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With all these new social media what are the future like for the PR business?

Shel Holtz, principal of Holtz Communication + Technology and author of the book “Public Relations on the Net” has gathered some interessting thoughts about this topic at his blog.

He also posted this small video which contains some very good advice for PR companies all over the world.

I tend to agree. We need to know more about the new social media – and we continuous need to educate our clients and our employees so we are on top of things.

Not the end…
Social media is not the end of Public Relations but it is the beginning of a new era which contains new markets and a lot of positive opporttunities for us as PR professionals. But we have to dare to take some chances and just try some ting new in order to develop us as PR companies and to develop our clients.

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When you are in the PR business one of your goal is to get best possible publicity both online and offline. And when you talk about online media you have to think about blogs also. They are becomming more and more important.

If you live in the US you already know what I’m talking about. Blogs are as important as traditional media – sometimes even more important. It depends on the topic. But how do you pitch a blogger?

Simple advice

Well, if you want to pitch Sarah Lacy – journalist and author – you should read her advice on how to pitch her here.

Here she write down some simple advice on how to pitch a blogger. Some of the advice seems very very simple and obvious but then again – so does most things when you read about them. Her advices are therefore very good reading and it should be basic reading for all PR professionals.

Here are a short list of the most important advice:

– know the name of the blogger and use it corretly
– only pitch a blogger with material the blogger actual writes and cares about
– don’t contact the blogger as BCC in a mail you send to serveral others
– be part of the blogosphere for some time before you pitch bloggers
– research, research and research…

An unprofessional pitch can backfire
A blogger shall be treated as a professional and if you don’t the result can be more devastating than you think.

If you pitch without respect for the individual blogger, you run several risks:

– risk of getting no mention (very likely)
– risk of getting bad press yourself i.e. the blogger could write a blog post about how unprofessional you and your company are (very likely)
– risk of getting bad press for your client i.e. the blogger could write a blog post about your client stating that they are very unprofessional (very likely)
– risk of never being able to contact the blogger again and thereby minimize the chance of getting good reviews etc. (likely)
– risk of getting a bad reputation among bloggers i.e. bloggers are closely connected within the same topics (likely)
etc.

All risks you can avoid if you treat bloggers with respect!

If you want to read more about pitches which have gone wrong – you could try reading the Bad Pitch Blog – it’s both funny, educational and sometimes a bit scaring to see how unprofessional some professionals can be.

You always read and hear a lot about why you should use a blog or a corporate blog. And I still think that a blog is a very good idea – most of the time.

But sometimes a blog is NOT the answer.

Here are five good reasons why you should not make a blog:

1. Time
It takes time to make a good blog. You need to make time for research, writing, follow up, reading comments etc. If you don’t have the time DON’T make a blog.

2. Nothing to tell
If you make a blog, you need to have some thing to say. Otherwise no one will read your blog post. If the only thing you can think of is the same as the press releases you send out – DON’T make a blog.

3. Everybody have one
If you think a blog is just a craze and you just want one because everybody else have one, then you don’t have a clue what blogging is about. A blog is personal. You write about things you care about and know about. You need to be real and enthusiastic about the content you make otherwise – DON’T make a blog.

4. Need instant result
If you need instant result in e.g. a crisis situation you can’t just make a blog and think it’s going to fix your problems. A good blog takes time to evolve and to get readers etc. So if you are looking for a “quick fix” – DON’T make a blog

5. Afraid to share knowledge
A blog is all about sharing. A good blog is a place where the reader can get new information on topics which are interesting for him or her. When you share information and knowledge then your blog will be visited more and you will properly get valuable information back. So if you don’t have anything to share or are afraid to share your knowledge – DON’T make a blog.

So when you are about make a blog for the first time – please think about why you are making it. Perhaps a blog is NOT the right thing…