I’ll be giving a private talk to a PR company in the next few weeks about being a blogger and the company wants to know how to engage with us blogging folk. Since I have not yet held that coup and installed myself as an evil overlord (Twenty is so going to beat me to it anyway) I thought I’d ask your opinion on it on how you see it. There are two-three PR people that blog in Ireland, Tom Murphy, Piaras Kelly and Rosemarie Meleady, though she blogs about weddings and it would be nice to see more PR people around the blogging landscape.
My own view is that PR companies should all be blogging in some way in order for the “community” to get to know them. Best way of exchanging information is sharing the same space as bloggers while adhering to some kind of politeness rules. No spamming in other words. Even without a blog, all PR agencies should have RSS feeds for all their releases. Sending press releases to bloggers though… are they of value to a blogger or to the PR company apart from an increment in an excel sheet to give to the client? Tom Coates certainly reacts strongly to getting shite press releases from PR companies.
What about events? I think yes, a blogger can still be a blogger and report on the event, if it interests them. The Young Scientist is a good example. How many press invited, how many bloggers? How many links online as a result? How many different opinions on the Young Scientist out there? How many just rewrote the final press release?
A nice initiative was Science Week that encouraged bloggers to blog answers to daily questions. The bribe of a Wii also helped but it is a good start to get people talking about science. I like ideas like that.
I think the unfortunate term “new media” had made PR companies think (lazily) that the same rules of engagement apply to bloggers as to existing journalists. Not that existing journos are very happy with the way some PR companies bombard them with crap. And as I wrote that last sentence I get a press release from an Irish PR company about the opening of a Conrad hotel in China. Jesus.
So fellow bloggers, how would you want to be approached by PR companies?
Not at all?
Should they blog and you can information from them that way? RSS feeds?
Would you be interested in press releases from them?
Would you be interested in free trials of various things that they are sending out?
Would you take ads from their clients or do paid blog posts?
I asked this question on Twitter a while back and Deborah pointed to this very good blog post on the matter from a Mummy blogger.