Survey: How bloggers and PR intersect

Technorati and Edelman have teamed up to conduct a survey into bloggers’ opinions about their interactions with PR agencies and companies:

[…] Is receiving a press release from a PR agency just more spam? What about product discounts or free goods? Are there better ways for traditional marketers and bloggers to interact? What is the implicit contract created when marketers and bloggers communicate? What are the ethical questions? What are companies not listening to that they should be listening to?

The survey has 18 questions and will take you about 10 minutes to complete. It’s anonymous although if you give your name and email address at the end, you’ll get a copy of the survey results white paper when it’s published next month.

It’s worth getting your opinions heard and taken into account.

Now, without wishing to give away a spoiler, I do have some comments on a couple of the survey questions. There’s no option in the survey to provide additional comments so I’m posting them here.

Question 9 asks: If you know a message is sent to you from a PR firm, how much are you likely to trust it on a scale between 1 and 10, where “1” is "not at all" and “10” is "complete trust"? Related question 10 asks: If you receive a message directly from a company how much do you trust it on a scale between 1 and 10, where “1” is "not at all" and “10” is "complete trust"?

Your answers to these question have to be pretty black-and-white due to how the survey is structured – you click a radio button and you can’t do multiple choices. In both cases, I answered "7," which might have been a bit generous now that I think about it.

What I would have liked to have seen is a choice saying "It depends" and then a text box where you can explain why it depends.

When I get a pitch from a PR agency or directly from a company, how I react to that pitch and what I think of the agency or company and/or the product or service being pitched really does depend on quite a few things.

For instance, a pseudo-personal email press release that a) has nothing to do with what I write in this blog and b) contains my pet hate phrase "click here to unsubscribe" – I never subscribed! – would earn a 1 (or a minus 10 if I had that option in the survey). On the other hand, an email that contains information that’s releavnt to what I write about here, piques my curiosity and thus leads me to want to find out more might earn an 8 or a 9. A score of 10 would be reserved for an agency or company with whom I’ve started building a relationship and all other things being equal. Best way to start that is a phone call (my Skype ID is listed here), not just an email.

While it’s easy to think about the clueless people in our profession – and there are far too many examples – I’m happy to say that there are some bright lights out there in my experience. And that’s not really much to do with bloggers or blogging – I’m not a journalist, but good media relations practice works whoever the target is.

One thought on “Survey: How bloggers and PR intersect

  1. My Thoughts: The Edelman / Technorati Survey

    Companies are looking for ways to coexist with the mediasphere and the blogosphere. Let’s — together — just focus on moving the ball forward, ten yards at a time.

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