We're all the media now
We're all the media now
Wired knew it in 2005, and published a seminal article called ‘We Are The Web‘. At the end of last year, Time got in on the act, naming ‘You’ as its ‘Person of the Year‘. Now, finally, PR agencies are creeping around to the idea that bloggers are just as much a part of the media as…well, Wired and Time.
PR people have been *talking* about blogs being part of the media for a long time, with uber-PR-bloggers like Edelman’s Steve Rubel and Lewis PR’s Drew Benvie often leading the debate. But while everyone has been talking, no one seems to have actually been *doing* very much.
I know this because, in another guise, I am a blogger. I have a personal blog that is mildly popular (62 other blogs link to it, according to Technorati), and which is read by – ooh, about 150, on a good day – really quite lovely people who all seem to be writers and journalists and media types of one sort or another. It’s been chugging along quite happily since 2002, exciting no interest whatsoever among PR practitioners.
For this week I am pleased and yet slightly disturbed to report that my blogging alter ego received her first press release. It came from a well known PR consultancy on behalf of their client, a division of, well, let’s say ‘a very well known software company based in the north-west corner of the United States’.
The press release was innocuous enough, but I was a bit perplexed about why I had been sent it. I asked the account exec why I’d been targeted, and she replied that the agency had done a search on ‘comedy blogs’ and had discovered mine.
I like to think that I’m sometimes quite funny, in a dry sort of way, but even I wouldn’t go so far as to describe my blog as a ‘comedy blog’. Then I realised that she wasn’t talking about my beloved personal blog at all, but a group blog that I joined in 2005, and wrote the grand total of two posts for…both of them in 2005.
When I pointed this out to her, she admitted that the agency probably could have done a better job of targeting bloggers.
Ooh, I felt just like a journalist, miffed because a PR person had approached me without taking any time whatsoever to read my blog, or understand what I write about (mostly unadulterated rubbish, it has to be said), or even address me personally (the press release just started ‘Hi’, suggesting it was a blanket missive sent out to an unknown quantity of ‘comedy bloggers’).
It looks like PR has quite a lot to learn about targeting the blogging community.
If anyone out there is thinking of targeting my alter ego again, please make an effort to learn my (made-up) name, read at least a few posts, get a feel for what I write about, and make sure you’re sending me information about something I’m genuinely going to like. Otherwise at best your press release is going straight in the recycle bin, and at worst, I’m going to write a scathing post about it, which will be immortalised in search engine results for all eternity.
Does this advice sound familiar at all? Ah yes, that’ll be because we’re all the media now…