Wednesday, October 25, 2006

meaningful relationships

Todd Defren writes on PR Squared about the difference between blogger and media relations, identifying a number of challenges that PR folks face in being able to invest in developing good relationships with bloggers on behalf of their clients: scalability, financial and trust. The primary contrast between the two, Defren seems to suggest, is that the relationship with the reporter is transactional and focused on maintaining contact on a "need to know" basis. The relationship with the blogger, on the other hand requires a greater investment of time as well as a focus on trust-building.

It makes sense, but it leaves me with a couple of thoughts:

1) Over time, will the two relationships resemble each other more? Will bloggers -- particularly those who are viewed as influential and, therefore, get "pitched" more frequently -- become more like reporters in their expectation (and perhaps desire) of a purely transactional relationship with PR folks?

2) Will this distinction serve as a hurdle for getting more traditional PR folks to buy in to the value of social media as a strategy for telling their client's story? If they don't yet buy in to the return being generated through a thoughtful blog post about their issue or brand, will they buy into the fact that it requires a greater investment?


PR-Guy said...

A great summation of my post.

Specific to your 2 questions, I'd say, "Yes" to #1 and "No" to #2. The blogosphere will not be denied; it will become part-and-parcel of PR work. Having said that, the cream will rise to the top, so the scalability issues may eventually fade a bit.

abf said...

I agree with your belief that there is an eventuality to social media being "part and parcel of PR work," but I was thinking in the short term as far as my second question (which I didn't say, so you couldn't know). I definitely feel like we have more evangelizing to do among peers and being able to demonstrate comparable ROI always helps.

PR-Guy said...

Agreed that more evangelization/education is required. I've seen too many heads spin while discussing Social Media to feel good about the industry's willingness to embrace it.