While the PR industry is engaging with bloggers and using them as an addition to or even replacement for traditional media, bloggers, like the media, have preferred communication norms and rules.
According to Chris Onderstall, who leads the digital communication practice at Fleishman-Hillard, a company survey of the country's top 50 bloggers on how they prefer to be engaged, revealed some trends.
Of the bloggers surveyed, 84% of them are in regular contact with at least one PR contact but this communication appears to be limited to email correspondence. Bloggers favoured being contacted in the morning, with access to spokespeople, as the most important asset a PR professional can offer. The rising content star is video content. Bloggers favour attending events
The desire to attend events is still strong amongst bloggers, at a time where media seem increasingly bored with attending events. As most have full time work commitments, bloggers favour attending events after work hours, with 60% opting for Thursdays as the best day.
Keywords such as freebies and review products come up across the board as a favourite. Dislikes and complaints include:
- PR people not reading the blogs and understanding their audience - the feeling that the PR professional have pulled a name off a list and have never been to the site
- Press releases that do not make sense
- Flat content, when the web calls for rich media content, such as images, videos and imagery to accompany stories
"The value of engaging with bloggers is undisputed, let's hope we witness more intelligent authentic engagement in the space as bloggers prove their value," concludes Onderstall.