Is PR closing in on the weblog?….
I was catching up on some blog reading at the weekend, and in particular PR blogs. Phil Gomes has a passionate and thoughtful piece on PR and Blogs (well it’s actually about the Google acquistion of Blogger) and how our industry is addressing blogs.
He believes that as a profession we fundamentally ignore new developments because we inherently don’t like rocking the boat and anything that might require serious brain power (and displace perfectly profitable existing activities) is to be avoided.
I think Phil makes some very valid points. I have always said that PR people’s opinions on technology are similar to how a cat views water. It knows it needs it for survival but that doesn’t mean it likes it.
Some companies (of course Microsoft is one of them) are attempting to influence, inform and educate notable “bloggers” but it would be true to say that the majority of the profession either don’t know about them or are waiting to see what transpires. Blogs (and online communication) remain a “technology” thing.
During a recent PR course I took a straw poll of the attendees. I asked how many people had heard of “blogs”. The answer? Zero.
I think we have some way to go, but that doesn’t change my view that blogging provides a fantastic example of how online communication requires some different techniques and tactics than traditional channels whilst still remaining true to the basics of good communication.
On a related-matter, Jeff Walsh has a great piece on Blogging and Journalism. It suggests (in a very well reasoned manner) that Blogging is not about Journalism. It seems to me that we PR people are very attached to the journalism banner, and while it will remain a vitally important element of PR, let me ask you this: How are you communicating with your customers, staff, prospects, suppliers, partners etc. online?