Consumer generated media (CGM) is a very popular phrase today. From podcasting to blogging, the average Joe is contributing to the news world more than ever. One stirring example: the number of video feeds of the tsunami disaster created by citizens using video cameras.
Public relations is designed to get people thinking and talking about your company, product or service. This can be accomplished through articles, interviews, public events, blog mentions and more. Now, however, marketers are attempting to create “buzz” through manufactured word of mouth – a practice falling under increasing scrutiny.
Reaching the correct media has always been key to a sound PR policy. With the current shifts in consumer media consumption, identifying those targets can be quite a task. Here are a couple of ideas to help navigate the new media waters.
Blogs: These Web-based journals are a prime example of how media are shifting from the one-to-many approach (i.e., television) to the one-to-few approach. People who visit and return to certain blogs demonstrate a real interest in their topics and content. These journals can exert quite an influence on their readers, but approaching them for publicity purposes can be dicey. (for more information on this subject, look here).
It’s one thing to get the press to write a story about you. It’s entirely different to write the story yourself and have it published as a third-party narrative. The credibility of the story, the publication, the editors, and your company are at risk. Federal agencies have found that out the hard way, and a blanket warning to them from the Government Accountability Office last month should be a warning to everyone. According to a recent NY Times story, over 20 federal agencies have developed and deployed hundreds of “news reports” over the last several years.