Why is everyone surprised about bad blog relations?

Over the past week there’s been a lot of discussion about the paucity of good PR practice online. 

The recent Chris Anderson and Marshall Kirkpatrick episodes have created a lot of hand wringing across the world of blogs on how PR people "don’t get it".

Quelle surprise!

If you’ve ever listened to a journalist offload their feelings on the quality of engagement they get from PR people in the traditional media world, then the news that there’s a lot of examples of blog relations malpractice shouldn’t come as a surprise.image Should it?

What has changed is that poor practice is now quickly and easily published and shared online.

There’s loads and loads of great advice available online about how to conduct effecting "blog relations". 

The core tenets are pretty simple:
1) Understand these are bloggers not journalists

2) Spend time understanding what the blogger writes about and if they are willing to engage with you or your client

3) Engage with the blogger, don’t spam them.

That’s boiling it down to the bare bones, Todd Defren’s guide will give you more detail.  But the key point here is that good media relations practice is very similar to good blog relations practice.

Therefore the fact that media relations is often so poor, should prepare us for the news that blog relations is equally poor.

Of course blog relations is only the snow crystals on the summit of the iceberg.  There’s a lot more to online communications than blogs.

Recently I’ve been doing some talks with PR folks on the question of Web 2.0 and Public Relations and there’s no question that practitioners have identified this as an important professional issue.

I’ll provide my recommendations on how to get started in a subsequent post, but the best place to start is by reading some of the knowledge that’s already online.  You can’t lick this off a stone.



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4 thoughts on “Why is everyone surprised about bad blog relations?

  1. Tom, there are also good examples of how to do it right. Not enough and the good work never gets near the attention of the bad.

    Here are a few:
    CBS-TV’s outreach to parent bloggers for The New Adventures of Old Christine last year. Sci-Fi Channel’s outreach to online media for a site tour last summer. Both of which I’ve written about on my blog. Andy Abramson’s work for Nokia. The Greenstone Media Gloria Steinem conference call last fall.

    What do all these projects have in common? The company doing the outreach started by asking, Why would the blogger care? What does the blogger want? And then they delivered it. And most definitely got something in return.

    Because we are all human. Someone does something for you, you are far more inclined to do something for them. Funny that :-)

  2. Susan,

    I can’t agree more with you. We need to highlight the great and the good, and yes this stuff needs us to re-think the standard broadcast model of communications.

    Although it absolutely still has it’s place we now require to match it with more human outreach.

    Here’s hoping

    Thanks for the comment

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