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More on Blogger Relations

November 15, 2006

This seems to be a topic that has legs, as they say. I first noticed this on James Governer’s blog, then on Net-Savvy both in the context of Blogger Relations and Defining Social Media Relations.

This will involve a different way of thinking, mostly because blogging to be effective gives up control, which causes fear and uncertainty in the realm of traditional communications. It’s going to be about managing the process of the message coming to and from communities rather than the corporate marketing machine. It’s also going to be about how to communicate and integrate with the various blogging communities.

These communities (ok for IBM in this case) include the technically inclined group such as IT analysts, the Investor and Investor Relations crowd, IBM watchers from the outside, and making sure that it doesn’t become a part of the spin machine from the inside. Yes, PR has a place in the blogosphere, but one must be careful not to use it as a place to post a press release. So the ability to work with the communities on behalf of the company while respecting the social rules is imperative to this cause.

We have some very technically capable bloggers, some that are more brand specific, and well respected company leaders, so there is no shortage of IBM bloggers, but other than developerWorks, we haven’t coordinated as much as evolved. We’re blogging, podcasting, delivering web 2.0 tools, but I sense there is more work to do.
So the deal will be how to speak to bloggers as bloggers, and deal with them on this basis, even if they have a job title of analyst or something else. I also sense that it is going to morph from just blogger relations to social relations and deal with social computing, web 2.0 at the tools, technology and social levels, and much more.

It will be interesting to watch the evolution. Stay tuned.

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