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June 28, 2006

The New PR Is Part Of Blogger Relations

Philip Young describes in his post, "What is the new PR?" that there are profound changes happening with the practice of public relations because of the new world of social media. His discussion about the issue was inspired by Stuart Bruce's post around the issue of PR 2.0. Stuart does not believe that PR has fundamentally changed with the introduction of new media. I think I agree with both Stuart and Philip, that PR has not changed and also that online social media has given companies new ways to communicate with their audiences.

Philip Young's posts encouraged me to ask the question: "what are those profound changes?"

I agree that the purpose of PR has not changed in the new world of social media. However, what I think has changed is the division between PR and other disciplines. The lines have blurred. Tina Lang-Stuart said this best in a comment on Stuart's blog, there's now a thin line between professions and disciplines, or, "It's becoming a middlesex-kind-of-society where there's a thin line between journalists, bloggers, vloggers, MySpace networkers, PR and Marketing people."

The reason I use blogger relations to describe the process of a company communicating with their audience rather than public relations is because of that blurring of the lines between PR and the other professions. I see that product managers and customer service people get some of the best results in terms of interacting with their customers by using both a public relations strategy along with their existing skill sets and the new discipline of blogger relations.

Building relationships with journalists was once the domain of PR professionals and company communicators; often most of their relationship was conducted in private. But now that blogs are becoming increasingly important as a way to build relationships directly with customers for some companies, it has also become important for bloggers to build online public relationships with other bloggers in their community.

Often marketing and PR people are not the right choice to be the blogger for a company's blog. Just as typically, the PR professional was not the best interviewee for a journalist's story. The PR professional might have facilitated the interview but the CEO or senior executive was the person the audience and by default the journalist wanted to hear.

The change with blogging is that the blogger facilitates the conversation between other bloggers, rather than the PR professional where the blogger is not in PR. To me this is why blogger relations is not just about public relations but a combination of different disciplines.

Posted by johncass at June 28, 2006 10:40 AM

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