My father is bigger than your father…

John Dvorak makes a living by being the grumpy old man of technology journalism. And he’s very good at it.

He has taken another swing at blogs and makes some interesting points – I’m all for pragmatism –  and some rash assumptions.

Steve Gillmor over at EWeek has called him on it and John wasn’t backward about coming forward to his own defence.

It’s an entertaining discussion and in many ways an interesting alternative opinion to the incessant blog-waving that we’ve had for the past year and a half.

How does this affect Public Relations? Well here’s my two cents.

Firstly if we take the PR profession, blogs have been positive.  There are a small but growing number of PR people blogging every day. These are all new sources of PR information, opinions and thoughts that were not available in the pre-blog period.  So that’s a good thing. You never stop learning in this game and I always find it fascinating to hear the thoughts of fellow practitioners.

On the wider question of blogs and PR, it’s important we are very very pragmatic.

I think blogs are an important new media for us and there are two elements:

1) Corporate blogs – which provide a useful means of communicating with customers, sharing thoughts and snippets.

2) Blog Relations – the process of targeting bloggers who are relevant to your client’s industry/market etc.

Now if you’ve tried these activities and neither is of any importance to your client, walk away and maybe try again in a while.

My personal experience is that both elements have added value to my work over the past two years (and I’m not including this dusty old blog).

But our resources are always tight in PR.  To be successful we must focus on what works not what smells nice.  So if blogs are working, keep at it, if not, leave it go.

The most important thing is that you make the effort and don’t make the mistake of ending up on either end of the opinion spectrum – pragmatism gets results.