Yeah, I've heard it before - PR flacks are terrible at talking with bloggers. Susan, Todd, Kami, Geoff, and pretty much everyone in social media PR has had something to say about it.
Last year I went to BlogHer '07 and got an earful about how we don't respect bloggers. So I apologized for the industry in an open letter, and I acknowledged an important but unresolved issue - reaching out to bloggers of color. Over the course of my work I've also heard the overwhelming calls of greenwashing from influential envirobloggers (how many releases do they get on Earth Day?) and how PR folks need to know when to say when.
Since then we've seen PR Firms issue what they called "ethical codes" and other guidelines for blogger relations. And that's good, I guess - there's nothing wrong with sharing your standards and practices. But there were two very important things still missing.
First, I don't think anyone has ever bothered to ask PR CEO's and popular bloggers the same questions about interaction and relations, and identified the specific gaps in understanding. Second, no one has ever set up a meaningful platform for bloggers and PR professionals to work together to form best practices and continually gauge the state of the relationship in a way that evolves just as fast as social media does.
BloggersAndPR does exactly that. The Council of PR Firms worked with us to develop an initial list of questions for both PR CEO's and popular bloggers, and we sent the questions to each group last year. We got some fabulous, intense feedback. You can see the results on the site. You can also check out the PR Week article for a quick summary.
But we also know we weren't asking all the important questions, and we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to shape our survey AND help us develop meaningful "best practices." So we built a wiki at the site where everyone - bloggers, PR professionals, or anyone interested in the topic - can register for free and help us develop a model that works - asking the right questions and finding the right answers.
I'm proud to have been a part of this effort, and BIGTIME ups to Kathy Cripps and Matt Shaw at CPRF and my colleagues at APCO. We really want to do the right thing here, and I hope everyone will participate.
It has to be better than me spamming you all the time.