I love this piece on internetnews.com by
Michael Singer: "Blogs: The Marketing Killer
Not for what it says, but for what it doesn't say.
Singer poses the question:
companies need a full-blown marketing or PR department when the
employees themselves and the conversations they have on these blogs are
getting the corporate info out more effectively?"
The question is extreme, but I agree with the underlying premise that
disruptive to traditional marketing and PR departments. But those guys
and they'll figure out a way to leverage the phenomenon. Sooner or
later, anyway. Many have been for some time now, like Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion
who blogs prolifically about PR, and his ranks are growing.
PR and marketing people who ignore all this are going to have a rough
time because they are too tightly tied to the so-called "message."
Quoted in the article is Lisa Poulson, a consultant with Kirtland
firms love to control the message, control who says the message,
control who has access to the message, who says the message and the
timing of the message," she said. "Blogs upset the apple cart in all
four ways. But building that credibility and trust are still the basis
for that individual relationship."
Totally agree, although I'm not sure what she means by that last
sentence. I suspect her
quote was clipped because it doesn't really flow logically.
This bit from the article baffles me, though:
Bailey, Web marketing director with the Karcher Group, suggests that
corporate public relations and alternative news and opinion outlets are
the two industries most impacted by blogs and RSS feeds.
Ok. I get it that PR is affected by blogs. But what's this reference to
"alternative news and opinion outlets" also being affected? Aren't the
alternative news and opinion outlets being fully expressed
blogs? How are they impacted
So, I keep reading, looking for the one community that blogs absolutely
affect, a community that is wrestling with it quite publically, as
well. Jay Rosen
and Dan Gillmor
-- and dozens and
dozens more -- talk about it all the time ... the fact that blogs are
affecting mainstream journalism itself. But no mention of that in this
article. Not even a hint. Instead we are treated to a violent,
"Blogs: The Marketing Killer." True, the majority of PR and marketing
people may be in denial about blogs, but it seems to me that the
industry under siege here is journalism! I've read
some pretty defensive quotes
media directly attacking bloggers -- quotes from old world reporters,
though, not PR and marketing people.
Fascinating omission. The rhetorical skills of reporters never cease to
amazing me. That's a compliment, by the way, not a criticism. I love
the study of classical rhetoric. I just think that journalists are some
very best rhetoricians out there, that's all.
Ok, just a quick point of clarification on the article in regards to
open source Solaris. Singer writes about Sun's recent use of blogs:
one case, Sun's roadmap to open-sourcing its Solaris operating system
was discussed in its blogs well before executives acknowledged the
I'm not sure where that came from, to be honest, and I hope I didn't
miss anything. But as I remember, blogs.sun.com went live just before
SunNetwork Shanghai in early June. The issue of open source Solaris,
however, had been discussed well before
Schwartz leak in the press conference in Shanghai
. Here are
some articles from
Schwartz and Rob Gingell dating back to 2002:
- Informationweek, 5/6/02 (Rob
- Network World, 8/5/02 (Rob Gingell)
- ZDNet TechUpdate, Part 1, 8/26/02 (Rob
- ZDNet TechUpdate, Part 2, 8/28/02 (Rob
- InfoWorld, 12/5/02 (Jonathan Schwartz)
- ZDNet TechUpdate, 4/9/03 (Rob Gingell)
- InfoWorld, 4/30/04 (Jonathan Schwartz)
- Slashdot, 5/1/04 (Jonathan Schwartz)
Singer is quite correct, however, when he says:
the boldest move so far to capitalize on the blogging craze has been by
Sun Microsystems. The company allows not only its engineers but also
its general employee base to post their musings."
I'm one of those living in the "general employee base," and I do think
this is a bold move for Sun. It's a move that is quite welcome, though.
A move that is working out pretty well, I'd say.