If you read my latest post, Brands Break Up with Bloggers, and reviewed the comment section, you probably got the feeling publicist are not welcomed in the wonderful world of blogging. As a publicist myself, I understand both sides of the argument. To understand both sides here is a PR 101:
- It is the job of the PR professional to get media placement (print and online) for clients products, services, events, ideas, thought leadership, etc. The PR person is the link between the reporter, producer, columnist, editor, anchor, and blogger.
- Every PR person must know their target market to be able to strategically pitch their clients “story.” With out a newsworthy or inspirational story, the media will not care. The PR person draws out the IT factor to glorify their clients products/services.
- PR Professionals pitch the media to place reviews, interviews (on-air radio/TV, print and online),TV appearances, product placement, song placement on TV shows and commercials, etc.
- It is the job of the publicist to also work as an image/brand consultant because it is important that the clients brand is aligned with what is portrayed and/or perceived in the public eye.
- PR professionals are also tasked with event planning, celebrity endorsements, gifting suites, video and photo shoot productions, etc.
The life of a publicist is never boring and the main goal is to get eyeballs/attention to the clients product, service, brand (most celebrities are a brand) or idea. Publicist need to drum up buzz and the best way to do so is to work with buzz creators, media professionals.
Are Bloggers media professionals? Yes and no. From the blogger standpoint, here is a little media 101:
- It is the job of the journalist to investigate stories that matter and make headlines. For example, the March 11 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, 10th Anniversary of 9/11, Arnold Schwarzenegger infidelity, etc. Newsworthy matters.
- Journalist write on the consumption factor, who will gobble up the news, spit it out via social media, comment, reblog, make an arugment for or against and to build on the news until it dies down.
We see point # 2 everyday on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, and every other morning news talk show and/or evening program; print newspapers and magazines, online news sites, online web shows, radio programs, and BLOGS.
Bloggers write their opinions based on the hottest headlines around the globe. Most bloggers are trained professionals in their area of expertise and we trust they know what they’re talking about. Bloggers have a special place in the world of media relations because bloggers are content crazed fanatics posting up to five times per day, have large devoted followers/subscribers, power to influence purchasing habits and spread news like wildfire.
Publicist look to bloggers to review products, services, TV programs, movies, album releases and more. Publicist pitch bloggers, follow up, ships items, wait for the link and that’s it! No relationship building here. Why? I gather most PR people look at Bloggers as on the bottom of the totem pole. At the top would be TV, Print, Radio, Online Media and then blogs (or at least in my minds-eye).
Why are bloggers beefing with publicist? Simply, it all comes down to respect. PR people don’t take the time to cultivate meaningful relationships with bloggers because even though having a notable blogger review a clients product/service, there is a stigma in our society–or at least the world of a PR professional–that ink is better than web resolution.