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Write and wrong. . .
. . . and the apparently thin line between journalists and bloggers
April 14, 2013 11:09 by kippreport
At Kipp headquarters, we occasionally find ourselves embroiled in relatively heated discussions. A particular subject we frequently revisit is that of the ‘blogger’ persuasion. More specifically, we discuss the seemingly growing trend of brands prioritising bloggers over members of the media.
Why talk about it again, you ask? Well, it’s simple.
Last week, a certain brand in Dubai was excited about unveiling a new product and decided to adopt the evidently ‘trendy’ strategy of almost exclusively targeting ‘influential bloggers’ and other active members of the social media community. Why? To create buzz.
“That’s their strategy Kipp, if they want to invite bloggers, what’s to stop them from doing so,” we were told. Well, that would be all well and good, except for the fact that the media – you know, those that do it for a living – were essentially left out of it. Apparently, this brand will be holding an event for us two weeks later. You see, it’s not the strategy that upsets me, it’s the chronological order.
At this point, you may have already started to silently (or perhaps not so silently) label me as a ‘sour journalist’ that wasn’t invited to the party. Well, the truth is, attending events, conferences and even press trips is nothing more than work. Ask any journalist that attends 14 conferences a week and they’ll tell you it’s just another day at the office – there is no glamour – and certainly no intent to hunt for ‘goodies’.
Now, everyone has their own personal and professional views on bloggers – but the question of whether ‘bloggers are journalists’ still lives on. When speaking about our ‘digital counterparts’, marketers often use phrases like ‘influential following’ and ‘active’ social media presence to entice the brands they work endlessly to promote. It’s hard to really quantify what ‘influential’ means in this context, but I won’t digress.
What was astonishing for Kipp to hear was that ‘a blogger is a type of journalist’ because – aside from having studied, been trained and actually hired for the job – we apparently deliver the same quality of results. Really? In 2010, both PRWeek and PRNewswire teamed up on a study and discovered that 52 per cent of bloggers considered themselves to be journalists – and in essence felt entitled to everything that came with the package.
Kipp isn’t too surprised at this statistic, but we’re really unsure of who to blame.
Have brands really begun to believe that the media would be willing to trail behind bloggers; having to quote them when writing about something they’d been introduced to or told about before we were? Well, I can’t speak for fellow journalists, but one thing’s for sure – I have no intention of eating scraps off the floor.
Share your thoughts.