Blogs, Bloggers and the PR Consultants
Blogging and bloggers have become an integrated part of the online public relations discipline, pretty much as mania and journalists are part of the traditional public relations. The major difference though is that bloggers can be more influential than journalists because they maintain a certain ethical standard. When PR officers manage to transmit the message of a business or individual to the key players in the blogosphere the results achieved are more spectacular than a story in a paper periodic.
The blogosphere spreads the news with the speed of light. The people drive an amazing force, something that most of the bloggers are not even aware of. I heard often the question “and what do you bloggers expect to achieve with this?” or a bitter-ignorant statement like “no one will listen to a bunch of bloggers.”
Many bloggers are that ignorant. Many bloggers don’t understand that their words are weapons, weapons that, if used wisely, they can change the world. Just like that.
On the other hand we have many PR professionals who still fail to understand that the people of the blogosphere are the key influencers on the Web right now. A review from an A-list blogger can make a sales boost without precedent for a product or service. It is basic human nature: people buy from people they trust.
People look up to those who they admire and they take their advices. I bet that, if Maki will recommend a software tomorrow, if he will personally endorse that tool, we’ll have all of his readers checking out the link, half of them considering a purchase and all of those who can afford the price actually making the purchase.
Of course, when a blogger reaches Maki’s level of popularity and authority we no longer talk about someone unaware of his/her power. And it takes skill to reach to this level.
The name for this skill? Social media communications. Each blogger is both publisher and social media communicator. And in blogging, as in life, nothing can be achieved without effort and commitment. What a PR officer needs to master, aside the art of coping with the media (and social media) is the art of reaching out to bloggers.
To put it simple: the public relations consultant needs to reach out with respect. Blogger relationships are based on respect and they fail in the absence of this respect.
Why are bloggers so important for the PR profession, aside that traditional publications like Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, and even USAToday read the most popular blogs?
Well, think about it…
Because they develop communities of strong and loyal readers. To each blogger another community. Let’s say that in a community we have 100 readers. Now imagine 100 blogs speaking up, all at the same time. This is the power of the people.