PR, Press, Bloggers

Well, this one is worth a read: Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign. I don’t get it. Why would a top PR agency like this put itself in such an unbelievably compromising position between bloggers and the press?

Robert Scoble is right:

… for companies thinking of getting in this space: why don’t you just blog? That’s the best way to get your point of view out there. Hidden agendas will be found out eventually (and there are plenty of them, particularly in comment sections — how do you know that anonymous commenter wasn’t paid by a competitor of mine? You don’t.)

Another way to look at it? Join, don’t use. Ask yourself: are you communicating or trying to manipulate others into communicating?

Isn’t that obvious? Especially that last point?

PR agencies have started pitching me to write stuff about their clients — which is wild, I must say. Why me? I always respond to their queries asking why they pitched me, but they never respond back. Unlike many bloggers, I don’t think that blogging marks the end of the PR business. Sure, the traditionalists may get disrupted, but blogging is redefining PR, not killing it. It’s distributing it, actually. And blogging offers innovative PR people an opportunity to contribute to conversations, rather than just shouting messages at conversations hoping some will stick. And by getting involved, I don’t mean pitching bloggers. I mean actually getting involved and blogging right along with everyone else and earning the right to participate.