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In Bloggers We Trust

Steve Rubel
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-18

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During the past week several companies and press have trusted me with information they would rather not let out into the wild.

In the case of the former, Newsgator and FeedDemon pre-briefed me on their merger on Sunday provided I kept it under embargo until Monday night - which I did.

Similarly, I know of at least three separate stories in development at major publications because I was interviewed for them.

Sitting on all this "valuable" information gets me thinking. How does one know when to trust a blogger? What's to stop me and others from breaking the embargo early (in Newsgator's case) or revealing what a publication plans to publish and when? Well, for one, my own reputation. If I show I can't be trusted then no one will ever want to tell me anything or read my blog. That's a huge incentive. But something bigger is going on here.

People now put the same degree of trust in me (and other reputable bloggers) that they might normally only reserve for analysts and journalists. There's a big difference between these influencers, however, and bloggers. With press/analysts you have a safety net. If they leak, you have options for recourse. With bloggers you really don't.

So the big question is - which bloggers should you trust and what do you need to know to trust them? Anybody out there regularly working with bloggers on exclusives? What's your experience?

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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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