Blogging In the Mix
I just read an interesting entry today at Naked Conversations.
After much soul searching, it seems that this blogger doesn't believe that a blog belongs in an Integrated Marketing Campaign:
“Blogging doesn't integrate with other marketing “solutions” such as PR, advertising, collaterals, direct mail, web sites and the rest. It just doesn't.”
Other well-known PR and Marketing bloggers, who attended theNov 2 bloggers conference in Austin, Texas, don't agree with Shel Israel, the author of Naked Conversations. (Personal Note: Too bad I only started blogging on that day, since Austin is only a short drive from here.)
I both agree and disagree with Shel and the other bloggers. I agree that a blog must be an authentic conversation (Shel's point) and I disagree that it can't be used in the marketing mix (other bloggers).
Shel talks about this in his case study of Vichy. In short, the company launched a blog that was written by a character and that was clearly marketing. They pulled that down and put up an “authentic” blog that relied on testimonials.
Clearly, the second blog was just as much a part of the marketing/PR program as the first. Plus, it was more effective. I think blogging is simply another channel of communication and you tailor your message for your audience. So, in the blogosphere, the message needs to be clear and conversational. You have to offer more and build better relationships.
I think that the confusion comes in when public relations is defined as simply a part of the marketing mix. The definition of PR includes a two-way dialogue. I believe that is why some PR campaigns are not reaching the intended audience, or at least not influencing them in any way. Why, so many campaigns leave out the dialogue and the course corrections.
Part of this is that PR folk, unlike marketers, have been lax to do their research. However, a marketing and advertising plan generally will use data to carefully craft a message, just to fail at allowing for adequate feedback outside of the focus group.
I wrote more bout how I see PR and Blogging fitting together in “The New Public Relations?”