Trylon Communications  - January 2005
       

From Pest To Prophet

Before the blog phenomenon became publicized and the word “weblog” was applied, consumers and critics were hosting their own Web sites and commenting on companies they liked or disliked. At that time these pre-bloggers were considered pests – now they are being courted and treated like royalty.

The impact of blogs can be felt in every area today, from politics (bloggers covering the conventions were given huge media exposure) to breaking news (the CBS scandal referenced in our “Blurring the Line” article was promulgated by conservative bloggers questioning the evidence in the news story) to new products and technology.

In fact, many blog authors are now becoming targets of PR professionals and advertisers, with offers of pre-production technology and equipment, early notices of new technology, and beta test models of new products arriving for their reviews.

New technology such as BlogMine, BlogContext, and others are offering contextual advertising on blogs – delivering relevant advertising based upon keywords that appear in the blog’s content.

While bloggers have to wrestle with the debate between accepting advertising and maintaining an independent stance, companies who are looking for a grassroots marketing channel view these influential authors as opportunities for getting their message out.

The opportunities for marketers and PR pros to have their message carried by bloggers increases as blogs become more mainstream and commercial, but the strategy one should use to approach these authors remains the same as it was two and a half years ago when we first wrote about it. (See article: Pitching Blogs)