launching a public relations initiative where should we prioritize bloggers in
the order of outreach? Do we connect with them prior to industry analysts? How
about the trade press?
These questions were top of
mind last week as I participated in a brainstorming session with the Tellabs
team at Strategic Communications Group (Strategic). We planned out tactics to
support an announcement of research that points to dissatisfaction among
telecommunications professionals about broadband availability in the United States.
New survey finds gaps in U.S. broadbandIndustry professionals dissatisfied with
broadband availability and definition
A few days later I came across a post from Nick O’Neill of social media
consultancy Capital Interactive bemoaning an undisclosed company for not
informing him of news prior to distributing a press release.
Lesson Learned: Embrace Your Local Bloggers
“Personally, I felt side swiped when a local company that I have directly
communicated on a regular basis decided to announce a press release without
first privately announcing the news to local bloggers,” O’Neill writes. “…Cater
to the desires of local bloggers and you will be handsomely rewarded. Go
against them, and you immediately have the most vocal group of individuals in
the community building negative press for you business.”
O’Neill (and any blogger who feels this way) needs to get a clue. For starters,
publicly traded companies have to follow well defined SEC guidelines related to
the announcement of news. It’s called fair disclosure.
Bloggers also need to recognize that while they are an important channel to the
market, in many instances they are of equal or less significance than other
influencers, including journalists, analysts, academics, think tanks, etc. It’s
not a knock, merely an acknowledgment that a trade editor who has a readership
base of thousands will often be of higher priority.
O’Neill’s contention that a blogger slighted will turn angry captures my
biggest concern about the blogosphere: irrational thinking without the peer
review process that defines quality journalism and analyst commentary.
Marc Hausman is
president/CEO of Strategic Communications Group, a public relations consultancy
based in Silver Spring,
MD. Read more at: http://www.strategicguy.blogspot.com/.