Trylon Communications  - Volume I Issue 7
       

...and speaking of BLOGS

A recent article in Ragan's Media Relations Report noted the new opportunities and potential pitfalls of pursuing PR through Weblogs.

In the article, Trylon Communications President Lloyd Trufelman made several points regarding the emergence of blogs in media relations. Trufelman compared the Internet to AM radio as an outlet for people to influence opinion and introduce topics of interest. Saying you don't pay attention to blogs, he noted, is like saying you don't pay attention to the newspaper.

The article's subhead - describing Weblogs as a new source for news for PR pros as well as a possible new headache - said it all. An important point of fact is that news travels faster than ever. Trying to contain a news story today is akin to capturing lightning in a bottle - it just won't work.

For example, within minutes after Trent Lott made his infamous comment regarding Strom Thurmond, reports were circulating on the Web and the news quickly spread like wildfire. In fact, some journalists were online within seconds as they were at the event itself and reporting live.

What if Lott's PR people had been monitoring the blogs of these influential media members? Could they have tried to spin the story while it was still in its infancy? At the very least, could they have better anticipated the reporting to come in the rest of the media?

Many traditional media members are now using blogs as tip sheets. It is suspected that this is how the Senator's comments became national news fodder. For media relations professionals, blogs can be an early warning system, providing insight into opinions and trends before they reach conventional media.

The article suggested that PR pros pitch blogs proactively. As suggested previously (link here to "pitching blogs article"), this can be effective but must be done very carefully. If you don't understand blogs, it is an area to stay away from.

As communications systems and tools evolve, it is imperative that professionals stay current on trends and technologies. To be effective in a media, you must first understand it.