I’m making some alterations to my blogroll. I’m adding sections for photographers, podcasts and PR blogs. I have no idea if that’s the correct nomenclature, but PR blogs will cover those blogs that aren’t media, personal bloggers, or hyperlocal bloggers. It’s for the not-for-profit, for profit, and governmental blogs that are focused on an organization.
Josh at Empirical Polk said this the other day about a PR blog: “Message to the business reporters covering the Winter Haven area….Bob Gernert and the chamber blog are eating your lunch.”
In the comments, Barry (from The Ledger) had a slightly different point of view, and this was his most important point:
I can even imagine a scenario where a reporter leaves a voice mail with a local official asking for confirmation about a newsworthy event — only to see that official post the news to his/her blog before getting back with the reporter.
In that scenario, I suppose the blogger can be said to have eaten the reporter’s lunch — presuming the blogger has distribution similar or greater than the reporter’s.
I see PR blogs as merely a continuation of press releases, media and public events, and old fashioned letter writing campaigns. It’s just taking the road show to a different audience, with the spice of instant feedback.
Josh has the most popular blog in the county. I doubt the individual PR blogs will ever reach his daily numbers, but even Josh doesn’t reach the audience a Ledger reporter gets with a single story. At least not in the current media/public tug-of-war.
The big advantage Josh, and especially the PR bloggers, have over The Ledger is they’re not doing this for a profit. They have a vested interest in making permanently available everything they write.
Right now you can find almost everything the Ledger has posted since August 2002*, but someday that content might go behind a firewall. When that happens the newspaper will win the audience eyeballs in the short term, but in the archives and Google searches the bloggers win the marathon. Some cities already use pay firewalls for old content. It might as be lining a birdcage.
This will accelerate as the traditional audience (my age) starts expiring. Ask any college librarian, information that isn’t easily accessed is lost to today’s generation.
* – I had the wrong date. Fixed 14:00