Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The New PR 

This article from Fortune makes the strongest case yet for PR's involvement in blogging. Read it through, even though the subhead makes the point.

Freewheeling bloggers can boost your product—or destroy it. Either way, they've become a force business can't afford to ignore

If PR's job is to protect the reputation of organizations and their products and services, then Fortune is saying we had better be involved in blogging and with bloggers now, not later. Unfortunately, I don't detect that strong an interest among PR practitioners. It seems as if the blogging crowd talks to itself more than to the PR marketplace.

I find it interesting that in the 2+ years I have been blogging, I have been approached only a few times by someone who is not a blogger. There is a tendency for people to read and not comment, but it would be nice if there were more conversations about PR and its role on the internet. Meanwhile, this paragraph from the article should be a warning.

The blog—short for weblog—can indeed be, as Scoble and Gates say, fabulous for relationships. But it can also be much more: a company's worst PR nightmare, its best chance to talk with new and old customers, an ideal way to send out information, and the hardest way to control it. Blogs are challenging the media and changing how people in advertising, marketing, and public relations do their jobs. A few companies like Microsoft are finding ways to work with the blogging world—even as they're getting hammered by it. So far, most others are simply ignoring it.

Is PR going to fail again to be a leader?


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