Report changes tune on blogging for business

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Today, eMarketer released a report called, “The Business of Blogging: A Review“, that “analyzes the contradictions behind why everyone is talking about blogs but so few business are actually posting them.”

James Belcher, a senior analyst with eMarketer says “Marketers and PR professionals who want to remain relevant in this environment will add blogging and blogosphere literacy to their skill sets, or risk falling behind their customers.”

I often tell clients that in order to be part of the blogosphere, an organization or individual doesn’t necessarily need to have a blog. There are three steps to integrating social media and blogs into your communication initiatives. I call it 3L.

  1. Listen – what’s being said in blogosphere about you?
  2. Learn – who’s contributing to the conversation and how can you connect with them?
  3. Lead – take a participatory or “lead” role in shaping a conversation

When it comes to leading a conversation, it’s easier to do if you have a blog or a destination site that you can point people to, but the ability to comment on an existing conversation and build a voice can be just as effective in the right places. The most important thing is to establish rapport and credibility. Often your PR agency, at least those that are savvy to the new communication climate, can help you navigate the conversation.

iStudio podcasts get mainstream media exposure

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My work at iStudio with ALTANA Pharma was profiled in The Globe & Mail today. Here’s an excerpt from the article written by Alex Dobrota.

Ron Clark, vice-president of sales at Oakville, Ont.-based Altana Pharma Inc., starts his monthly address to his team of 120 sales representatives with a prerecorded Tragically Hip tune. Then, he records himself talking to guests — including the company’s chief executive officer — about such serious topics as the company financials and new sales programs. He posts the MP3 file dubbed “Ron’s podcast” on the company’s intranet site. His employees, spread out from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia, can download the file and listen to it on their way to work, in the car, on their iPods or on their computers. “Most people tune out of e-mails and voice-mails after a while,” Mr. Clark said. Podcasting, he added, “is just a different way, a fresh way, of communicating a message.”

Paul Colligan’s podcasting blog references research from Tom Webster of Edison Media Research indicating that as of January 2006, 11% of Internet users had listened to a podcast, although they were unclear on exactly what a podcast was. The podcast audience appears to be relatively well-educated and financially secure. According to the research, they spend an average of 2 hours, 7 minutes on the Internet. I’m not sure if this is a daily or weekly statistic. It’s probably a daily stat.

Man, it’s really hard finding current and reliable podcast statistics online. Thanks to Paul for posting these online.

David Bradfield moves to Fleishman-Hillard New York

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Well, the news has been getting out and the rumors are true. In August 2006 I join the New York office of Fleishman-Hillard to set up a new interactive, digital and social media group. The timing is perfect for this move.

Here’s an excerpt from a comment I posted to One Degree that gves some context to the rationale behind my move:

From my perspective, every PR agency that offers “full service” should be learning about this space and embracing new opportunities to reach the niches. Social media, or whatever you want to call it, is an integral element of the future of PR. It’s a neccessity.

PR and communication professionals have specialized for decades in generating coverage in “uncontrollable” media and other venues through relationships with influencers such as journalists, analysts and opinion leaders. It takes a true professional to understand what will add value and create a unique angle or perspective that makes an organization/product/service contextually relevant, timely and reliable.

In the new communication climate, understanding who’s who online, what they write/talk about and providing information that is useful and adds depth or variety to their perspectice is key to successful public relations.

The world of marketing and communication is at a critical point in its evolution, and as I have always stated, public relations is the discipline most suited to the online space. I now have a chance to work with one of the industry’s leading firms to prove this. Obviously I am not going to do this alone. Fleishman-Hillard has excellent interactive operations in Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, not to mention iStudio, which is a sister company to Fleishman-Hillard. Within New York, there also exists Fleishman-Hillard’s Next Great Thing (NGT) team that I will work closely with.

I am really going to miss working directly with the iStudio team. They are an incredibly talented bunch that have been winning awards for truly innovative work.