Chapter One: Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright

Tonight, I got a preview copy of the first chapter from Jeremy Wright for his book, Blog Marketing. As Wright noted, it will be on the book site tomorrow as a preview.

No real need to go into Wright - I met him first at the first NewCommunications Forum, and feel bad about that one phone call to immigration. Um, kidding about la immigra, in case you were wondering.

First thought is that if the rest of the book is as well-done as the first chapter, Wright might just have a winner on his hand. While it is a little over the top - no, blogs aren't curing cancer, and the mainstream media still has great influence with a good portion of the general public - well, since I wrote a sidebar for the book, I know it's not going to be a pollyannaish, sunshine book that will serve absolutely, positively no good for any corporation looking to get into blogging. Wright presents the pros and the cons, which are desperately needed when it comes to blogging and marketing.

The chapter begins with a cute story about a business looking into blogging, and Wright goes into an analogy about being a fly on the wall of your customers:

Now imagine that you could use this up-to-the-minute information to determine what your customers want, how they want it, what they will ultimately buy, and what they’re willing to pay for it. This is the power of the blog.
Well, those that read this blog know that I do not necessarily agree with that. Blogs are important to track, but it's the conversation that matters, no matter where it takes place: online, in a message board, on a blog, in the media, on sites like ePinions and PlanetFeedback. No customer should be more important than any other customer - sorry Jarvis/Dell is no exception - but all customers should be heard. Blogs are not a holy grail, but another avenue for people to write, to express, and, yes, to bitch.

Granted, this book is a primer for newbies. It's not going to bowl away people that have been blogging for any amount of time, but it will help marketing departments that are thinking of tipping their toes into the blogosphere some food for thought.

And, Wright, blogs are not effectively a form of free advertising - it's just pure public relations. It's PR's to lose, and if we don't step up and make sure we own corporate blogging, it will become marketing pabulum.

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  1. Agreed :)

    My statements weren't to the detriment of any other PR methods or communications tools. In fact, later in the book we get into how to balance blogs with those :)

  2. I agree that blogs are not a "holy grail" of privilege. However, they are a recognizable body of people that deserve to be heard. The companies that choose not to listen are the ones losing out. I may be missing out on the big secret, but I didn't think companies could afford to be choosy when it comes to which opinions count among customers and employees.

    Blogs are a valuable form of communication when used appropriately. I am glad that Mr. Wright is making an effort to explain this. When more companies begin to implement the use of blogs they will no longer be seen as "the great advantage," but more as the useful communication tool that they are.

    I hope that public relations is able to secure the respectability of blogs. If marketing takes over, blogs will just add to the many forms of media hype. From what you said after reading the first chapter, Mr. Wright's book is a helpful step in the right direction.

  3. Jeremy (Pepper), you really shouldn't let Jeremy (Wright) so easily off the hook on the immigration thing. Even joking about it gives credence to his "story", which was fiction from start to finish (which is why he quickly deleted the posts from his blog... when too many pointed questions were asked).

    I must admit, I'd have a very hard time buying a book by Wright... he has zero credibility with me.