Hello, my name is Jeremy P, and I'm pro-Blogversations

Yes, you read that right. I'm probably the only PR blogger that is pro-Blogversations. Well, maybe pro is not the correct term, but I do not think Blogversations is the end-all be-all to public relations, marketing, advertising and the blogosphere, but rather the maturing nature of the blogosphere, and a natural growth of what public relations can do with technology.

Yes, it's a natural extension of what public relations can, and will, do. And, it's nothing different than what has been done in the past by public relations professionals and by journalists.

How many PR people have done a Satellite Media Tour (SMT) with a host? SMTs are delivered to morning news shows without nary a word that all those products paid to be included. Last year, Dan Gillmor had a snit about a toy specialist that had a holiday gift SMT, and I blogged that the whole issues was overblown.

How many PR people have done a Video News Release (VNR)? Does our industry have such a short memory that we don't remember the brouhaha over the Karen Ryan VNR, and how the industry more or less abandoned her? VNRs are a part of television media relations. We send them out to television stations, the producers run the spots if they need to fill the time. We have all used VNRs, and will continue to use VNRs.

How many PR people have used NAPS? I love NAPS and use them for appropriate clients all the time. It's a great way to get your client's message to small and mid-sized newspapers across the country - papers that would be near impossible to find and pitch to - and your client gets a wonderful article and placement. The PR firm writes the full article, the NAPS editors edits and make it more newsworthy, and then the story is available for a year. And, since the downturn in journalism and the smaller staffs, larger and larger newspapers are using NAPS to fill space in the lifestyles sections.

Take a step back - how much different is Blogversations than NAPS, or VNRs or SMTs? The PR industry can take a three blind mice approach to Blogversations, but I would rather keep an eye on the company, see what goes on, and see how it's done. And, more importantly, what competition is using Blogversations.

Many different public relations, marcom and publishing blogs have written on Blogversations, and have mostly taken the position that its a bad, bad thing. And, Wired has an okay article on Blogversations as a service that mixes ads in blog chatter

Granted, I have many, many doubts about the company itself. I don't trust a company that registers all their domains with Domains by Proxy, an anonymous registration service from Go Daddy. Interestingly enough, Domains by Proxy tends to be used by porn sites, so draw your own fun conclusion there.

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3 comments

  1. Jeremy,

    Great blog. I tend to agree with you on this one, and as a PR professional myself, I think we may be in the minority.

    You make some very good points, different from those that I make over at my blog www.GumpRants.com. Certainly, like many tools we have in our PR aresnal, blogs can be misused, but they can also be used effectively and ethically to educate and inform audiences.

    I think Blogversations is missing a key point, one that I discuss in my blog entry here.

    So, I think there is a place for "Sponsored Blogs." But I think we have to disclose that to our audiences.

    - Gump

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  2. NAPS is a gift from heaven. When I was doing PR for consumer-oriented crap, I loved to use NAPS and show them the zillions of hits, often in little obscure pubs that were extremely local -- exactly the audiences we wanted to reach.

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  3. I'm halfway through Dan Gillmor's "We the Media," and it is increasingly apparent to me -- a 25-year NYC PR veteran -- that p-p forms of information sharing and the rise of the citizen-journalist will transform the profession. But we've heard that before, right?

    In my online travels and high-level industry interaction, I still have not come across the definitive formula for using the blogosphere as a viral marketing channel to create that elusive "buzz" or Gladwell's "tipping point." Forget www.subservientchicken. It was a clever website, and that's it. There are a lot of pretenders out there, so don't be fooled. We are on the cusp. Let's hope we (as a profession) do it right.

    In the interim, I'm ramping up on the subject and have begun to crystallize some thoughts and approaches of my own. You may soon read about them in the trades - O'Dwyers, PR Week, PR News and Holmes...

    Keep up the good dialogue.

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