So, in a comment in my blog post last week about Shel’s new blogger relations program, Phil Gomes says he isn’t fond of term, in fact he is pretty clear about his sentiment:
“I've been trying to kill the term ‘blogger relations’ here.”
He goes on to admit while it is it a “nit,” he takes exception with the term since it “makes it sound like talking to bloggers is like talking to the media, but with a tighter feedback mechanism.”
Actually, I agree with Phil that there is a lot wrong with thinking of a blogger as just another journalist when considering an outreach program for a lot of reasons, just a few:
1. The grand majority of bloggers aren’t paid for blogging, and even those that are…
2. Usually aren’t trained journalists following a code of ethics in a mutually understood culture, or at least the long-developed relationship journalists and public relations professionals have tenuously built. See the recent Financial Times article on the subject via Neville Hobson.
3. The medium is entirely different, with no editors but the readers to moderate or cut up the copy.
4. In blogs, comments rule, and this is like the wild west compared to journalism, as it should be.
5. Other bloggers actually like to do something I like to call ECHO+, or to repeat what another blogger said and add a twist. Journalists aren’t impressed by your five pages of coverage from other media outlets.
So, what do we call it then Phil? Kaye Trammel calls it blogger engagement, but that reminds me a little of an impending wedding. It seems too serious.
So what is it?
- Social media outreach (say what?)
- Educational campaign (sounds too much like spin to me)
Does it matter what we call it anyway? Or just how we do it? I think the latter, but I am open to calling names. Anyone else want to take a shot?