There are dozens of PR folk who now blog – but should they be a target for blogger outreach programmes?
Check out this post: Molson Gives A Crash Course In Relationship-Building (via Judy Gombita) – which is presented as a great example of the beer company‘s PR team engaging with bloggers.
For me it raises many of the questions raised by in-house PR practitioners regarding the investment of time compared to the benefits delivered.
The cost of giving away beer to this blogger’s party is probably negligible – but was it really worth the time invested? From a marketing perspective, did this tactic affect the future brand choice of the 20 or so people attending the party? It seems like micro marketing, but is it a successful strategy to reach this number of people and are they really engaged with your product?
Okay, the approach shows a willingness to engage in social media – and the follow up of BBQ booze via Twitter stimulated a post that getting the blogger to attend an event (reported on Molson‘s own blog as involving “20 or so 2.0-savvy folks”) did not.
Does either the event or the follow up really deliver the message Molson wanted? Are PR bloggers any more influential in supporting the company in achieving its aims than anyone else – online or off – who could be courted in this way?
What is the point of the company seeking to build relationships with bloggers? Indeed, has the PR person really has built a relationship with this blogger? Are bloggers that cheap?
I’m not very clear what Molson was aiming to achieve. By all means look at bloggers as important influencers, where that is really the case. But having a blogger outreach initiative purely for the sake of it doesn’t seem like good return on investment.
So why are PR bloggers the target for this type of programme? Do readers really care what we think about different brands or companies that are outside our area of expertise? Is my opinion any more valid than the guy you overhear on the train or in the pub?
Just because I can leave a digital footprint, is that worthy of a company’s time in targeting me? Is this really the future for PR online?