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Blogs Force PR Pros To Put Their Journalist Hats On

Steve Rubel
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-21

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There's a fascinating article on PR and blogging in today's Globe and Mail. In the piece, Richard Edelman comments extensively on how blogs ...

... and other on-line tools that enable companies to speak directly to consumers are pushing the news media out of their central role in public relations.

(hat tip to IWantMedia)

He openly encourages PR practitioners to think more like journalists. Gee, what a radical thought. PR isn't about going to cool parties after all.

Richard is spot on, but he doesn't explain - at least in the article - how our industry should train the troops to think like journalists. Truth be told, this is something we should have been doing all along. The best PR professionals are doing this by rote, day in and day out.

My feeling is that the best way to teach PR pros to think like journalists is to encourage them to become bloggers. I have learned more about journalism through one year of blogging than perhaps anything else over my entire career in this business.

Every PR agency large and small should be giving their employees the "keys to the blog." Let your employees dabble in the blogosphere and learn. Even an internal blog is better than no blogging at all. Will the big PR agencies rise to the occasion in such manner? I highly doubt it. Many of them are risk averse. Is Edelman doing this? One hopes.

This is why I feel for the first time in perhaps years small and mid-size agencies have a chance to use blogs to their advantage to showcase their talent, acquire new clients and grow. Just look at how well known agencies are like Voce Communications, Blodgett Communications and, yes, my own employer, CooperKatz. We're all training our teams to get on the Cluetrain and it's giving us an edge. Can we hang on to it? I bet we will. We're more nimble.

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About the Author:
Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.

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