To blog or not to blog

The deeper I sink into the ocean of online of social media, the more I realise that blogging as a marketing tool is a big hype. For some reason, everybody seems to believe that engaging in social media relations is the answer to everything. This provokes interesting debates on what social media is, and what it is not.

For example, according to Geoff Livingstone, social media is not media relations at all, while Steve Rubel  calls for killing the term social media altogether  and says its all media now.

I agree with Steve Rubel in the sense that social media today carry the same functions as the traditional media:  disseminating the news, setting the agenda and influencing public opinion. Social media is just another channel to reach the publics, and decision to use this particular channel should be rational rather than sensational.

John Bell, the leader of 360° Digital Influence team at Ogilvy PR’s, defines social media as a set of tools, techniques and methods used to reach a marketing or communications goal – usually in the form of word of mouth marketing. I would guess many bloggers would lift their eyebrows and scream that social media is so much more than just another marketing channel. Well, of course, it is. Just like traditional media, which yet contains around 60% of promotional content.

However, social media is a different kind of media. It’s an unfriendly territory for a marketer, unlike the MSM. We don’t get to set the rules in this ultimate domain of the end user; the domain, which is created by them, generated by them and driven by them.

From PR-perspective, I think that social media is a second chance for us to make things right. We have screwed up our reputation using media relations, and still dragging the tail of spin heritage behind us wherever we go. Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let us not run after the short term profit. And therefore, let us not use social media relations in vain. On the web, more than anywhere else, everything you say can and will be used against you. Yes, silence is fatal. But stupid talk is much more fatal than the silence.



1 Response to “To blog or not to blog”

  1. 1 Richard Bailey April 24, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Have you seen how your blog is now the first result on a Google search on your name? Plenty more Google juice from other blog activity too.

    (By why does Google want to refer us to ‘Helena Myhotlove’ instead of Helena Makhotlova I wonder?)

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