Up Close and Personal: 400 Bloggers

More and more PR firms are getting clued in to the viral value of seeding key bloggers with news of their clients’ products and services. I had previously linked to a Scoble (pictured) posting in which the A-list blogger extolled the virtues of such a strategy, e.g., start with 40 bloggers and build buzz from the ground up.

Subsequently, the Wall Street Journal acknowledged the organizers of New York’s Fashion Week for their fashion-forward thinking in giving bloggers media credentials to cover this ultra chic fashion fest. Then today, that Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk dropped me a note recognizing Gloria Steinem’s “smart” publicist for offering up Ms. Steinem to ten bloggers to promote her new radio station.

Taking a page from the traditional PR handbook, Steve Rubel exhorts the PR community to do its homework before endeavoring to court said blogging community. “No one should pitch a blog without reading it for at least a week.” He also suggests using Wikipedia to learn more about the blogger being targeted. Who knew that the dynamic consumer-generated encyclopedia includes personal and professional information on some 400 bloggers? (No. The Flack didn’t pass muster.)

Of course, there are no shortage of established resources that offer personal and professional info on mainstream journalists. In fact, I remember some years ago when a reporter for The Wall Street Journal took a special interest in the “insidious” practice of storing information on journalists in some PR firms’ proprietary media databases.

How shocking and big brotherish was the newspaper’s impression of the practice. The reporter called our firm for a comment. As it turns out, I knew this reporter from high school, and had a vivid memory of this reporter getting caught in a much-compromised state by my friend’s mother in the basement of my friend’s home.

Now wouldn’t it have been great to fold that little tidbit of information into this reporter’s profile listing in our database before sharing? Imagine the reaction.

We ultimately declined to take part in the story, but I still think longingly about our plans for the “reveal.”

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