many differences between working in-house and in an agency as there are similarities – the same could be said for the benefits and drawbacks.

I don’t have the answer I’m afraid, however as usual I’m not shy to offer some suggestions…

  1. One potential hurdle for in-house practitioners is that they are often the public face of the company and therefore they may feel that there is a risk that anything they blog could be treated as official comment – now of course this could also be beneficial, however a fear that a mistake could be career limiting may be a factor – and it’s one of the reasons I purposely don’t regularly discuss Microsoft on this blog.
  2. Blogs provide a great platform for promoting thought leadership.  From an agency perspective I can see why it makes a lot of sense to have your best and brightest sharing their opinions. However, there isn’t the same motivation for many companies where PR is not a core competency. It might be perceived as either a high risk activity or a waste of time.
  3. Finally, and this one is a stretch, perhaps on the agency side there is a greater need to look at the changing world, new developments etc., and therefore that lends itself more naturally to getting involved in blogging, where in the in-house role the challenge is different.

Maybe (or probably) it’s none of the above.

What I do know is that in-house practitioners have a fantastic perspective to share on traditional and online Public Relations – and the PR blogosphere is poorer without them.

If you’re working in-house and have a blog let me know.

Update:

I’ve been a little frazzled of late :-)

Some immediate in-house bloggers include the irrepressible Kevin Dugan, the ever-present Colin McKay, my colleague Thomas Lutz, Dells’ Bernie Charland…..

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Kevin Dugan

    Tom – While we’re both from the agency realm, do we not both qualify for in-house status now?

  • Tom Murphy

    Kevin,

    Yes of course we do! Apologies.

    Ahem… mark it down to mid afternoon brain fade…

    TM

  • Colin McKay

    And me as well, although I rarely mention it. My new government-focused blog touches on it, though. (sosaidthe.org)

    Colin

  • Gerry McCusker

    The one I cant get is the PRIA downunder here in Oz; swish new website, great blog resource centre, but no blog of its own. ??

  • Bernie Charland

    Tom,
    I do have my own blog and am “in house” though I can’t claim to represent my employer (Dell), so not sure that would qualify for what you are looking for. I agree there is a dearth of relevant blogs from PR folks – both inside and outside the house. Hope that changes sooner than later or the industry risks an even worse reputation than it already has!
    Cheers
    Bernie
    My blog is publicrelationsrogue at wordpress.com.

  • Tom Murphy

    Bernie,

    Thanks for the comment. You qualify!

    I agree with your completely – though we’re waiting :-)

    Thanks
    Tom

  • Mihnea

    Tom,

    I have a personal blog, and I’m also ‘kind of’ in-house. What does that mean? Well, I’m the PR guy for an advertising agency (well pretty much the largest one around – i.e. Romania) – but I have access to our PR division’s resources. Does that count?

    Anyway – my issue is somewhat different, in the sense that I’m having a bit of a difficult time separating the content I post on my own blog (and which, regardless of one of those disclaimers clearly stating that my views aren’t necessarily those of my company) from what I post on the agency’s. And that blog is one of (if not THE) best industry blogs around.

    So do I qualify? :)

    Cheers,
    ~Mihnea

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