TWL point to the fact that the whole ‘blogging’ thing hasn’t really delivered on the hype and promise through 2005/2006. According to TWL clients largely still don’t get it, PR’s aren’t selling services against it well enough and as a result PR continues to fail to catch up with the Advertising big boys and their budgets. TWL seems to think that this will not change in 2007 pointing to the issue largely being about the transparent nature of blogs and as a result the fear that clients have about the lack of control of messages they can have in this medium compared to the traditional (and yes diminishing) form…
Blogs should be our bag. We’d all love to be involved in clear, open, honest, transparent communication about the truly decent things that clients get up to. But therein lies the problem. Clients. They still want to have control over the message; total transparency isn’t really their thing, is it?
TWL is largely spot on. Whilst this isn’t always the case( there are some great examples of companies that do it well), many many clients just don’t get it, and probably neither do the PRs. Blogging services, as TWL point out, very quickly can turn to ‘monitoring’ conversations and don’t ever really get to even thinking about participation. It’s the lets just make sure nothing bad happens approach, as opposed to the lets try and make something good. Shame.
Obviously there is plenty of work, and I think opportunity, for PRs in the area of convincing clients that the blogosphere is important. This probably means there is lots of work to do in PRs actually understanding this form of communication so clients can turn around and go “yes, I understand that, I believe that they understand it and I trust that they could make a difference for us let’s do it”. Crucial to this is understanding thatblogs are not online news sites and that bloggers are not journalists. As Hugh mentions in his post:
blogosphere is not a good place to “push” corporate messages. That being said, the ‘sphere does have its uses for corporates, the same way it does for individuals. As I see it, the ‘sphere is the world’s largest “Idea Incubator”. It’s a great place to seed ideas. It’s a great place to test which ideas have traction, which ideas are “Beyond Lame”. Which conversations get people’s attention, and which conversations make people roll their eyeballs.
i.e. not at all like traditional media. The Blogosphere should not be an after thought for corporate communications but rather, if engaged with properly, a fantastic first port of call that can help shape wider media campaigns.
Anyway the TWL article is well worth a read – see what you think…