In principle, I thought that the State of Blog Relations survey, which was commissioned by the Council of Public Relations Firms (CPRF) and APCO Worldwide to look at the interactions and relationships between public relations (PR) professionals and bloggers was interesting.
I especially thought that the disconnect between the two camps was compelling, with just over half of the PR PR executives surveyed agreeing with the statement:
Our firm does a good job identifying the specific interests of individual bloggers and sending them relevant information.”
However, nearly two-thirds of bloggers disagreed.
All of this leads my colleague Susan Getgood to cry out, “PR people: do your homework BEFORE you reach out to bloggers.”
And of course, she is right. If you don't understand a community that you need to pitch, it pays to hire someone who does. I often do this when working in a new area when I don't have time to build the relationships myself. Even though, as a blogger and PR professional, I understand the general blogging culture better than most, it can be quite different from niche to niche.
From personal experience I also found the following findings to be just about right:
- 42 percent of bloggers receive an e-mail pitch from a PR professional at least once a day
- 27 percent reported getting more than one a day
- 63 percent were contacted by a PR professional at least once a week
- 42 percent of respondents reported that they “write about something after being contacted” – at least sometimes – which, for the purposes of this study, was defined as “about half the time.”
- Another 42 percent reported writing “rarely” (about a quarter of the time)
- 15 percent said they never write in response to a pitch.
David Wescott of APCO Worldwide is one of the people behind this study, and he has worked hard to build relationships with blogger communities, so I respect his involvement with the project.
I tend to agree that people who understand the “rules of engagement” will be more likely to be successful with bloggers, but in the topline results I didn't see this proved with this research. I would be interested to see the in-depth results in order to see why the groups drew the conclusions that they did.
One thing I did find interesting is that that CPRF and APCO intend to repeat this study and are asking for feedback to make the questions better, and have put up this cool Digg-like page to promote and demote questions. You have to register to vote (see the bottom of the page).
Some Notes to APCO and CPRF about the PR and Bloggers Website:
- Put your registration at the TOP of the page, it is a bit frustrating to click with nothing happening
- The word blogger is misspelled in your drop down menu for more information
- When you have to choose between blogger and PR Professional, what if you are both? I choose the later.
- The interesting idea for a badge doesn't work because something is wrong with the HTML, for starters it shows the wrong URL, but even when I fixed that, it still didn't work.
I would love to hear what you would like to know about the relationship between PR and Bloggers.